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Test driven at the launch event in Puerto Rico, BMWBLOG wonders how does an icon evolve without alienating its faithful?

some notables:

For the first time variable dampers via Dynamic Damper Control are available for a mere $500. The DDC allows you to switch from “Green and Sport Modes.” The “green mode” optimizes the car for fuelefficiency by changing shift points and adding a coasting feature in the automatic. The suspension is softer also. Want a stiffer, sportier ride, select “sport mode” and the MINI will be set to its most aggressive capabilities. This stiffens up the ride quite a bit and changes the throttle tip in. During my test drive I found this mode to be harder to smoothly roll on the throttle coming out of tight switchbacks. A small tip in of the throttle resulted in an exaggerated amount of power. Switch to “Mid-mode” for when you want an in-between classic MINI feel that’s about halfway between Green and Sport for a “happy motoring medium.”
There was absolutely no cowl shake. Imperfections were soaked up in, if I dare say, a BMW like manner. In many ways the suspension seems to have grown up and is more mature and composed.
some of the journalists there felt the ride was a little less tossable than the last generation MINI Cooper. In my case, I’m willing to trade that off for the wider track and stability, but I can see why it might bother some hardcore MINI enthusiasts. The electric steering has perhaps less feel but was well weighted and accurate. It’s a very well sorted out chassis which retains that go-kart feel.
A big part of the MINI experience is how it makes you feel, so with that being said I found both he Cooper and Cooper S to be an absolute blast to drive and suspect it will sell very well.
check out the full piece here: http://www.bmwblog.com/2014/02/03/2014-mini-cooper-bmwblog-first-drive-review/
 

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do you know if these are production models or pre-production model? is pre-production we can see some of the issues they found worked out and not in production models
 
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