R56 MCSa Faster Than Manual?

I was over at Motoringfun.com where Pedro linked up a roadfly.com video review that states the MCSa actually ran the 1/4 mile quicker than the manual. Very interesting. I imagine they forgot to press the sport button or something because it does seem hard to believe. The best time for a manual was 14.9s while the MCSa ran it in 14.77s.


I Saved Over 2 Grand!

I always had the intention of paying off my auto loan for the MINI in less time than the life of the loan. I estimated that I would save about a grand if I sent in a little extra every month. Well a little became as much as I could and boy did it pay off. My 60 month loan became a 22 month loan and I saved about $2200 on interest. Here's the details:

MINI Loan Summary
Loan Amount - (no down payment) - $28,508
Life of Loan - 60 Months
Total Cost of Loan - $31,905
Total Interest Charges - $3,397
Actual Cost of Loan - $29,729
Actual Life of Loan - 22 months
Interest Saved - $2,176

This may not be for everyone but it has been my experience that a little extra every month over your regular payment will make a difference. I was lucky enough to send at least an extra full payment every month. Now comes the hard part, what am I going to do with this new found cash?... spend it on the MINI of course! ;-)


Ninjas, Ninjas and more Ninjas

Last night, MINIUSA and Maxim/Stuff/Blender Mags hosted a private screening of the first three webisodes of the parody/ad campaign, Hammer & Coop as well as the movie Breach (I guess they selected this movie because Chris Cooper is in it). Kevin from PatrickMINI brought out a lighting striped laser blue R56 MCS out to the show. Looks great!

The third webisode of Hammer & Coop, expected to premier Thursday online, is hillarious! There's this great part where Coop makes fun of Hammer when he tries use his wristwatch to call him. I was dying, it was so funny. Be sure to check it out at hammerandcoop.com when it's posted up. I can't wait to see it again. Also, you can also get a sneak peek of future webisodes at your local dealer a day or two before it gets posted. Very cool!

Thanks to all including CMMC and PatrickMINI for inviting us and treating us to some free popcorn, sodas, some mags and a movie. Good show!

Oh, and did I mention ninjas!?!!


R56 Video

Just thought I'd post some video of the New MINI from the 2007 Chicago Auto Show. It's always fun to listen in on non-MINI owners experiencing the MINI for the first time. Enjoy.


2007 Chicago Auto Show

With the auto show coming to town, I could not pass up a first glimpse at the new 2007 MINI Cooper and Cooper S. Check out all the photos here.
Here's a few things I noticed:
  • The sunroof perimeter is not the dreaded felt that we are all used to. It's just a rubber lining so there would be no chance of lint getting cought there. Very nice improvment there, but I would imagine waxing the roof would require a bit of attention.

  • The tail pipe tips are much larger that before. The pipe itself is still the same but the tips are much larger.

  • The seating controls are much improved. Including the location for moving the seat forward and for flipping the seat forward to acess the rear seats. Nice improvement there.

  • The upper glove box is a bit awkward. With absolutely not graphic indication that there is any storage there, many did not know it was even there. You have to push the colored dash for it to pop out and the plastic mechanism is a bit flimsy.

  • The AUX input is located in the glove box, no surprize there, I just wish it were located out in the open so that one could charge their device at the same time. [UPDATE: It was confirmed that it would be located under the toggles. A better location imo.]

  • The sunroof shade is still not solid as some might want. I personaly like the shade not blocking out the sun completely. What is different is the shade can be positioned half way open. Gone is the snap back opening that I'm used to.

  • The speedo is pretty cool. I like the general size and shape. The tach and displays are easy to read. I still don't like the center stack controls.

  • I'm not sure what this rubber button is for on the door handle but it might be for a passenger to unlock their door with the key fob in the drivers pocket. Just a guess though

  • The stalks are nice and sturdy. There's also a button at the end of the turn stalk that you can program to a certain setting on the audio system. i.e. if you use the AUX input alot, you can set it for that button instead of using the dial in the speedo to select the mode to AUX.

  • The wheel arches are much wider, giving the apperance of a raised stance for the MINI. And it is a smooth finish black plastic, not the emossed, texture that we are used to. Not sure if that brings any issues with waxing the new MINI. The models at the show looked to have some blemishes. Also, if you look closely at the image above, you can see a scratch on the edge of the headlight cluster where the bonnet scrapes against the light when its closed. That scares me a little. I really like my bonnet with the lights affixed to it. [UPDATE:the arches shown are just preproduction pieces. The texture will me more familiar on the actual production model.]

  • The auto MCS shift knob has the appearance of a maunal transmission at first glance. You have to really look to to tell the difference.