For many many years I've been into Austin/Morris/ BL/Rover minis and have enjoyed restoring and driving them, so I know a fair bit about them but I am becoming disillusioned at the silly prices for secondhand cars and spares being asked at the moment and the poor quality of some reproduction (even heritage reproduction) parts.
Having been introduced to the BMW minis at a recent local mini show I am now thinking of getting one (but don't tell the owners of the original minis!!), Don't do it I hear you say!!
I rather like the look of the '01-'06 Cooper S although I am not too concerned about performance so I was wondering if it is easier to detune an S, by removing the supercharger etc. if possible, to improve mpg than it is to get a lower performance/ less thirsty model which would require cosmetic improvements to make it look like an S. I have done searches on this forum and gather that exterior S conversion parts are quite expensive.
I do a moderate amount of miles in a year so fuel consumption is important. At present my Corsa diesel averages 60mpg and I know a petrol mini won't touch that!! Insurance is no problem due to my age and I am confident with spanners but have never worked on a BMW mini.
Any pointers would be appreciated as I know next to nothing about BMW minis :-)
A later Cooper D would be a very good replacement for your Corsa D, Im sure you would find it a much better car and if youre lucky you might even find one with the sports body kit fitted. Buying an S then taking the bits off it to make it more economical isnt the way to go I dont think.
Probably the best thing would be to get a petrol mini to replace the wife's micra which is incredibly gutless!! We don't do that many miles in her car which isn't particularly economical anyway. When I use it I usually drive like a district nurse.
Were many Indy blue coopers / ones with a white roof and panoramic sunroof manufactured? I was maybe thinking of getting one as a base for an Italian Job 2003 replica. This is what I did with a Mk 1 Austin Mini I restored in tartan red to replicate the mini in the original film and the result was a pleasure to own and drive!!
Is there anything I need to consider? - apart from avoiding the earliest models (so I've read).
No, you don't want to de-S an S. I think there would be a lot to do with on-board computers and such. As an owner of an '04 S, I can say it is a wonderful fun car, but has poor fuel consumption for being so small. The first gen engines were pretty primitive compared to the current ones. I agree, the first gen looks much better, but a Cooper or one would give you better economy than an S.
I have recently driven both cars and if i talked bang for buck i would go for the CooperD any day. If we are on about performance i would be very hard pushed to say one is better than the other as each car has so many pros and cons the petrol S is a fun drive..........and soooo is the D. The S is a blummin quick car and............so is the D........there are so many differences but if you wanted a car to meet the fuel consumption that mmatched previous cars and many of us do want a frugal car to run in these days of ridiculous taxation on fuel OPEC bless them. But the D has got a shed load of Torque and even more than the S and for me after owning a Volvo V70 i know this is a wonderful aspect of a car that is advantageous and a really good point and for me the fuel economy on top of the drive of the diesel is the entire package for me and is my choice Just waiting for the machine to be built and delivered. I know there is the issue of dissing the cooper image with a diesel but for me time go's by things change technology changes improves and therefore is better improved efficieny blah blah. But have a look take them out make your choice. Good Luck and enjoy :-)
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