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Section: Reviews

2015 MINI John Cooper Works: First Drive Live On Periscope

MotoringFile Sections: F56 Two-Door Hardtop, JCW, Reviews Apr 16th, 2015 No Comments

JCW_F56_LAOne of our local dealers just received a 2015 John Cooper Works and we are about to take it for a spin. Starting at 5:45pm EST, you’ll be able to watch our test-drive live on Periscope here: https://t.co/mX71VfNMyg. Apologies in advance for the setup, but this the best we can do for now. We’ll share our impressions on another post later this evening.

MF Garage: Snow & Ice vs the Cooper S (In Praise of Plastic)

MotoringFile Sections: F56 Two-Door Hardtop, MotoringFile Garage, Reviews Apr 15th, 2015 6 Comments

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There is nothing glorious about doing damage to your car. And there’s definitely no glory in doing it to someone else’s. Cue the crunching sound of ice breaking plastic. That was the sound I heard as I was parallel parking a few days after particular bad 24″ Chicago blizzard this winter. As anyone will tell you navigating the unplowed side streets of Chicago are bad enough. But trying to parallel park in them is even worse. Alas that was my mission and unfortunately I missed accounting for a rather large glacial like piece of icy snow. I rolled over it with my back and onto it with my right plastic side skirt. And that side skirt did exactly what its engineers have designed it to do. It broke. continued →

5 Thoughts After 500 Miles: Driving the 691 hp Tesla Model S P85D

MotoringFile Sections: MINI Competitors, Reviews Apr 7th, 2015 20 Comments

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We’ve just spent 500 miles behind the wheel of the new all electric 691 hp Tesla P85D and we have a ton to say. And while our full review is coming soon, we couldn’t wait to give you a peek into our time with the electric rocketship.

Here are five quick thoughts after five hundred miles. continued →

We Have the 691 HP Tesla P85D for a Long Weekend — What Do you Want to Know?

MotoringFile Sections: MINI Competitors, Reviews Mar 31st, 2015 6 Comments

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BimmerFile & MotoringFile have tested various Teslas three times over the past five years. We’ve commuted, tracked and generally been in awe of the electric vehicle maker’s products. But those cars were all leading to something bigger, faster and even more efficient. And we have the keys to all 691 hp of it. continued →


Surviving Winter on Summer Tires – Why You Should Never Try It

MotoringFile Sections: F56 Two-Door Hardtop, MotoringFile Garage, Reviews Mar 9th, 2015 6 Comments

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We don’t advocate summer tires in cold conditions. We never have and we never will. However through a series of unfortunate events our long term F56 Cooper S ended up not just with little 16″ wheels but summer-only tires. In the dead of winter. In Chicago. Hilarity did not ensue. What it did was create a wild few months that included more than a few white knuckles and e-brake turns. How did we survive? Read on. continued →

Steering Feel: F56 Cooper S vs R56 Cooper S

MotoringFile Sections: F56 Two-Door Hardtop, MotoringFile Garage, R56 (Hatch), Reviews Feb 16th, 2015 13 Comments

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After a few weeks living with our F56 Cooper S we had a moment to step back into an R56 Cooper recently. While there’s plenty to compare and contrast, the single biggest difference is in your hands. Put plainly the F56 is a big step forward over the R5X platform for steering feel and response. With the R56 (and even the R53 at times) there could be a knife’s edge between satisfying feedback and a car that was working against you when you pushed them hard. With the new F56 generation of MINIs, we have a driving experience that feels both more communicative, more balanced and more forgiving at the same time. Why is this? Read on. continued →


MotoringFile Review: R56 JCW Tuning Kit

MotoringFile Sections: JCW, R56 (Hatch), Reviews Nov 24th, 2014 8 Comments

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In 2007 MotoringFile took delivery of our first R56 and with it a number of JCW accessories – most importantly the JCW Tuning Kit. With the F56 JCW Tuning being released this fall we thought we’d look back to remind ourselves what came before.

The kit for the R56 is extraordinarily straight forward. In the US it simply consists of a more aggressive air intake, a free flowing exhaust, a turbocharger air filter air guide and the all important ECU upgrade.

This is quite a contrast to the previous kit available for the R52 and R53 that included such items as a new head and inter-cooler and pretty big freakn’ check from the new owner. In fact the new kit is almost 1/3 of the $6000 price tag the R52/R53 dealer installed version rang up. But is it even worth the lower $2000 price tag? Especially now that there are so many aftermarket tuning options for the R56?

continued →

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MINI Model Cheat Sheet

1st Gen MINI
R50: One & MC Hatch
R52: All 1st Gen MINI Convt.
R53: MCS Hatch
2nd Gen MINI
R55: Clubman
R56: Hatch
R57: Convertible
R58: Coupe
R59: Roadster
R60: MINI Crossover
R61: MINI Crossover Coupe
3rd Gen MINI
F54: Clubman
F55: Five Door Hatch
F56: Hatch
F57: Convertible
F60: MINI Crossover
F58: Traveller

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MotoringFile Reviews

Reviews:
'12 JCW Coupe
'11 Fiat 500 Sport
'11 Tesla Roaster 2.5 '11 Countryman Comparo
'11 Cooper S Hatch
'11 Countryman MCS (FWD)
'11 Countryman MC (auto)
'10 Mayfair MCS (auto)
'11 Countryman MCS (ALL4)
'10 MINI E
'10 Tesla Roadster Sport
'09 Cooper S Convertible
'09 JCW Hatch
'09 JCW Clubman
JCW Stage I vs JCW Stage II
'08 Clubman S (Auto)
1st Drive: '08 MINI Clubman
'08 Smart Fourtwo
Comparison: '08 BMW 135i
'06 R53 MCS vs '07 R56 MCS
'07 R56 JCW (Stage 1)
'07 MINI Cooper S Long Term
'07 BMW Z4 M Coupe
'07 MINI Cooper & Cooper S
Audio: '07 MC/MCS at the Track
'06 JCW GP Long term
Reader Review: JCW GP
'06 JCW Cooper S Long Term
Comparison: '06 Lotus Elise
Comparison: '06 Mazda MX5
Comparison: '06 UK Focus ST
Comparison: '06 Civic Si
Comparison: '04 TVR T350
Comparison: '06 Nissan 350z
Comparison: '06 VW GTI w/DSG
Podcast: Cooper S Auto
Podcast: BMW 325i
Podcast: JCW MC Soundkit
'04 JCW MINI Cooper Tuning Kit
'05 MCS: One Month Review
'05 MCS Auto
'05 JCW S 1st Drive
'05 MINI Cooper
'05 MCS Conv. Long Term
'05 MINI Cooper S
'05 MCS Cabrio 1st Drive
'04 JCW MCS First Drive
'04 MC w/JCW Tuning Kit
BMW M3 SMG Vs. MCS
'04 MINI Cooper CVT
'02 MCS 3 year Review
Autocrossing the MINI Range


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