After taking the whole MC40 press introduction in yesterday I thought it would be best to take some time and thoroughly go over the MC40 without the crowds and cameras. You can see some further details of the car by checking out the greatly expanded photo section (to the left).

Beyond photos and seat time I was also after some of the story behind this quickly concieved and designed MINI. What I found out was quite enlightening

While the MC40 is a fabulous package in it’s current production form it could have been even more so.

The way the car was originally conceived was to be even more sporting in character and most likely even higher in price. For instance the MC40 was originally to come with the famed JCW sport seats as standard. I was also told that MINI was originally looking at fitting a wide range of other new (and at this time unreleased) JCW accessories. In fact the reason why we see the JCW logos on the carbon fiber dash on the MC40 prototype is because it’s the last hold over from all the JCW parts that were originally planned for the car. The two JCW logos on the dash may not even be there in final production form.

It would seem that MINI was originally thinking of the MC40 as a spring board in launching an entire range of JCW accessory parts. However while the launching of a full JCW US catalog may still happen later this year it was simply not to be for the MC40.

Another very interesting idea that didn’t make it to production was a roof mounted set of rally lights meant to be mounted on the optional MINI front roof rack bracket. To my knowledge this hasn’t even been attempted yet in the aftermarket. I imagine that cost and engineering time needed may have done in this particular idea.

Interestingly the production seats fitted to the MC40 have a slightly different stitch pattern that seems to give a bit more lateral grip than the standard sport seats. The red leather matches the Chili Red incredibly well and it’s much less garish in person than it is in pictures. I would urge people to hold off on negative opinions until they seem the seats in person.

One other thing that I was told by several MINI representatives is that the actual production car could vary somewhat from what we see on the stand of the Chicago Auto Show today. There may be some small trim differences along with a slight price adjustment if the change in spec warrants it. I would imagine the changes (if any) will be minor.

All things considered the MC40 has quite a bit going for it. First off it’s is naturally quite impressive looking. With the two-tone R90 wheels and the chrome package it certainly stands out. Inside the carbon fiber dash is absolutely mesmerizing to look at. It’s a high quality piece that really enhances the ambiance of the interior (coming from someone who doesn’t necessarily like the look of carbon fiber trim, that means something). Further the rarity of the car will be a key to it’s sales success. With only 1000 units being sold it’s destined to be something that always commands attention.


[ The MC40 in Person ] MotoringFile