Autoweek Tests the R56 Prototype

Autoweek jumps on the R56 preview bandwagon with their own review of the official R56 prototype press launch that was held last week. Here’s an excerpt:

The car itself feels amazing at the track, with a nimbleness that allows for point-and-shoot driving at its best. Balancing the car on its throttle, easing off and feeding in the gas to aim the front of the car wherever one wills it, snapping the steering to maintain long drifts through sweeping turns—the Mini allows for it all while forgiving even the most ham-fisted maneuvers.

For prospective Mini shoppers, the ride should be even more fun with the optional sport suspension. Mini engineers say much of the harshness found in the cars’ suspension tuning is erased in the new car, with the standard suspension on both cars allowing for a more comfortable ride.

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  • Vanwall

    The bandwagon is starting to look like those overloaded Mercedes-Benz trucks from the Sub-Continent – favorable reveiwers are beginning to pile up and hang out all over the sides. This is a nice omen, I hope, and the refinements left to do seem minor – the R56 is pretty much there, I reckon. I’m seeing a lower greenhouse-to-wasteline relationship than the current model that worries me some – I don’t like chopping without channelling, too – but mebbe that’s the pics. I’ll bet it hits the showroom floors running, and I hope they plan on more allocations, to say nothing of more dealers.

                BCNU,
              Rob in Dago
    
  • Jon

    Did anyone notice the article stated that the car will get a push-button starter?

    This is the first I’ve heard of this. Gabe, have you heard this before?

  • http://www.motoringfile.com/ Gabe

    Did anyone notice the article stated that the car will get a push-button starter? This is the first I’ve heard of this. Gabe, have you heard this before?

    Originally from March of 2005:

    “In another sign of BMW influence, the next MINI will feature an ignition system similar to the new 1 and 3 series BMWs. These are essentially push-button systems that rely on a “key-fob” as opposed to a typical metal key.”

  • gmini

    scroll down on this page for photos of the fob and button (in a cloaked dash), Jon.

  • Jon

    That link was most helpful. Thanks for that. There were many great detail shots, especially of the interior, which I had not seen before.

    Gabe, my apologies for doubting you. Of course you knew about it, and of course you reported on it, almost a year and a half ago…

  • Nathaniel Salzman

    Oh wow, yeah that MINI2 post is awesome! After seeing the press photos and seeing more detail in posts like that one, I’m officially on the R56 bandwagon. Seeing the car more finished and getting a better sense of its close-up proportions has shown really how much charm the car has been able to retain. I even like the aero-style grill on the MCS now! I’m very doubtful but interested to see the finished interior, as I actually liked the foam masking better than the preview pics of the finished interior we’ve had here on MF. But we’ll see.

    But I’m still glad to be getting my ’06 – thrilled actually. It gets to the dealer in KC today. Keep an eye on him for me Todd!

  • agranger

    My wife wants a MINI but wants a softer ride. Maybe a regularly-sprung MC will fit the bill now!

  • Yegor H.
    But I’m still glad to be getting my ‘06 – thrilled actually. It gets to the dealer in KC today.

    Congratulations! I am expecting mine later this week. They are almost twins!? 😉

  • Nathaniel Salzman

    Yegor H. ,

    Not to get wicked off-topic, but what’s your spec? I’m DS with a PS roof, sport pac, premium pac, winter pac, space cloth, anthricite, and chrome-line interior.

  • O(=^=)OCapn
    I’m very doubtful but interested to see the finished interior, as I actually liked the foam masking better than the preview pics of the finished interior we’ve had here on MF. But we’ll see.

    Hey Nathan, I think that that foam is retrofitable on the ’07 interior if you ever end up getting one.

  • Nathaniel Salzman

    LOL!

    Thanks. That’s good to know.

  • Glenn

    all those pictures of the interior are great. I think I may be won over now.