Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Mini Cooper S F56: When Fun Meets Performance

Mini Cooper S F56 Philippines
If there's only a few cars that you can identify in an instant, a Mini is probably one of them. Even those who aren't car fanatics can immediately identify a Mini, specially their most famous model, the Mini Cooper. It has existed for over 5 decades and in fact, it was voted as the second most influential car of the century, right next to the Ford Model T, which is quite hard to overtake in terms of being influential, obviously.

A glance won't be enough to appreciate this British icon. It deserves a second look or multiple glances after that. Mini has come a long way from the original Mini Cooper to what it is now. You no longer will look like driving a car that has a funny appeal, thanks to Mr Bean, but rather, just a car that is pure fun to drive. BMW purchased Mini back in 2001 and they have integrated BMW technology in Minis. From the small, and average appeal back in the late 50s, the newest model, the Mini Cooper F56 commands much respect on the road that if you want a vehicle that turns and twist heads, this is the one.

Up front, the signature "S" mounted on the front grille is something that is impossible to miss. The letter " S"in red font not only commands even more respect in terms of design but, also because of the power under the hood. The S variant is equipped with BMW's B48 2-liter 4 cyclinder turbo charged engine. The Mini Cooper is a front-wheel drive vehicle with an automatic 6-speed gearbox w/ manual shift mode. How fast is it? It is capable to go from 0 to 100km/h in just 6.7 seconds. Such powerful engine needs additional air and that is why this variant comes with additional hood scoop and a pair of lower air inlets to cool the brakes and the hardworking engine.

192 PS (141 kW; 189 hp) @ 4700–6000, 280 N·m (207 lb·ft) @ 1250, Overboost: 221 lb·ft (300 N·m)
The rear end is equally sexy and sporty. You can never go wrong with double exhaust tailpipes, much more if it has burnt markings. It means serious business. The sound of the turbo engine when revving is enough to let your blood pump faster than driving on SCTEX and adrenaline kicks-in right after a second when you pedal to the metal. It's something that you don't expect a Mini to do. Tires screech and the blow-off valve release quite a significant whoosh.

With the Mini Cooper S F56 possessing so much power, braking must be as effective. It has 11.6 inch vented front discs and 10.2 inch rear brakes.
Absolutely gorgeous in all angles, it can steal the limelight easily with the bigger and brighter chrome framed rear lights. Below near the tailpipes are rear fog lamps that will surely make you visible in the darkest hour of the night. Even though it has already changed a lot, Mini still kept the famous oval and circular theme inside and out of the car.

This is a perfect example of a modern with a touch of retro design. The headlights have the signature Mini chrome ring with daytime running lights that will surely make your presence seen even far away. The oval-shaped side mirror is also customizable (optional) as well as the side scuttles with air outlets. Even from the sides, the trademarked "S" logo can be seen. Inside, there are a lot more circular things like the aircon vents, switches, and even the center console. A major change from the previous generations can be seen in the center console which used to house the speedometer and tachometer. They have now moved those to where they belong, behind the steering wheel and is very much a welcome change to a lot of people.

The fun doesn't stop outside. Inside, the retro look is paired with toggle switches which can be fun to use. To start the engine, you press on the brake pedal and flick the red colored toggle switch and the car will immediately start. Something that is worth noting is the switch on the left side of the start-stop engine toggle switch. It's the switch to active or deactivate the auto-shut off engine. It's designed and used even in some BMW vehicles to auto shut off the engine when you stop by stepping on the brake pedal. Yes, it can save fuel in traffic but when it is not, it's annoying to hear the vehicle shut off then start again when depressing the brake pedal.

The entertainment system is nicely developed. It now has a Mini Connect app that when you connect your phone (I used my iPhone 6 Plus with it), it can detect compatible apps and you can now control the said app directly using the iDrive Touch Controller below the handbrakes. An app I am very happy about that worked is Deezer. I was able to access all my albums and songs and navigate through them without even touching my phone. I just connected my phone via the USB port below the cigarette lighter socket. Once detected, your iPhone screen will flash this,

Take note though that I haven't tried any other apps yet that worked other than Deezer because I do not have a lot of apps in my phone. I tried Waze, Google Maps, Facebook but none of those worked. It would have been fun but too distracting for driving.

The front seats are somewhat shaped like racing seats with significant support on the sides and even comes with thigh support that is perfectly comfortable when driving in traffic. At the back, 2 adults can comfortably fit but I'm not sure if it will be as comfortable during long drives because leg room is ample but not enough for you to stretch. Since the rear portion doesn't employ the sloping design, rear headroom is great. Generally, it can fit 2 people very comfortably and a maximum of 4 people. Cargo space is also bigger by around 51 liters compared to the previous generation Mini Cooper. Do take note though that I had a hard time putting my stroller (Peg Perego Pliko Four).

Another thing to take note of is how wide the door opens. Since majority of our parking spaces here in Metro Manila are space constricted, be careful when opening doors on street parkings as other cars or motorcycles can easily hit you.

At night, it doesn't stop being an eye candy. It illuminates from all sides in bursts of colors you never expect. Colors can be easily changed with a toggle of a switch, it lights up the inner door handles, pedal area, compartments and small pockets. Outside, lights guide you whether you are just about to ride the car or exiting the car as door handles light up. You can even set your headlights to switch on after you unlock the car.

Interior at night
Interior during the day
Other notable features:
Pedal Shifter
Green, Mid and Sport mode
17" tentacle spoke alloy wheels 205/45/R17
Dual climate control
Auto rain sensing wipers
Auto headlight control
Cruise control

Safety Features:
Dual stage 8 airbag system
Brake Assist
Electronic Stability Control
Traction Control
Corner Braking
Front Seatbelts w/ pretentioners
Load Limiters
Active bonnet for pedestrian safety

Mini Cooper F56 starts at 2,200,000 and the Mini Cooper S F56 starts at 2,700,000

For more info, visit http://www.mini.com.ph/
or visit their showroom at
5th Avenue Corner 26th Street,
Bonifacio Global City,
Taguig Philippines 1634

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