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.

    Anonymous said...

    Thanks for the pics :)

    DanC said...

    No prob, Ian. Thanks for looking

    Unknown said...

    FYi - that was a prototype wheel arch for the US market. The final will be similar to what we have on the R50/R53.

    Also the AUX input should have been under the toggles. I'm told it will be for production.

    DanC said...

    Thanks for the clarification Gabe. I specifically asked about the AUX input location and they said it was in the glove box. They might of meant the iPod connection by mistake. I ran my fingers below the toggles but I didn't feel anything.

    Good to hear about the texture of the wheel arches too.

    Anonymous said...

    Dan, wanted to talk to you about the automatic shifter knob for MCS Automatics. If you don't mind, drop me an email, matthewrohrbach@gmail.com

    Anonymous said...

    Dan: Nice personal review of some of the finer points.

    Mark Reid said...

    Thanks for posting this info.

    DanC said...

    Thanks guys! I had a lot of fun exploring the new R56. They should be hitting the dealer lots very very soon.

    Anonymous said...

    Dan, thanks for the Chitown Auto Show pics. I was there last year but had to skip out this time.

    As for the R56, I was a bit baffled at first as to how to move the seat forward. After a minute of searching, I found it though.