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Test driven at the launch event in Puerto Rico, BMWBLOG wonders how does an icon evolve without alienating its faithful?
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.
check out the full piece here: http://www.bmwblog.com/2014/02/03/2014-mini-cooper-bmwblog-first-drive-review/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.