The Car Connection gives us their take on the R56 prototype from BMW’s recent preview event in the Netherlands. Here’s an excerpt:

>The new Cooper reveals its nimble, precise driving feel within just a few laps of Holland ‘s Zandevoort track. Steering into corners feels very precise, and understeer is blissfully minimal. Steering feel is excellent.

>The Cooper S provides even more driving fun, although on the racetrack we would have liked a little bit more oversteer to work through long bends. There, the Cooper’s stability control cuts in a bit too early. In short corners, we were able to overcome the system’s protective reflexes. With less yaw reaction, the car is less nervous than the outgoing model and the overall impression is that it is much more mature and very communicative. You feel exactly what the car is doing.

>Our criticisms were stronger with the six-speed gearbox, which needs a better barrier between the gears and the reverse and could be more precise as well. And again in this generation, the Cooper S with the optional 17-inch wheels rides very firmly but was noticeably more capable on the track. Our drive stayed on the track, so you’ll have to check back with us for our impressions of the MINI’s daily-driver feel.

You can read more at the link below:

[ Preview: 2007 MINI Cooper S ] The Car Connection