I'm new and this is my first post. I'm currently considering selling my Honda S2000 and getting a Mini Cooper (model not determined!) This week I have test driven a JCW S (with suspension upgrade and 18"), Cooper S and Cooper in that order. I'm in a muddle because the way I see it I prefer either the JCW or the Cooper, but not the S. I liked the power delivery of the Cooper around town and only spent a short amount around town in the JCW...most of the time was spent flying through the countyside with an insane grin on my face. My impression is the JCW pulled a lot more smoothly around town from tick over and I was hoping for some feedback about whether my impression is on the money. I The car will be used as a daily driver but not in traffic as I work from home, so I mainly travel on clear roads after peak times.
You should really drive all three cars in the same places in the same manner for it to be a fair test.
If you're driving on clear open roads (or country lanes) then the JCW S is always going to offer more of a manic grin than the others, and purely based on your current car I'd say that would probably suit you best.
Welcome to Mini2! Did you see Top Gear - Honda S 2000 won the best car! Sure you want to sell?!
I went from a Cooper to a JCW S. I didn't find the jump from a Cooper to an S was quite enough, and I've never looked back. Love my Works - she brings a smile to my face every day. Took her to Snetterton recently and did a comparison with an Honda S 2000 and smugly would like to say that the Mini won! Do it! (but I'm biassed.. )
thanks Paul and Intrepid. The truth is Paul I did take the JCW on some of the same roads (just not as many!) but being a weekday instead of the weekend mean't different traffic flows and you can guess the rest. I've been pretty lucky to test a JCW because they are as rare as hens teeth in NZ. One thing I like about my Honda is it's power delivery, it just so elastic and keeps building until you hit 6000rpm of course then all hell breaks loose, but by comparison the JCW offered a similar experience but was more torquey lower down which is good through the tight stuff. My only criticism of the Mini would be it's like going from a two seater to a two seater (!) and the brakes on the Mini lack the bite, precision and feel of the S2000 and I do like good brakes...I'm getting older ;-)
Intrepid... we are a bit behind the UK with Top Gear (my favorite show btw) and last weeks episode featured the first drive of a Mercedes SLR and the Stig driving the MG SV(?) for the first time not managing to beat the M3's time. A few weeks ago there was a review of some hot Mini's including the JCW. So how far behind are we in NZ? ( a whole series I expect!) The only thing relating to S2000's I've seen so far is the hilarious grannies doing donuts and Jeremy having some fun on the Isle of Man. I am aware the S2000 topped the Top Gear readers survey which comes as no surprise. Snetterton sounds like a blast. I'd be keen to try my Honda on a track with some long straights. I have heard of some S2000 owners getting 160mph plus on track days which is just scary with no metal over your head
When I was at Snetterton I got Rob Barff (http://www.robbarff.com/ ) to take me out in the S 2000 and do a comparison... he's a bit conceited but probably with good reason.. but he said that the Mini was the better car...! Eeek. But everyone has a different opinion... The thing I like about the S2000 is that it's rear wheel drive
I think of the Mini as a 2 seater and refuse to put anyone over 5ft in the back! Keep us posted!
Not sure how far you are behind with Top Gear! It'll be worth waiting for..
Actually, the headroom back there is great! I've had many 6'+ passengers in my MINI Cooper and none have complained about the back seat. As long as the front seat passengers can live with the seat forward a bit, there is even decent leg room. It is deceiving. In comparison, the VW Jetta has absolutely NO headroom -- and no, I don't mean a Beetle which has even less!
RWD vs. FWD is completely different though. Apples and oranges (with AWD being kumquats).
MINI Cooper Cabrio: now the car with go cart handling really feels like an open go cart! "... the only man that can come home at 3 am in the morning without getting into trouble with his spouse is the owner of a British sports car!" -- Phil Bailey
Having been in both an S and S2000 for long periods of time (as a passenger ) and driving my cooper i would say that personally the MINI is the most appealing. Also the S may be down on BHP and ultimately slower but it has a far more flexible engine with much lower power delivery. Consequently I found that you don't have to red line the S like you do in the S2000 and Cooper to some degree. It just depends on your driving style but whatever you decide you haven't made a bad decision. Others may disagree but thats my personal view.
The MC-experience is totally different than the faster Mini models,
although the Cooper lacks a bit of punch and is dramatically slower than your S2000, I prefer the handling of the MC over the MCS (unfortunately I haven't driven the JCW yet), cause the MC gives much more feel and is much easier to handle at the limits of adhesion, especially in the rain.
Cornering with screaming tyres is very accessible and controllable in an MC and still, cornering speeds are comparable with those of an MCS.
But when you get your kicks out of straightline speed you shouldn't opt for the MC...
couldnt agree more... the cooper just seems to be easier to drive fast down winding roads.. not to mention they seem to do better than the Ses in the local autocross over here!
i can tell you now.. going from a S2000 to a S or a JCW will be a VERY different feel.. power delivery is going to be all there by you reach 3 grand, and on the S2000 it's going to be only half way to the sweet zone...
i love that mid-range of the S... with the aftermarket pulley i got now snap into 2nd and just let her rip!
i traded in my nissan 350Z for a regular cooper last month. i believe the Z has 40-50 more BHP than the s2000. trading to the cooper i lost 177 BHP. no regrets. the cooper is a better car to drive. i don't miss the power of the Z at all. the cooper is an awesome drivers car and would trade again today.
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