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Hello, all. A week ago last Thursday, I took possession of my Rebel Green 2017 F56 JCW

I'd post a picture, but this'll only be my 3rd post here, need two more before including a link, apparently.

Rebel Green with White roof and mirror caps
Driving lights
Roof rails
heated seats
piano black center trim
storage package
H/K sound
connected + visual boost XL
rear camera/parking control
nav XL
real time traffic
excitement package

This is a very different vehicle than I am used to driving, my last three cars being a '94 RX-7, a 2001.5 S4, and a 2010 Cayman S. A small FF is a new thing to me, and it's taking some learning.
Drove down to my parent's house yesterday, 220 miles round trip, for my first extended bit of road time. A few thoughts (and questions):

--The inconsistency of material quality is really strange. And a bit disappointing. Prime offenders are the fuel filler cap and door handles. They are flimsy like flimsy, and I have no doubt are all going to just break off at some point. I would have been more than willing to spend the extra $15 to have them in at least a higher quality plastic, if not metal. The speedo/tach/fuel cluster, too, which brings me to...

--The tachometer is just this side of useless, with its positioning, orientation, and size. Would it have been so bad to have made it a full circle gauge next to the speedo? Or, better, put it where the speedo is, and relegate the speedo to the half-moon on the side, given there is a digital read out right there in the center (and again on the HUD, if equipped). Yes, the center stack can give you revs in the surrounding LEDs, and the HUD can have a readout, too...but neither of those are actually marked in numbers, just rev position. Eventually, that won't be a big deal, but for the first 1200 miles, I'm supposed to keep the engine below 4500rpm, and it is proving less than easy to do that with the information available.

--Sport mode..what does it actually do, in terms of engine response/power? Sharper throttle response and all, but switching from sport to normal while cruising on the highway, I swear I could feel the accelerator "sag" and go mushy under my foot. Does it change how the accelerator position relates to throttle position, like 50% accelerator in sport = WOT in normal? Does that mean WOT in sport is...WOT-ier in sport than normal? Does the boost pattern change under the different modes? What it really feels like is when I toggled my S4's chip from 16lbs of boost down to the stock 8. Or is that an illusion, and it just delivers the boost at different accelerator positions?

--The nav system is excellent, as is the real time traffic information. But the two at the same time, I haven't figured out. The nav system puts a white line on the road indicating your route...and the real time traffic system puts colored lines on the road indicating traffic state. The nav line seems to win, though, and blocks out traffic data. Am I reading it wrong, or can you not see traffic information for roads on your route? I have to be reading it wrong, because that seems like a huge miss. It's possible there just wasn't any traffic worth mentioning when I was checking it.

--Driving lights only come on with highbeams. :(

--It could be the tires are too new, but the car is REALLY squirrelly under heaving braking. Had someone drift over in front of me at 75mph, and had to step on the brakes pretty hard. No steering input given, but the nose dove and tucked left, and the tail started to step out to the right. It was controllable and in the end not a problem, but completely did not expect that. Could be the new tires (and the fact they are runflats), or just me not being used to the small wheelbase.

--Love the suspension, just the stock sports suspension. Very firm without being harsh. I had anticipated wanting to go aftermarket with it, but I'm really not seeing a need. Other than a 3/4" drop, maybe.

--Do not love the shifter. Long throw, too long of a stalk, and an uncomfortable knob. When the arm rest is in the "full down" position (for access to the system controller), I almost have to reach up for the top of the shifter. A shortshifter is in my future. Anyone have experience with an aftermarket shifter and the warranty? I've been told by some people that mini will maintain the warranty so long as they are the ones installing the aftermarket parts, is that true? Or is that a dealer-by-dealer thing?

With the list of criticisms above, it may seem like I don't like the car, but that isn't the case. I really am loving it, a whole lot. My Porsche took itself way too seriously (while being slower than my Audi), and had the personality of a sleeping fish. None of that with the JCW, character and snarl and function in a tiny little package, exactly what I've been missing. I'm very very pleased. Might have a few small projects over the next few years, though. :)
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