Buying a 2007 MCS: Let’s Hear Your Ideas

Before you, the MF reader give me your ideas on what I should get, let me first start off by saying yes, the rumor is true. I’m close to selling my exceptional 2005 MCS and buying a new 2007 R56 MCS. However it may come to a surprise that there was no plan to go this route until a specific moment while driving the Dragon. Something just clicked in between apexes and I turned to the person next to me and said “I need this car”.

My original plan was to keep my 2005 for awhile longer before deciding what to get. And I wasn’t planning on limiting myself to a MINI either. In fact my first thought was to find a low mileage E46 M3. But I couldn’t get over the feeling that it just didn’t fit my needs since (A) I live in the city and (B) no longer have a chance to drive that much. I really need something more immediately fun. With an M3 I’d constantly be searching for places to stretch its legs – not easily doable around Chicago. So then another choice popped up; a Lotus Elise. Used examples are already selling at reasonable prices and surely there could be nothing more hardcore, nothing more “real” than Elise. But then again I need to be able to actually use this second car as a real car. At 6′ 2″ I can’t even enter and exit an Elise with my dignity intact.

Of course there’s always the Z4 M Coupe that I so dearly love. But the same issues that applied for the M3 meant that it just didn’t make sense. Maybe someday, but not now.

Instead my time with the R56 press car proved to be a revelation. And spending five days at MINI on the Dragon with other owners made me realize that a MINI is exactly what I always needed. It fits my needs of performance, style, efficiency and attitude. There’s simply no better car that exemplifies what I need in transportation.

So what to do with my 2005? Now I know I’d have no trouble selling it with the help of MotoringFile or even a site like Cars.com. But I really wanted it to go to someone I knew who would completely cherish it. As luck would have it, a very good friend of mine has been looking at used MINIs for sometime and (assuming the stars continue to align) she’ll be taking it off my hands in the coming weeks.

Now, onto what to get. It’ll have to be a Cooper S. And not just any Cooper S – I’ll need the fastest currently available factory MINI. That means I’ll need a full JCW kit installed. 189 hp and 184 lbf-ft (199 lbf-ft w/overboost) on top of a base car that is already as fast as the previous JCW kit should prove to be pretty interesting. And while no one outside MINI definitively knows what’s coming down the pipeline, I know I’ll be satisfied with what I’m ordering… at least for awhile.

But speccing a MINI brings up a whole series of questions. Do I go for less is more like my press car? How about moderation – picking and choosing only the most important options. Then again there’s always more is more. And why not, I’ve never really gone all out with my previous MINIs. Why not shoot for the stars and get everything I actually want. What the hell, I may not need it all but I only live once.

So I want to throw out the question to all the MotoringFile readers. How would you spec a MINI if you had around $30,000 to spend (not counting the JCW kit or the OZ Ultraleggeras that will be fitted). The only rules: it has to be an MCS R56 and it (of course) has to be black. Or in this case, as close as I can get, Astro Black. Let’s hear the ideas. My order goes in tomorrow.

[ MINI USA Confirgurator ]
  • http://mcarlo52.themotorcade.com mike c.

    I already can guess at an option or two you’ll choose, LSD and SS+. For me the cloth seats were a must, but then I like the checked pattern. Also, the SAT/NAV was something I thought completed the look of the interior. I’ve found I don’t use the Navigation much in day to day driving, so have loaded DVD’s with MP3’s and use those instead, but the option is there and it’s a much cleaner looking front dash. Rear fogs and DSC of course.

  • Matt

    broke your 30k requirement, but this would be mine if ordered today. sorry if this makes us twins again.

    My 2007 MINI Cooper S Base MSRP* $21,200 Destination & Handling $650 paint Astro Black Body Color $450 Body Color Roof/Mirrors $0 package Cold Weather Package $300 Premium Package $1,400 Sport Package $1,400 performance Sport Suspension $500 Front Fog Lamps STD Rear Fog Lamp $100 Limited Slip Differential $500 6-Speed Getrag Manual STD All Season Tires $0 cockpit Sport Seats STD Chrome Line Interior $200 On-Board Computer STD 6-spkr AM/FM CD Player STD Anthracite Headliner $200 Leather: Lounge Carbon Black $1,900 Interior Surface Piano Black INC Computer Nav. System $2,100 Interior Surface Brushed Alloy $300 TOTAL MSRP AS CONFIGURED* $31,200
  • Josh

    Go all out man. I did and have no regrets – and it hit under the $30k mark… barely. :^)

    • Sport Package
    • Cold Weather Package
    • Premium Package
    • LSD
    • Anthracite Headliner
    • Lounge Leather
    • Sound Sys. Upgrade
    • iPod Connector

    …amongst other things.

  • dr
    As luck would have it, a very good friend of mine has been looking at used MINIs for sometime and (assuming the stars continue to align) she’ll be taking it off my hands in the coming weeks

    Sounds more like loaning it out till the wedding…

  • http://www.motoringfile.com/ Gabe

    broke your 30k requirement, but this would be mine if ordered today. sorry if this makes us twins again.

    Consider it less a requirement and more of a guide.

  • http://dbmini.us DB

    I would have to go this way.

    • White Turn Signals
    • Chrome line exterior (Gabe loves the bling!)
    • Sport Pack
    • Cold Weather
    • Sport Suspension
    • LSD
    • Rear Fogs
    • Chrome Line interior
    • auto A/C
    • Lounge Leather/Piano Black interior
    • Blue Tooth (which brings the MFSW)

    Brings it to $29,000 without the JCW. Not counting the JCW, of course.

    Oh yea, I really wouldn’t get the Chrome Exterior either, as I prefer a white roof with white mirror caps. It’s a thing 😉

  • Steven

    I say less is more.

    Options I would pick are the Limited Slip Differential, the Anthracite Headliner, Front and rear fog lamps, and the half cloth / half leather seats.

    No other options are needed.

  • http://www.smartboxusa.com/chicago GSKChicago

    Not sure of the difference between the not yet available premium sound system not available until 6/07 versus the 10 speaker audio upgrade.

    This one is insane as it doesn’t even have JCW yet. But when I got my ’05 MCS I loaded it pretty much every single option excluding JCW. I pretty much did that with the below. Adding JCW will defintely make this one premium priced car! Not sure I would actually get the below, but pretty close.

    My 2007 MINI Cooper S Base MSRP* $21,200 Destination & Handling $650

    paint Chrome Mirror Caps $150 Astro Black Body Color $450 Body Color Roof/Mirrors $0

    package Cold Weather Package $300 Heated Front Seats Heated Side Mirrors and Washer Jets Premium Package $1,400 Automatic AC Dual Pane Panoramic Sunroof On-Board Computer 3-Spoke w/Cruise and Multifunction Leather Sport Wheel w/Multifunction Sport Package $1,400 Dynamic Stability Control Front Fog Lamps Xenon Headlamps w/Power Wash 17″ Crown-Spoke (Performance) No Bonnet Stripes Convenience Package $1,400 Comfort Access System Bluetooth Mobile Phone Preparation Universal Garage Door Opener Auto Dimming Rear View Mirror Rain Sensor and Auto Headlamps Center Arm Rest Hyper Sport Package $1,400 Aero Kit (Factory Installed)

    performance Sport Suspension $500 Front Fog Lamps STD Rear Fog Lamp $100 Limited Slip Differential $500 6-Speed Getrag Manual STD

    cockpit Sport Seats STD Chrome Line Interior $200 On-Board Computer STD Anthracite Headliner $200 Leather: Lounge Redwood Red $1,900 Dark Grey Color Line INC Interior Surface Piano Black INC Computer Nav. System $2,100 10-Speaker. Hi-Fi Sound System $550 Interior Surface Piano Black $200

    TOTAL MSRP AS CONFIGURED* $34,600

    accessory** Steering Wheel – Redwood Red (installation not incl.) $400 Shift knob – Redwood Red (installation not incl.) $53 E-Brake Handle – Redwood Red (installation not incl.) $49 Driving lamps (installation not incl.) $510

    TOTAL ACCESSORIES ** $1,012 TOTAL MSRP AS CONFIGURED* $34,600

    TOTAL COMBINED $35,612

  • http://blog.kurtcollins.com Kurt Collins

    This is sort of going semi-whole hog.. it doesn’t include the JCW kit.. but if you wait for Vishnu…..

    Plus the PFMs (power-folding mirrors) are priceless and purely over the top!

    paint Astro Black Body Color $450 Body Color Roof/Mirrors $0 White Turn Signals $100

    package No selections in this category

    performance Sport Suspension $500 Front Fog Lamps STD Xenon Headlamps w/Power Wash $550 Rear Fog Lamp $100 Limited Slip Differential $500 6-Speed Getrag Manual STD 16″ S-Winders (Performance) STD Powerfold Heated Mirrors $300

    cockpit Sport Seats STD Heated Front Seats $270 Dual Pane Panoramic Sunroof $850 On-Board Computer STD Anthracite Headliner $200 Leather: Lounge Redwood Red $1,900 Dark Grey Color Line INC Interior Surface Piano Black INC Bluetooth Mobile Phone Preparation $600 Center Arm Rest INC Leather Sport Wheel w/Multifunction $350 10-Speaker. Hi-Fi Sound System $550 Interior Surface Piano Black $200

    TOTAL MSRP AS CONFIGURED* $29,270

  • http://www.smartboxusa.com/chicago GSKChicago

    When I got my 2005 MCS I got every option except JCW options. I essentially just did that with the below. It is pretty absurd and adding JCW will make it a very, very expensive MINI. That is not necessarily a bad thing though.

    My 2007 MINI Cooper S Base MSRP* $21,200 Destination & Handling $650 paint Chrome Mirror Caps $150 Astro Black Body Color $450 Body Color Roof/Mirrors $0 package Cold Weather Package $300 Heated Front Seats Heated Side Mirrors and Washer Jets Premium Package $1,400 Automatic AC Dual Pane Panoramic Sunroof On-Board Computer 3-Spoke w/Cruise and Multifunction Leather Sport Wheel w/Multifunction Sport Package $1,400 Dynamic Stability Control Front Fog Lamps Xenon Headlamps w/Power Wash 17″ Crown-Spoke (Performance) No Bonnet Stripes Convenience Package $1,400 Comfort Access System Bluetooth Mobile Phone Preparation Universal Garage Door Opener Auto Dimming Rear View Mirror Rain Sensor and Auto Headlamps Center Arm Rest Hyper Sport Package $1,400 Aero Kit (Factory Installed) performance Sport Suspension $500 Front Fog Lamps STD Rear Fog Lamp $100 Limited Slip Differential $500 6-Speed Getrag Manual STD cockpit Sport Seats STD Chrome Line Interior $200 On-Board Computer STD Anthracite Headliner $200 Leather: Lounge Redwood Red $1,900 Dark Grey Color Line INC Interior Surface Piano Black INC Computer Nav. System $2,100 10-Speaker. Hi-Fi Sound System $550 Interior Surface Piano Black $200 TOTAL MSRP AS CONFIGURED* $34,600 accessory** Steering Wheel – Redwood Red (installation not incl.) $400 Shift knob – Redwood Red (installation not incl.) $53 E-Brake Handle – Redwood Red (installation not incl.) $49 Driving lamps (installation not incl.) $510 TOTAL ACCESSORIES ** $1,012 TOTAL MSRP AS CONFIGURED* $34,600 TOTAL COMBINED $35,612
  • Nathaniel Salzman

    I’m still in shock, Gabe. Shock. But good for you man.

    I gotta throw my hat in the “more is more” column. There’s enough gadgetry available on the R56 – things like Keyless Go and the rear tip-up moon roof – that you’ve just got to deck it out. Sure you’ll track it, but if you don’t want it to be a dedicated track-all-the-time race car, then bring on the creature comforts! Unless you’re entering NAMCC, no sense pining over accessories you could have had for the sake of 75 lbs.

  • http://blog.kurtcollins.com Kurt Collins
  • Edge

    LOL I tried… going “all out” on factory options only (i.e. steps 1 through 4) with you in mind Gabe. I figure that step 5 options can ALWAYS be added at a later date, so why not focus on factory options today?

    My “Gabe-oriented” options included things like the chrome packages (I hate them but I know you don’t!) and crown spokes w/all seasons for use as a winter set. I still came in at $34,020. Heh.

    Of course that included “splurge” items like factory Nav, PDC, power folding mirrors and Black Lounge Carbon Leather – options I would definitely get (at least on a black car, for the leather).

    Also, why not wait until June 1st and get the SIRIUS/HD Radio audio package and factory alarm system options? :)

  • lavardera

    Why get the sport package if you are just going to put your old wheels on it. Just get the headlights – you already found out you don’t need the cruise control…

  • http://www.alldigitalnyc.com drew

    nav, nav, nav!!!

    that is all. ; )

  • Day42

    Hey Gabe, here’s how you should configure your MCS:

    Astro Black/White Roof/Mirrors – $21,850 (incl. dest.) White Bonnet Stripes – $100 Astro Black paint – $450 Cold Weather Pkg. – $300 Sport Suspension – $500 White 16 inch Bridge Spoke wheels – $0 Rear Fog Lamps – $100 Limited Slip Diff. – $500 Anthracite Headliner – $200 Cloth/Leather Seats (Rooster Red) – $1000 Leather MFSW – $350 Hi-Fi Stereo – $550 Piano Black dash – $200

    Accessories: JCW Leather/Suede Sport Wheel – $585 JCW Strut Brace – $275 JCW Aero Kit – $1595 Black Rubber Floor Mats (Front) – $55 Black Rubber Boot Mat – $54 Roof Rack Base & Install Kit – $235 Glove Box Organizer – $32

    Total (not including JCW pkg.) – $28,931

  • mike

    you are such a tease.

  • Greg

    Nothing faster (stage one JCW) for several years??

  • http://inomis.com iNomis

    My 2007 MINI Cooper S Base MSRP*$21,200 Destination & Handling$650

      paint
      Astro Black Body Color $450
      Body Color Roof/Mirrors $0
      White Turn Signals $100
    
      package
      Cold Weather Package $300
              Heated Front Seats 
              Heated Side Mirrors and Washer Jets 
      Premium Package $1,400
              Automatic AC 
              Dual Pane Panoramic Sunroof 
              On-Board Computer 
              3-Spoke w/Cruise and Multifunction 
              Leather Sport Wheel w/Multifunction 
      Convenience Package $1,400
              Comfort Access System 
              Bluetooth Mobile Phone Preparation 
              Universal Garage Door Opener 
              Auto Dimming Rear View Mirror 
              Rain Sensor and Auto Headlamps 
              Center Arm Rest 
    
      performance
      Sport Suspension $500
      Dynamic Stability Control $500
      Front Fog Lamps STD
      Xenon Headlamps w/Power Wash $550
      Rear Fog Lamp $100
      Limited Slip Differential $500
      6-Speed Getrag Manual STD
      16" S-Winders (Performance) STD
    
      cockpit
      Sport Seats STD
      On-Board Computer STD
      Anthracite Headliner $200
      Leather: Lounge Carbon Black $1,900
      Interior Surface Piano Black INC
      10-Speaker. Hi-Fi Sound System $550
      Interior Surface Piano Black $200
    
      TOTAL MSRP AS CONFIGURED*$30,500
    
  • http://www.OutMotoring.com Aaron Cornaby

    Once you go 56 you never come back…..I love my new car and happened to drive my old project car (that was sold locally) the other day and am now more impressed than ever with the R56 (aside from some nagging design issues…)

  • http://www.dcmini.blogspot.com/ DanC

    hope this doesn’t cut into your iPhone fund. 😉

  • ejkd

    LSD + SS + Lounge Leather ( the Rooster Red is really a classic) + Nav plus the 2 Option Packages,Moonroof & Auto AC; Chrome Interior. I guess this shoots above $30,000 but like you said ‘we only live once”.

    But Gabe, will you not wait till August so that you will get the 08 Model??? If you are going to order this month most likely the R56 will arrive in August?

    Just my thought.

  • scott

    You should also get the JCW carbon fiber dashboard(i have it in mine that i just picked up on sunday), and it looks really good.

  • Randall

    Just a thought on the ‘Lise…I had heard that Colin Chapman was 6’4″, and that he had engineered all of his Lotus cars to fit him…and that the Elise continues that tradition. At 6’ even and ~170 lbs, once I’m in, I fit great!

  • http://vinreddy.blogspot.com vin.

    I’d definitely get the navigation option in my next R56….

    Interestingly, Car Magazine has a similar thread on how to spec their incoming MINI (UK Spec, of course.)

    http://www.carmagazine.co.uk/post.php?sid=715

    I’m also trying to come to grips with my next possible purchase, R56 MCS, used ’06 or later Elise, used Porsche 993, BMW 1-series (assuming there’s some sort of M-variant.)

  • Jon

    Gabe:

    I am currently going through the same exercise that you are; except my actual order is still a couple of months away (may actually end up being a 2008). My last visit to the MiniUSA configurer resulted in a $37K+ Mini S not ingluding any JCW “go fast” options. I am also considering the mix of OEM vs. aftermarket options (even though there is not much aftermarket stuff for the 2007 Mini yet) The one aftermarket item that looks promising as an alternative to the current JCW option is the Milltek Sport exhaust(204 hp, 215 ft-lbs). Have you considered this? I’d be interested in your thoughts. If you haven’t considered this yet, you should check out this link: http://www.millteksport.com/media/images/press/28.pdf

  • MiniMark

    Pretty much what I am getting but I’ve gone the whole hog.

    Exterior: Astro Black JCW Aero kit(with plastic front lip, plastic side skirt edges and wheel arches chemically treated, sanded down and painted to match the body colour.) JCW Carbon fiber mirror caps JCW Carbon fiber hood scoop JCW Carbon fiber boot handle Rear fog lights Xenon lamps Driving Lamps

    Performance: JCW 18″ lightweight composite alloys with run flat performance tyres JCW Sport brakes JCW drilled rotors JCW Strut brace JCW Sports Suspension(when released) Full factory installed JCW tuning kit(when released ‘hopefully early to mid 08’) 6 Speed Getrag manual Limited Slip Differential

    Cockpit: Anthracite headliner Dual pane sunroof Centre armrest 10 speaker Harmon Kardon speaker system JCW 3 spoke sport leather steering wheel JCW carbon fiber dashboard JCW carbon fiber shifter JCW Carbon fiber handbrake handle JCW Shift indicator Sat Nav JCW Illuminated door sills

    Comes in way over $30k and that’s before factoring in the cost of the JCW tuning kit but hey for a 225HP+ turbo Mini you’re going to pay and you only live once. I’m just gutted I have to wait till next year for it! If I have it by next May I’m seriously considering taking it down to the Dragon for a roadtrip from NYC.

  • MiniMark

    Oh I nearly forgot, I’m getting the JCW black leather Recaro’s imported and fitted and just leaving the back seats leatherette.

  • Crusoe

    I’d spec it to give you the least distractive driving experience (as I did my MC). MFSW, Auto dimming mirror, rain sensor, auto headlamps, Xenons, all keep my hands on the wheel (except to shift) and eyes on the road with perfect visibility.

    Obviously disregard the sports package as a waste since you’re putting AM wheels on. Cherry pick the rest of the components and save $350.

    LSD and HS pkg.

    MFSW and if so inclined get the sunroof (hey we have some extra lbs to play with right?). I like the sunroof for giving me another visiblity axis, would be useful in Chicago no? So maybe just slap on the Premium Pkg

    If you’re on the cell all the time go with the Conv package otherwise cherry pick the aforementioned.

    Chicago, I’m thinking Cold Weather Pkg too.

    Switches need more switches, rear fog.

    All the look and feel options to your personal taste.

    Enjoy toiling over the configurator for endless hours till you get it dialed in.

  • Justin

    Make your budget $30,200. I ordered the Anthracite headliner and it came delivered as a no charge option.

  • James

    My 07 came in at $30k exactly. Was going to get the redwood lounge seats but they looked cheesy in person, so I spent the money on the nav system (nicer to look at than that huge speedo).

    Other extras: LSD prem package cold weather comfort access (but I’d skip that if I had it to do again) piano black trim ipod adapter hi-fi upgrade

  • gokartride

    Well I opted to “go all out” on my second MINI (an R56 Cooper), too. Fortunately, “going all out” for me meant adding only a few more options. Car gets here next week and I’m thrilled. I do think getting things perfect for you is important, so whether that’s mild or wold, go for it!!!

  • MiniMark

    I’ve just read in another article that the factory JCW car will have a different(and better looking) aero kit to the current R56 JCW one. This site is fantastic, the dealer had no clue about this.

  • Brian

    Nothing faster than a stage one JCW for years?!! huh? We need and M-Cooper.

  • Moe-jiller

    “But Gabe, will you not wait till August so that you will get the 08 Model??? If you are going to order this month most likely the R56 will arrive in August?”

    Be patient – but only if you have the time. This $35K expense feels rushed.

  • eto

    Here’s my build, Gabe. It is not quite a bare bones MINI, and has the options that I want without getting too expensive. The car will be ordered in early ’08

    Premium Package LSD Sport Suspension

    Other little things like color line, aluminum dash, rear fogs. Prices out to $25,400.

    I’ve thought about going very minimal with just LSD and Sport Suspension on a non-metallic color, but I keep wanting to add little things which creeps the cost back up to 25k.

    Are you looking at Black again, Gabe, or has Mellow Yellow stolen your heart? :)

  • http://www.mightyquick.com Mightyquick

    I suggest a different route. Wide white walls, spinner hubcaps, lake pipes, diamond tuck interior, and flames. If you are feeling flush, try the dummy spotlights, fuzzy dice hanging from the mirror, skull shifter knob, and fender skirts. Two chrome antenna, an 8-track, a-ou-ga horn, and some cheater slicks would be nice touches, but that is up to you. Purple and white paint is suggested, but a custom metalflake blend of green and gold would be a reasonable upgrade. Don’t forget the hula girl on the dash. Mandatory, Gabe, mandatory. I wonder if a small flathead V8 would fit?

  • miamijag

    Well, after I sold my MCS 2005 last year now, I miss the fun of this little car so, I am getting also a new one this month but, I will be looking for a less is more. I am getting a good base car. Later, little by little add the rest of the accessories. It kind of brings a joy to constantly looking for stuff instead of all out-right now. I am not a fan of instant satisfaction, but that is me. Good luck in your hunt and hope you get what you are looking for.

  • rkw

    Wow Gabe, what’s the rush? You’ve got a bad case of Gotta have it NOW syndrome. Most people who like their current car and don’t drive much would take the attitude that they’ll get to it when they get to it. I have admit that you have a good opportunity if you have a potential buyer already lined up.

  • http://www.motoringfile.com/ Gabe

    Wow – some great suggestions here! Let me answer a few questions…

    Why get the sport package if you are just going to put your old wheels on it. Just get the headlights – you already found out you don’t need the cruise control…

    I’ve thought about that but with the cost of the head-lights, DSC, and fogs I’m almost up to the full cost of the package. And I also need a set of 17″ wheels and all-season tires for winter anyway.

    I’ve just read in another article that the factory JCW car will have a different(and better looking) aero kit to the current R56 JCW one. This site is fantastic, the dealer had no clue about this.

    Yes but don’t expect that for several more years.

    Wow Gabe, what’s the rush? You’ve got a bad case of Gotta have it NOW syndrome. Most people who like their current car and don’t drive much would take the attitude that they’ll get to it when they get to it.

    What can I say. I know what I want, I get it and I don’t look back. That’s how I’ve always been.

    But Gabe, will you not wait till August so that you will get the 08 Model??? If you are going to order this month most likely the R56 will arrive in August?

    The ceneter stack won’t be redesigned in ’08.

    nav, nav, nav!!!

    So you’re saying… nav?

  • http://n/a Craig

    Gabe….I don’t believe it!!!! So now I have to go and order an ’08!!Just to keep up….No really, good luck although I think you are 1 or 2 years early. I just built mine on MINIUSA and it came to a bit over 32 grand…Since I have had 2 Pure Silver’s I went with the Sparkling Silver this time. Although my “real” build is at least 1 year away!! I am sure you will keep us informed on the performance and other issue’s that you may encounter, So, Gabe..Good luck watching the build and MOTOR ON in the 2007!!!!

  • bee1000

    Less is more:

    Astro Black Body Color $450
    White Turn Signals $100 Cold Weather Package $300 (since you’re in Chicago) Sport Package $1,400 Sport Suspension $500 Rear Fog Lamp $100 Limited Slip Differential $500 Anthracite Headliner $200 Seats: cloth (leather schmleather) Interior Surface Brushed Alloy $300 JCW Sport Wheel, Leather Suede $585+install Black Carpet Floor Mats $95 TOTAL COMBINED $26,380

  • b4mmy

    Try looking at a silver one :)

    mini5

    mini12

    mini2

    mini11

    MCS Pure Silver Leather Carbon Punch Black 17″ web spokes Chili Pack Panorama Sunroof Sat Nav DSC Aero Kit Armrest Sport suspension Multi-Function Steering Wheel Exterior Mirror pack Heated mirrors/washers Black bonnet stripes Chrome line interior Chrome line exterior Auto air con Visibility pack Roof in black Darkened rear glass Auto dim interior mirror Colour line dark grey Interior trim in brushed alloy Rain sensor and lights on DAB Digital Radio Hi-Fi Speaker system Spot lamps I-pod kit

  • bee1000

    Less is more:

    Astro Black Body Color $450
    White Turn Signals $100 Cold Weather Package $300 (since you’re in Chicago) Sport Package $1,400 Sport Suspension $500 Limited Slip Differential $500 Seats: cloth (leather schmleather) Interior Surface Brushed Alloy $300 JCW Sport Wheel, Leather Suede $585+install Black Carpet Floor Mats $95 TOTAL COMBINED $26,080

  • MiniMark
    But don’t expect it anytime soon.

    When speaking to the MA at Morristown Mini as recently as yesterday he seemed pretty sure the ‘full’ factory JCW Mini(he actually referred to it as a stage 2) will be out some time in 08. Let’s hope he’s right. In the case that a stage 2 comes out in 08 that ups the hp to 225+ but it’s not the ‘full whack’ then I won’t really be bothered and will just get that with the current JCW Aero as I actually quite like it, especially with the wheel arches and sills painted to match the Astro black(I know this isn’t your preference but I feel it will complete the look of the car better).

  • http://www.motoringfile.com/ Gabe

    When speaking to the MA at Morristown Mini as recently as yesterday he seemed pretty sure the ‘full’ factory JCW Mini(he actually referred to it as a stage 2) will be out some time in 08. Let’s hope he’s right.

    Right – that was what we posted on MF earlier in the spring. We’ve since recieved some updated information that I’m eluding to here… but then again you never know. I don’t have anything concrete to go by. What I do know is that I really enjoyed my experience in the R56 and I’d love to live that everyday.

  • Preston

    First off, I am going to call this Project Black Beauty because you need a name for a car like this. Im picturing a sleath black police interceptor car. This is what i think you should get:

    Astro Black LSD Sport Suspension Sport Package (Crown Spoke Wheels) Cold Weather Package Antracite Headliner Cloth Upholtstery Rear Fog Lamps (only if you are going to be in weather that permits its use) Piano Black interior surface Chrome Line interior (a must with the piano black surface) Automatic AC JCW Strut Brace JCW Steering Wheel (Leather and Suede)

    $26,760

    You have a lot of room to add more, but this is the best car you can get for the price. Think about tinting the windows.

    Other notes: I don’t think you should get the premium package unless you are sold on it, because if you want the fastest R56 out there, then you want the lightest R56 out there! Nothing more to say about weight. Also, I didnt opt for the HiFi sound system on the grounds of adding more weight. Other aftermarket parts you should consider even though you already taken about not needing to lower the car, but Eibach lowering springs are worth looking into. (1.0″ front drop and 1.2″ rear drop) One last thing. Someone needs to come up with a product that makes that front intake scoop functional. Im itching to put something there.

  • MiniMark
    Right – that was what we posted on MF earlier in the spring. We’ve since recieved some updated information that I’m eluding to here…

    So you’re telling me I’m going to have to wait a couple of YEARS for anything over 189hp? If this is true then it is very upsetting, not disappointing, upsetting. I really had my heart set on ‘The Beast’ next year, don’t know if I can wait a couple of years.

  • MiniMark

    Oh and by the way as for the current kit(air filter, exahaust and remapped ECU) that ups the HP to 189, I haven’t actually seen it offered anywhere on miniusa.com or from individual deal websites. Any idea when we can expect it to be offered as a package?

  • http://www.motoringfile.com/ Gabe

    Oh and by the way as for the current kit(air filter, exahaust and remapped ECU) that ups the HP to 189, I haven’t actually seen it offered anywhere on miniusa.com or from individual deal websites. Any idea when we can expect it to be offered as a package?

    From last week: R56 JCW Kit US Availability

  • MiniMark

    Thanks so much Gabe, I’m a ‘noob’ both to Mini and to this site, you folks do a wonderful job.

    As for the JCW kit I think I’ll give it till December of this year and if no announcements on the factory JCW have been made by then I’ll order my MCS with the stage 1 kit in January.

  • Jon

    Hey Gabe tell your “source” that they serioulsy need to get the info our to us pre-sell factory JCW people ;). I do believe if the factory job is delayed for years Mini should baracade their doors and erect bigger security fences from their rabid jcw mini fanatics.

    A lot of interesting builds, great to see what you all are plotting and planning on. Will be interesting to see your final build Gabe.

  • http://www.alldigitalnyc.com drew

    yes gabe…nav. as cool as it is for the obvious reasons, it forces the radio OFF of the speedo and makes the center stack look…wait for it…i’m finally gonna say it…. pretty cool.

    psyched for you – drew

  • Ron Arnold

    Heh, Colin Chapman was maybe 5 foot 8 and he always called himself 5′ 10′. At 5’11” I just barely fit into my old Europa S2, and as much as I love it, the Elise is just not a daily driver if you want to retain your sanity. You may just fit in there, but after a couple of cold wet weeks you’d be done. I think that the R56 is a good choice for you, Gabe. It’s the Clubman for me, and yes I’m thinking of switching back to a Cooper, as it just makes so much sense these days. Remember, the shopping is the fun part!

    Ron in Royal Oak

  • DesignIt

    Gabe,

    First of all, it’s even more impressive that you’ve chosen a new MINI considering the other cars that you were thinking about. Since one of those cars was the Lotus Elise, you might like the low-option MINI that I’ve put together. For the record, my ’04 is a JCW with only two options, MFSW and H/K stereo. As a further confession, my second car is a Lotus Elise with sport package and manual window cranks. :-)

    Base MSRP* $21,200 Destination & Handling $650

    paint Astro Black Body Color $450 Body Color Roof/Mirrors $0

    package No selections in this category

    performance Front Fog Lamps STD Limited Slip Differential $500 6-Speed Getrag Manual STD 16″ S-Winders (Performance) STD

    cockpit Sport Seats STD On-Board Computer STD Anthracite Headliner $200 Cloth: Checkered Carbon Black/Black $0 Leather Sport Wheel w/Multifunction $350 10-Speaker. Hi-Fi Sound System $550 Interior Surface Piano Black $200

    TOTAL MSRP AS CONFIGURED* $24,100

    accessory** JCW Aero Kit (installation not incl.) $1,595 Black Carpet Floor Mats (4) (installation not incl.) $95 Glove Box Organizer (installation not incl.) $32

    TOTAL ACCESSORIES ** $1,722 TOTAL MSRP AS CONFIGURED* $24,100

    TOTAL COMBINED $25,822

    Just as I did with my MINI, I would also have lowering springs, Volk LE 37 wheels, Laminex tint for the side markers, Alta intake, etc, waiting on the car when it arrived.

    Have fun with your new MINI!

    John

  • Jason

    Gabe, You said, “I’d only wait if the ‘08 model was appreciably different. It won’t be.” I’ve been pricing out a new Mini myself, but was thinking of waiting for the ’08s to see if they will redesign and improve the center stack. What have you heard (if anything)?

    As for your new Mini, I say skip the leather seats and spend that more on all the other fixins. I test drove one with the leatherette and thought it was fine. Chrome all over and every performance addon you can get. I know I will be doing the same.

  • gz

    I think GSKChicago nailed it with the RW Lounge leather extravaganza. Exactly how I’m ordering mine but 18″JCW wheels and driving lamps are musts. I notice no one has mentioned the color line dash(i.e. HAMMER AND COOP red/piano black). I originally was going to opt for the white color line with black lounge leather, piano black and white bonnet stripes. But I’ll bet the white color line would get smudgy.

  • Aurel

    do what you wish with the rest of the stuff … but get contrasting red dash door trim with the AB

  • http://www.motoringfile.com/ Gabe

    You said, “I’d only wait if the ‘08 model was appreciably different. It won’t be.” I’ve been pricing out a new Mini myself, but was thinking of waiting for the ’08s to see if they will redesign and improve the center stack. What have you heard (if anything)?

    They won’t redesign the center stack after one year. That’s about all I can guarantee. Otherwise, it’s just a guess what happens in ’08.

  • Aussom

    Don’t forget to have some money put aside for the genuine MINI floor mats, tinted windows, additional storage trays, centre armrest, cell phone hands-free and… insurance(!)

    Personally, I would wait for the R55 Clubman and give it a try given that it will only cost a few grand more plus your mandatory bling. Hopefully most of the bugs (if there are any) with the R56 will be ironed out by the time R55 rolls out. Agree with others that there’s no need to rush into a new car purchase.

    If you have placed an order, remember that you can put the order up for sale (eg: eBay) if you change your mind in the meantime. Enjoy!

  • agranger

    I know… Sell me your JCW steering wheel and you can afford another option for your ’07! (But I will insist on calling it the “JCW Fatty Wheel”)

  • http://www.gbmini.net Ian C.

    You’re catching me up, Gabe :) [in numbers of MINIs owned]

  • http://mydrive.roadfly.com/blog/asakowsk/ Andy S.

    With a $22,000 R53 in my garage, I am for the more is less idea.

    However, with $30,000 to blow, here is the situation. You can get all the “standard” upgrades and still have money to spare. The big question is whether to go for the Nav system or the JCW body kit. Tough choice because they are both great splurge items.

  • http://www.motoringfile.com/ Gabe

    You’re catching me up, Gabe :)

    I’m sure you’ll always be one step ahead :)

  • somake

    You must have alcantara sportwheel !! you’ll feel it touch it everyday ..my best invest . Recaro sport seat grey/black . All jcw carbon/alcantara parts , mixed with chrome ..hum so nice Black wheels 18″ . Waiting for pictures Maeva .

  • http://www.smartboxusa.com/chicago GSKChicago

    Gabe, does your wife have the same car obsession that you do? It seems to me you’ve only changed MINI’s and not the “other” car since I’ve been visiting MF.

  • Fussner

    When i designed my new 2007 R56 MCS i had to keep the price under $30,000 also and i found that you can get a lot more stuff if you skip the packages and go through and pick out what you want. If you are going to get new wheels dont bother getting the sport package because that wastes $250 on wheels your going to replace and i definatly would consider skipping the MINI Hi-Fi system because i have found it to be ineffective and scratchy ( but i listen loud).

  • Fussner

    Also the glove box organizer sucks, completly ineffective it moves around, prevents the door from closing sometimes and doesnt really hold much of anything. Complete waste of $32!

  • Bob M

    So Gabe, how many people have recommended the aero kit after you have more or less slammed it in previous write ups?

  • http://www.motoringfile.com/ Gabe

    So Gabe, how many people have recommended the aero kit after you have more or less slammed it in previous write ups?

    There are two aerokits. One is the “MINI” aerokit which has been unversally panned as the worst thing to ever come from MINI. I’ve gone on record as saying that at least. Then there’s the JCW Aero kit which I’m a big fan of. That’s the one I’ll be getting.

  • interested_party

    $30k for a MINI?! My advice would be to put $5-6k into your 05. You already have a lot of the key mods. You can build on those and have a car that will eat R56s for breakfast and E46 M3s for brunch.

    • Ported big-valve head and cam
    • JCW Injectors
    • Custom ECU tune
    • Koni coil overs
    • Real tires (you are running poseur rubber now)

    (I would also go for a good seat on the driver’s side, but that’s just me. The Sparco Evo is fantastic and very light.)

    Trust me, if you added the above to your car and then drove it back-to-back with an R56, you would not think twice about selling yours. And it’s Jet Black. Good God, man! What are you thinking?!

  • Ralph

    Gabe, I’ve contributed my two-cents worth but spec-ing a Mini is a very personal thing. I’ve chosen the items below based on what I’ve read here (and heard on Whiteroof radio) on your likes, needs and driving style (track days, dragon, etc). Everyone is different. If I was buying a new Mini, I’d spec it different for myself, but these are suggested ideas for your new Mini.

    Enjoy configuring your New Mini

    2007 MINI Cooper S Base MSRP* $21,200 Destination & Handling $650

    Paint Chrome Line Exterior $250 Chrome Mirror Caps INC Astro Black Body Color $450 Body Color Roof/Mirrors $0

    package Sport Package $1,400 Dynamic Stability Control Front Fog Lamps Xenon Headlamps w/Power Wash 17″ Crown-Spoke (Performance) No Bonnet Stripes

    performance Sport Suspension $500 Front Fog Lamps STD Rear Fog Lamp $100 Auto Dimming Rear View Mirror $200 Limited Slip Differential $500 6-Speed Getrag Manual STD

    cockpit Sport Seats STD Heated Front Seats $270 Chrome Line Interior $200 Automatic AC $300 On-Board Computer STD Leather: Lounge Redwood Red $1,900 Dark Grey Color Line INC Interior Surface Piano Black INC Comfort Access System $500 Bluetooth Mobile Phone Preparation $600 Center Arm Rest INC Leather Sport Wheel w/Multifunction $350 10-Speaker. Hi-Fi Sound System $550 Interior Surface Piano Black $200

    TOTAL MSRP AS CONFIGURED* $30,120

    accessory** No selections in this category

    TOTAL ACCESSORIES ** $0 TOTAL MSRP AS CONFIGURED* $30,120

    TOTAL COMBINED $30,120

  • Edge

    If you’re torn between two options, and one is available later from the dealer, but the other isn’t (i.e. factory option only)… get the factory option!

    I say this because some of the posts above seem to suggest a toss-up between Nav & JCW aero kit. No brainer to me – Nav now, aero later. 😀

  • msh441

    Well, if it were me, ordering for you, based on what I’ve heard I would go with somthing like this:

    -Astro Black/Black MCS -Black CARBON Lounge Leather (classy AND sporty!) -Gotham Gray Color Line -REAL Brushed Aluminum Surfaces (so cool!) -Interior Chrome Kit (’cause the less silver painted plastic, the better!) -Sport Package -Cold Weather Package (I LOVE the heated seats!!!) -Premium Package (though this might be the one thing you wouldn’t go for… I couldn’t live with a MINI without a sunroof. Too cave-like with the windshield so far forward. The auto climate controls also look better than the uber-basic stuff) -Sport Suspension -Limited Slip Differential -Anthracite Headliner -JCW body kit (though I personally would skip-it in hopes that somthing better comes down the pike. You can allways add it later for about the same price, right?)

    Save money in the budget for: -JCW engine kit -Lowering springs -35% Window Tint -Driving lights (OK, I understand this is a personal preference thing, too) -Clearbra -an aftermarket iPod adaptor ($600 for the MINI installed one is outragous!)

    Accessories: -Cosmopolitain Floor Mats (front & rear) -Center Console Storage Tray (look it up… it’s a very handy and inexpencive finishing piece) -Rubber Boot Mat -Clear Rear Bumper Protection Strip

    I really think that would pretty much be the ultra-classy, yet sport Gabe Bridger MINI right there!

    Enjoy it!!!

    Mike H

  • http://www.minipeople.ru Dimitri

    Well Gabe, my car has just arrived to the dealer (MCS R56) and I’m sorting out all the paper work, but your Article about the Drive on the Dgragon has made me even more eager to get behind the steering wheel, though I thought that it wasn’t possible.

    As for your car, I think that at the end you will still make up your mind, as you are one of those people, who had the longest test drive of us all, the future owners, and know all the bits and bobs. The two things that I would recomend are the Anthracite headliner and MINI Hi-Fi. The former makes the interior look clean even after years of use and the later is good enough to not make you think about changing it to something better.

    Good job and good luck.

  • Chuck

    These cars are already pushing $30,000 with options, where do you think they’ll be after adding the full JCW engine and body kit? I’d say close to $40,000! Is it worth the price?

  • TulsaMINI

    So today’s the day! Good luck!!

  • Jon

    Well Gabe after you place your order are you going to share what you ended up picking. So many choices when it comes time to place an order, deffinelty helps having your own sounding board ;). I will be interested if you choose to go the lounge leather direction or stick with cloth seats.

    More often then not my problem with ordering a new Mini is if I buy a track day car with some creature comforts or if I buy a daily driver that can spend time on the track. For me the sunroof is a classic example of this.

  • Greg

    BTW Gabe. Good decision on skipping the Lotus. Now THAT’S a go kart with no practicle daily use whatsoever. Looks great, fast, handles great. But unless you are an Olympic gymnyst all coolness goes out the window the first time you try to climb out of it. Especially if you have a boo boo rotator cuff (ouch!).

    MSH441. Nice thoughts on the black punch leather. I’m considering it too.

  • http://www.twistybitz.com/ RB

    Mostly good suggestions. I’ve only been in an R56 once, it had some sort of super kool checkered dash. I’d get that and budget for the JCW when it arrives.

    Gabe your statement about…. want, see, buy and don’t look back! ….. is spot on! Lotus… I don’t see a comfortable ride for you there. Maybe a new 2CV.

    I personally didn’t think your fabulous rims worked with the R56 but I like eggs.

    I’m sure it will be stunning whatever you chose…. =;¬)

  • Greg

    I have changed my recommendation to a crystal covered S.

  • Evan

    You’ll need Premium, Sport w/webspokes, Cold Pkgs. Rear fogs. Sport suspension, LSD. Lounge leather w/piano black and white color line. Add in the premium stereo and armrest. Comfort access to remove one step of the starting process. Then definitely the JCW aero package.

    I think that’s it. Plus the JCW power upgrade and 18″ wheels and you’ll be motoring in no time.

    Your drive for new MINIs is always a problem for me. Just when I get comfortable with being satisfied w/my current car… I think I’m waiting for the R55 though. With the full JCW treatment and minimal accessories…

    I know you’ll let us know your final order!

  • Marty

    Gabe

    I don’t know if they have the same promotion in the states, but when i bought my Astro Black Cooper S, i bought the JCW wheels with tires for 2700 CDN. I don’t know how long the promotion is on but it was on the mini.ca website. You should go for that if you are not going to go aftermarket for wheels.

    all the best, marty

  • interested_party
    These cars are already pushing $30,000 with options, where do you think they’ll be after adding the full JCW engine and body kit? I’d say close to $40,000! Is it worth the price?

    Uh, Ralph, I think you know the answer to that question. My 04 JCW was $26k all up.

  • Jon

    I agree with most that has been said here, however as a owner of botha Mini and a Exige I have to disagree that the Lotus is a bad daily car. I drive mine about every 3rd day or so (sometime more than others) and can tell you that at 6’1″ getting in and out is less than gracefull but once in the car it rides extreamly nicely. I believe both cars have their time and place, but all this doesn’t matter because this topic is about Gabe’s new Mini 😉

  • zack

    here’s a question, how does the handling of an ’07 w/ sport suspension & lsd compare to an ’06 JCW w/ JCW suspension?

  • Jac

    I didn’t read everything above – but if you were looking at E46 M3 and the Z4 coupe (also two of my favs)….have you considered waiting for the 1 series? I know it may not come as a hatch, but, hey neither does the M3!

    I love everything about our MINIs aside from the FWD. (no hate, I am just a RWD type of guy) The current 130i looks great with it’s 265 HP 3.0L, I can only imagine what kind of weapon the 135i will be. Vishnu already has the 335i up to around 380 Ft. LBS a the wheels…. (giggle!)

    I am sure that if I drive an R56 i will want one too. while I really like the SC – the sweet song (and torque!) of the turbo calls to me. Plus, a small, RWD, straight six car sounds like just the right thing to me. Just need to start saving now for it.

    Whatever you go with – good luck!!!!

  • msh441

    So what are the final specs!?!

  • http://www.minimainline.com Mark @ MINI of the Main Line

    I say go for a big change. Do what I did, after a modded 2002 MCS and a 2005 MCS I went for a 2006 Cooper. Not as fast, (if faster was better we would all be driving Vipers) but you get to push the car more often (which I believe is more fun). I’ve had my Cooper for 15k miles and I love it!

  • Zane

    So what are the final specs, Gabe? Don’t tell us you decided to stick with the R53. 😉

  • http://vinreddy.blogspot.com vin.

    Yipes! I hit almost 35K after adding the jcw body kit.

    Chrome Mirror Caps $150 White Turn Signals $100

    Cold Weather Package $300 Premium Package $1,400 Sport Package $1,900 Convenience Package $1,400

    Sport Suspension $500 Rear Fog Lamp $100 Limited Slip Differential $500 Chrome Line Interior $200 Anthracite Headliner $200 Lounge Carbon Black $1,900 Interior Surface Piano Black INC Computer Nav. System $2,100 10-Speaker. Hi-Fi Sound System $550 TOTAL MSRP AS CONFIGURED* $33,350

    accessory** JCW Aero Kit (installation not incl.) $1,595

    TOTAL COMBINED $34,955

  • http://vinreddy.blogspot.com vin.

    Yipes! I hit $35K after I added the JCW body kit.

  • interested_party

    I heard he decided to go for the Exige S.

  • Ralph

    C’mon Gabe, Disclose the configuration that you’re going to order. What’s taking you so long?

  • http://www.motoringfile.com/ Gabe

    It’s coming either later todat or early tomorrow. Believe it or not I’ve been to busy to sit down and write anything since Saturday :)

  • G. Lau

    I test drove a Cooper S today and did some homework on MINI website to configure the car. What struck me during the test drive was the lack of instrumentation on the new Cooper.

    Without any critical engine information with the exception of a tachnometer and speedometer, I could not tell when the engine coolant/oil was properly warmed up to operational temperature (before reving the engine up). The overheat idiot light reminds me of the American car from the 70’s. Coming from a prior generation Cooper with the optioanl gauge package, I consider it a severe shortcoming of the new car. I am not crazy about the digital fuel gauge either.

    As a true driver’s car, I wish BMW has spent less money on the OBC and more on basic engine instrumentation. I would gladly trade MPG, average speed and DTE readouts for a simple coolant and oil temp gauges.

    Is there any rumor to add additional gauges to the car? I thought the chrono gauge package from the old car was awesome and the new car is a serious let down in that arena.

  • Greg

    I agree about the lack of gauges and do lament the fuel tank “circle”. However, my personal feeling is the chrono package was the ugliest option ever. The speedo is the heart and symbol of the Mini.

    If you check out Minispeed they have an R56 gauge set similar to the one offered from Mini as well as the aftermarket that can be installed under the toggles for $240. It has water temp and volt meter gauges. It will be my first mod.

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  • rkw

    Gabe, since you’re getting the Nav, you may as well get the PDC (park distance sensors). You might not need it, but it looks really cool on the Nav display.

  • http://www.motoringfile.com/ Gabe

    Good point. Today is the last day I can make changes… hmm….

  • rkw

    Conceivably, the PDC could actually pay for itself if you’re in a hurry or being careless while backing up and there was something you didn’t see.

  • Henry

    Gabe, do you think I can add the Hi Fi sound upgrade after 3 days of submitting my custom Mini? I heard you also added the upgrade after.