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About to place my order!
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I'm thinking about buying a new MINI. I was in a MINI dealer yesterday, had a drive of one around Tokyo and loved it. Its so much fun.

The car I am looking at is a MINI Cooper S, British Racing Green with white roof/mirrors/wheels and white stripe. (I don't think I can get a British flag on the roof here :( ) Black leather interior, sunroof, the better speakers, Navigation system, 17" wheels, and a bunch of other stuff.

Is there any other MINI owners on here that live in Japan and have bought a car here? I'm interested to know people's experiences. Its hard finding information in English about the different taxes that they charge you with - even though the sticker price seems to be quite low compared to prices in England, there is so much tax that it negates it, heh.

What do people think of my config? The only thing I'm worried about is that the black leather will be a little warm in the summer, and the BRG colour will get dirty easily. I drive a black Golf right now, and the thing is always grotty. Maybe get the dark blue, whatever it is?

Also, the dealers here seem to be selling the 2004 models, but then when I told him the config I wanted the guy told me that it would have to be built in England, so the price would be more and I'd have to wait, so I guess it would be a 2005 model?

Whats changed between the 2004 to the 2005, he said the Cooper S gets a slight engine boost? I also have read on these forums that certain options are becoming unavailable?

I hope someone can give me some advice. I really want a MINI. :)
 

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About to place my order!
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Discussion Starter #2
ESKIMO DANCE said:
na bro im in the UK :D
Helpful :mad: :rolleyes: :D

I think I'm just going to pester various dealers until I can find one that will accomodated me. I really want the Hyper Blue after seeing the other pictures with that colour and the blue interior, but they are not selling that here yet, though it seems that I can actually get it, I just need to get it into their head that its possible ...

Its funny though, its only taken me a week to decide. Its not like I *need* a car. I have a Golf on semi-permanent loan to me which drives fine. But I want something *fun*. The MCS is definately *fun*. Especially around Tokyo, because its so stop/start. Lots of opportunities to drag people off at the lights ;) :D
 

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Hi,

You should be able to get Hyper Blue but that will mean you want a 2005 model so you will probably have to order and wait until it gets built.

I used to have a Honda Integra there should be a type S from around August. That can be pretty fun too.
:)
 

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Actually I am Japanese and I am waiting for delivery of my MCS in Tsukuba which is about 50km north of Tokyo.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
emijah said:
You should be able to get Hyper Blue but that will mean you want a 2005 model so you will probably have to order and wait until it gets built.

I used to have a Honda Integra there should be a type S from around August. That can be pretty fun too.
:)
I was told that they have only the 2004 EB Cooper S in stock, if I wanted anything different (leather seats, Navigation system, sunroof etc) I would have to wait for it to be built anyway, and I'd be getting a 2005 model.

So I should at least be able to spec it out as 2005 mode.

Which dealer did you go to? Did you go to a dealer in Tokyo? I'm going to the guys in Roppongi, but thats actually not where I live. They don't really speak english very well and my Japanese is pretty much rubbish too for this kind of thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm not from Japan, but my MCS was similarly-equipped to yours and I don't regret any of the options. If you are getting a 2005 model, insist on the LSD option. I wish that were offered back in Nov. '02 when I bought mine.
LSD being a Limited Slip Differential? Wow, I've not seen that written anywhere as an option. I'd definately want that. How much extra is it?
 

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chromerium said:
Which dealer did you go to? Did you go to a dealer in Tokyo? I'm going to the guys in Roppongi, but thats actually not where I live. They don't really speak english very well and my Japanese is pretty much rubbish too for this kind of thing.
I go to the dealer in Tsukuba, but I am a native so I don't have communications problems. Where abouts do you live?
 

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chromerium said:
LSD being a Limited Slip Differential? Wow, I've not seen that written anywhere as an option. I'd definately want that. How much extra is it?
Won't you have to wait for a car built in January to get the LSD? You can probably get it if you book an MSC heading for Japan now and adding the LSD option when it becomes available.
I have been told that the prices for the 05 models will be set at around the end of August in Japan.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
emijah said:
I go to the dealer in Tsukuba, but I am a native so I don't have communications problems. Where abouts do you live?
I live in Shinjuku-ku. I could get by with the guy in Roppongi, I have my girlfriend helping translate, but its pretty comical really because my japanese is about as good as her english, but we've developed a special common language which gets raised eyebrows ...

emijah said:
Won't you have to wait for a car built in January to get the LSD? You can probably get it if you book an MSC heading for Japan now and adding the LSD option when it becomes available.
I have been told that the prices for the 05 models will be set at around the end of August in Japan.
Ah, ok. That makes sense. I was told by the guy that if I order the Cooper S with any options, or non standard colour, that it would be a 2005 model and would be the pricing that is happening in september (end of August, I guess heh). So nothing conflicting there.

I definately don't want to wait 5 months for my car though, so I'll skip the LSD as you say and just get it added later if I really feel I need it.
 

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I don't think the colour being standard is what makes the difference. It is whether the car is in stock or not. The MINI dealers buy cars that they think will sell when there is a spare allocation. He is just saying that if you chose something they have in stock in Japan you can get it quick.

I ordered mine in June and will be receiving it late September or early October. It is usually around three months after it has been constructed in the UK. It is a pretty long wait.

Not sure whether you can add the LSD later though. I find the dealers here are extremely wary of any undocumented changes. I got some extremely worried looks when I told them that I had preordered a third party shift knob. "Shift knob? What shift knob? Where is it from? Is it in this catalogue??"

It seems they have an extremely tough time getting BMW to understand the needs here like electric mirrors, etc. etc. etc. They also went through a tough time getting them to understand the heat problems in Tokyo. I heard that in summer 02(I think) they got tired trying to get the message through and requested some engineers be sent to Tokyo. They greeted them at Narita and headed for Tokyo in a MINI. The car didn't get there. The engineers understood the problem and just went straight back to Europe.

chromerium said:
I live in Shinjuku-ku. I could get by with the guy in Roppongi, I have my girlfriend helping translate, but its pretty comical really because my japanese is about as good as her english, but we've developed a special common language which gets raised eyebrows ...


Ah, ok. That makes sense. I was told by the guy that if I order the Cooper S with any options, or non standard colour, that it would be a 2005 model and would be the pricing that is happening in september (end of August, I guess heh). So nothing conflicting there.

I definately don't want to wait 5 months for my car though, so I'll skip the LSD as you say and just get it added later if I really feel I need it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the responses Emijah.

Had a couple of questions, what is the 'Japanese compulsory insurance' ? I can grok what the rest of it is, like vehicle tax, road tax and consumption tax, but didn't get what the compulsory insurance was? Is that a third party compulsory insurance, like we have in australia?

Also, do you know if things like the 'Chilli Pack' etc are available here? Today I saw a Yellow Cooper with a British flag roof so was happy to see it :) Should have found what dealer its from. Oops.
 

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I am not sure what the third party compulsory insurance you have in Australia is, but my knowledge of the Japanese compulsory insurance (most likely third party too) is that it covers you minimally. It is only used for injuries or death that you inflicted.
You are covered up to 1200,000 yen for an injury, 30,000,000 yen for a death and up to 40,000,000 yen for heavy after effects.
Is it the same thing?

Well anyway as you can see any material damage is not covered, and it is possible that the amounts above can't cover everything. Like if you happen to run over the managing director or a multi-national conglomerate. So you get third party insurance as well which usually comes with a whole lot of services like 24 hour accident support, etc.

I haven't seen anything like the "Chilli Pack"s that are talked about here. The Union Jack roof decal is available as a dealer option. They may even have an Austrailian flag. I remember seeing a Canadian one anyway.
There is another separate booklet with all the dealer options but no packages. I've been told that the booklet for the 05 model should be available around the end of August.

All the dealers here are basically the same and run by BMW Japan. Unless you are buying from a dealer that do their own imports.

chromerium said:
Thanks for the responses Emijah.

Had a couple of questions, what is the 'Japanese compulsory insurance' ? I can grok what the rest of it is, like vehicle tax, road tax and consumption tax, but didn't get what the compulsory insurance was? Is that a third party compulsory insurance, like we have in australia?

Also, do you know if things like the 'Chilli Pack' etc are available here? Today I saw a Yellow Cooper with a British flag roof so was happy to see it :) Should have found what dealer its from. Oops.
 

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RobHardyUK said:
someone above mentioned lsd?? can you have this as a option??
Don't think you cat get it right now. I remember seeing on another web site that they will be available from Jan, 2005 builds. Or something like that anyway. There is bound to be information on this site somewhere, but I'm afraid I haven't quite mastered navigating this site yet.
:)

Good luck finding the info.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Success

I got an email from the dealer yesterday, about the 2005 options.

he said that yes, the Hyper Blue and Blue trim is available here.

I need to ask about the anthracide.

Can't get an australian flag though :( (I'm an aussie)
 

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Good for you!

Sorry about the flag, but you may be able to get the decals at cooperflags and have the dealer install it for you. You might be able to squeeze this in if you negotiate nicely enough.

I forgot to ask about the Anthracite. The one I regret is the cordoba leather seats...

Never mind I think the next mini I get (hopefully in the not too distant future) will be a BRG cabriolet cooper with cordoba leather and HK stereo.

chromerium said:
I got an email from the dealer yesterday, about the 2005 options.

he said that yes, the Hyper Blue and Blue trim is available here.

I need to ask about the anthracide.

Can't get an australian flag though :( (I'm an aussie)
 
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