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|First Generation MINI Cooper S MINI Cooper S 2002 - 2006|
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I’m in the market for a Cooper hatchback. Every cooper I’ve ever tried has too harsh a ride, so my initial guess is I should go for the 2nd generation, base Cooper (not the Cooper S) with 15” wheels and without runflats. But I would rather like something faster. And I prefer the 1st generation. So I started looking on the forum, and learned that (1) Koni FSDs are a big improvement, (2) the JCW suspension is actually softer than the normal suspension because it’s designed for big wheels, so if I use smaller wheels … , but (3) the 2nd generation Cooper S cannot use 15” wheels. Mostly good, but it leaves me with some questions:
Cooper vs Cooper S, and gen 1 vs gen 2: If one uses the FSD dampers and 16” wheels on all four of these cars, does one end up with the same ride quality, or do the S’s and/or gen 1 cars have stiffer springs or other components?
And how would the gen 2 Cooper S on 16s compare to the others on 15s?
What about the JCWs on the smallest possible wheels? How would the gen 1 JCW (on 16s) and the gen 2 JCW (on 17s) compare to the above?
(I know that the gen 2 cars were available with optional sport suspensions. In this case (and in all other cases) I am of course only interested in the cars with the least stiff option. P.S. I know there was a sport suspension + (“SS+”) option. Were there 2 other choices (normal and sport suspension (“SS”)) or just one?)
Thanks for any insight into this!!!
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