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JCW MCS Long-term Review: Part 4

MotoringFile Sections: JCW, R53 (Coupe), Reviews Jul 8th, 2006 18 Comments

As I’ve mentioned previously, The JCW MCS that I’m currently testing is shod with the new black R105 18″ JCW wheels with standard spec Dunlop SP Sport 01 DSST runflats. And I have to mention that I’ve really grown to like the look. I’m not sure if it would work on a black car like my own MCS, but on Chili Red and White it gives the car a very racy, spirited feel. But don’t think that, just because they’re black, they can’t get dirty.

I get asked often about the OEM 18″ wheel tire combination and if it’s worth the money. The easy answer is no. You simply can’t logically justify the performance benefits considering the price when there’s other fantastic 18″ options out there at 2/3rds the price. No, the real reason to get them is because you simply can’t imagine not having them on your MINI and you love the look. And as long as you have the coin to drop, it’s a great investment in happiness if nothing else.

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JCW MCS Long-term Review: Part 3

MotoringFile Sections: JCW, R53 (Coupe), Reviews, Video Jul 8th, 2006 27 Comments


MF Vault: 2006 JCW Review

MotoringFile Sections: JCW, MF Vault, R53 (Coupe) Dec 7th, 2011 13 Comments

Last week we kicked off JCW month with a look back at the JCW GP five years later. This week we take a look at the other JCW of the time, the MINI Cooper S factory JCW. This was a time of transition for the JCW brand as it moved from a dealer installed kit to a factory installed package. It also represents the pinnacle of the factory R53 (not counting the special edition GP).

Over the last week or so my respect for the Cooper S JCW kit has grown immeasurably. Driving almost 1,500 miles in seven days is a great way to find a car’s potential and its faults. Yet with the JCW MCS, the latter was almost impossible.

But before I get to my final thoughts on the car let me recap a bit. MINI USA gave me the keys to a 2006 MINI Cooper S with the JCW package and basically said, have at it and let the world know what you think. As the owner of a Cooper S with a pulley and a number of other modifications, this was a chance to do a direct comparison between the two cars and see what it was like to actually live with the JCW MCS. The test car was lightly specced. Chili Red/White roof, Sport package, JCW package and 18″ Matte Black JCW wheels. From a performance standpoint one couldn’t ask for anything more save for the JCW suspension or a full-on GP.

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MotoringFile Review: One Week in the 2007 MCS

MotoringFile Sections: R56 (Hatch), Reviews Jul 23rd, 2007 65 Comments



This being my third MINI, you’d think the purchase process wouldn’t be that big of an occasion. I surely didn’t expect it to be. Order my car in late May, have a busy couple of weeks, go to Europe for a bit of work and the next thing I know my car would be at the dealer. However as the wait wore on (and on) I found myself more excited to take delivery of my 2007 MCS than any previous MINI. By the time the delivery day finally rolled around, I had never been more thrilled to simply see a new car before.

It may surprise some but most of the color and specification combinations chosen I had never seen before. The Astro Black with the JCW body kit for instance was a combination that had eluded me except for one or two blurry photos I found on the web. Likewise the Black Carbon Lounge leather seating with the piano black dash and Creme White color-line was something I’d never seen before let alone heard of somebody doing. And while I was convinced the combination would be striking, there was still a little apprehension knowing that these were untested waters and that this wasn’t exactly something I could just return if I didn’t like it.

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MF One Week Review: 2007 Cooper S

MotoringFile Sections: R56 (Hatch), Reviews May 16th, 2007 81 Comments

Based on my previous review of the R56, I knew there was a lot to like about this car. It’s certainly true I came away very impressed (and somewhat surprised) by both the road and track performance of the car at the official BMW press launch earlier this year. But how does this result change in the real world? And when driven back to back to back with a modded R53 (one which happens to live in my garage) how would the R56 feel? Would I discover a soul in that turbo? Or would I find some fatal flaws that would convince me to put my R53 in storage for the eventual Barrett-Jackson windfall sure to come for all R53 owners?

These are questions not easily answered in just a week’s worth of motoring. So instead of a week, I thought I’d try for two month’s worth…in seven days. After some potential logistical nightmares and a hastily arranged overnight truck from Detroit, I had my 2007 Cooper S press car (courtesy of MINI USA) just in time for the most important week of motoring I’d do all year: MINIs on the Dragon. continued →

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1st Gen MINI
R50: One & MC Hatch
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2nd Gen MINI
R55: Clubman
R56: Hatch
R57: Convertible
R58: Coupe
R59: Roadster
R60: MINI Crossover
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F55: Five Door Hatch
F56: Hatch
F57: Convertible
F60: MINI Crossover
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