2004 MINI Cooper S (Blue MEAN-E)
Last updated May 27, 2009
Ah, one of my favorites of all time! The MINI is just about the most fun you can have in a car...supremely tossable, tenacious grip, quick, super stable at high speed, comfortable (spacious for front seat passengers!) and reasonably economical. You could squirt through the smallest gaps in traffic. I would throw this car at curves and it would just...stick. Eventual understeer if pushed hard into a curve would balance out with a bit of throttle lift...it was odd to be able to balance a fwd car with the throttle!
I loved my MINI, every day it would put a grin on my face. Visceral without being rough, refined without being remote, it was an almost perfect driver's car (especially with the shift kit which made gear changes much more rapid). Unfortunately, I had some problems with mine...expensive ones. Well, they would have been, but I traded it before the warranty ran out (and the dealer didn't help the issue, with multiple visits required to get simple things fixed). The word on the forums was that you either had lots of problems or none...I had two steering racks (2nd one was dealer's fault for not purging the bits of metal out of the system after the 1st one), steering pump, 2 sunroof cassettes (2nd one because the dealer incorrectly installed the 1st replacement), steering column, etc.
Anyway, on a well engineered road there is no more fun car on the planet, period. I still miss it every single day.
Engine size? 1.6L, Turbocharged and intercooled
0-60? 7.2 seconds
1/4mile? Don't remember.
Top Speed? 130something...
Pretty well loaded...Nav, huge sunroof, auto-climate, Harmon Kardon sound, Sport Pkg, Xenon HID's, etc.
Invidia titanium exhaust system, RobKnob II solid stainless shift knob (helped leverage on the short shift kit, smoothed it out considerably), Neuspeed short shift kit, hardwiring for my V1
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