Once again I’m a MINI owner. I had expected delivery to take place almost exactly 30 days after ordering. However, with my original shipping date getting moved back over a week and the Memorial holiday falling smack dab in the middle of my VPC visit, it took a little longer than anticipated. Nevertheless, around five weeks after placing the order, I picked up my 2005 Cooper S Friday night. (For the full options/accessories list, take a look at this previous post)

The Interior: The red octogan, cloth/leather combination is a fantastic addition to an all black car. It gives the car a subtle and welcome touch of color upon entering the cabin. It also grips decidedly better than the leatherette seats on my ’02 Cooper. The rest of the interior spec is also quite a change. I went from a silver dash to anthracite headliner and dash with the chromeline interior. Where my previous MINI’s interior was bright and airy, the new all Black MCS is much sportier and certainly more serious. This may sound odd, but I’m not sure which is really better. I wanted something different and this is certainly it!

The Exterior: Where my previous Cooper looked classic with its Indi Blue/White combination, the new MCS appears much more menacing with its all black paint, hood scoop, and 18″ wheels. In person the combination is just as slick as I had hoped for. However, as I’ve found out in just a couple of days, clean is a relative term when it comes to a black car.

Driving: 48 hours and 450 miles after delivery, I’ve gotten very comfortable behind the wheel. The big change from the Cooper is obviously the power. With the new gearing, the 2005 Cooper S finally achieves the feel that I had hoped for all along. 1200 miles can’t get here fast enough.

But beyond the power increase, the car also handles differently with the LSD and the 18″ wheels. In fact, there’s one corner I hit everyday on my way home that illustrated this change right away. In the ’02 Cooper (with SS+), accelerating through this particular off-camber turn would typically create some drama in one way or another. The ’05 MCS hooks up (via the LSD) and the handling is knife-edge throughout. The sensation is truly exhilarating and certainly a step-up.

Modifications: (so far) ICE-Link Plus, Ian Cull’s Auto-Up Window Module, Short Antenna, Driver Side Parcel Shelf.

As anyone who has upgraded to an ’05 from a previous MINI can tell you, there are quite a few changes that have been made to the cars over the years. In the next couple of days, I’ll try to put together a few thoughts on some of the lesser known updates I’ve encountered so far (as well as other random thoughts on the change). Until then, I’d like to give a big thanks to all those who have given advice along the way. Hopefully this process (and the articles that followed it) has helped more than a few with their own ordering questions and dilemmas.

Pics: one / two / three / four / five

Updated Pics (from the ‘hood): Obligatory Cool Building Shot and Beach Pic


[ Step One ] MF

[ Step Two ] MF