A separate starter button would be nice -- perhaps it should be on the center console near the shifter - similar to the floor starter button under the driver's left knee in the original Mini?
However, what I would have liked to see on the MINI is different placement of the ignition key. It ended up on the steering column? Too typical. Instead, like a classic Mini, it should have been placed in the middle of the row of switches.
I fitted an extra starter button on my truck when the ignition switch started getting flakey after 25 years. But you have to be careful where you put it so a passenger doesn't press it while the engine is running. Tends to make quite a bit of noise and isn't good for the teeth on the flywheel.
As to the key on the steering column, I suspect it is due to the mandated steering lock to deter theft. But any crook with a screwdriver can break it in a matter of seconds. Citroen had the best idea. Park the car and the wheels retracted leaving it sitting on the frame. But they were so ugly, what thief in his right mind would steal one?
I've been looking into this quite a bit - cause I really wanted one. The button looks OK but you have to drill holes in your dash - this is ok in 'average' cars where there ar vast areas of flat black plastic to maul but the mini is so curved it will be hard to find a space to fit it that wont destroy the dash.
I did once see one that fitted into the cigarette lighter with only a little modification - if I could opnly remember where I saw it - I'm gonna get one!!!
PS Not sure what messing about with starter wires does for the warranty.