I bought my Cooper before I knew about the Cooper S.
I am drawn towards the performance of the Cooper S through it's modifications. Does anybody know, or tried to convert their Cooper into a Cooper S ?
Bit of a vague question there really, but I will try to give you some kind of answer.
The Cooper S, supercharger and all, wont be out until the summer. The car is very different to the Cooper in the engine and drive train department, the supercharger is just the begining. You then have different internals, and gearbox set up, as well unique styling and interior features.
You can 'tune' a Mini Cooper, search for 'superchips' and 'John Cooper Works' and you will find plenty, MiniSpares/MiniMania are also busy coming up with products, but mostly suspension and styling first, tuning later...
In short, you can make a Cooper faster, but you'll never make it an 's'.....
I am on the list for an S but I still expect to be modifying it. I will be looking at lowering springs and other gizmos to add even more fun. Looking through the growing list of add-on's available I can see that a Cooper may be a better choice for someone who wants to make an extreme MINI - why pay for the S upgrades if you are just going to replace suspension components and strip down the engine anyway?
Having said that, I still want the S because I will drive it for a while before deciding what to do to it. But if I already had a Cooper that had taken the depreciation hit, I think I would have some fun with aftermarket add-ons before selling it.