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I haven't got a mini cooper s yet (fingers crossed will be march 09 and with the chilli pack)

Thought that this would be the best place to ask for information other than the test drive I had.

I heard that the handling differs with the different inch of alloys and suspension you select. I was thinking about putting the 17" Crown Spoke with the standard mini cooper s suspension.

Also how do you find the engine noise? Quiet or loud? I'm sure it was very quiet when I went on my test drive.
 

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Derv? Nein Danke.
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Iv'e owned my Cooper S for 4 weeks now and came from a 2 year old TDi170 Audi A3.

I find the Cooper S quieter than the Audi and the noise that is present seems to be tyre related NOT from the engine. Its been a nice surprise to have such a quiet car.

As regards the handling it may be worth you reading my post here: http://www.mini2.com/forum/wheels-tyres-brakes/158842-cooper-s-handling-characteristics.html

The handling is extremely good and the steering direct and the overall ride is firm but definately not too harsh at all. I do now drive with both hands on the wheel at all times and have a firm grasp when pressing on down less than perfect B roads. I'm glad my car hasn't got the 'sports' supension as I can imagine that being uncomfortable for everday use when combined with runflats.

Just my opinion as a new comer to Mini's. :smile:
 

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I have 17" wheels...and sport suspension and it is fine, not to harsh for every day driving. I plan to swap to non run flats when mine are worn out and hope that will improve things further (and be cheaper to replace). Car goes round corners very well and lovely and flat...which is main reason I wanted the sport suspension.

I would recommend spec'ing the LSD..definitely an advantage with the torque that the MCS puts out...plus great for getting power down when you exit a wet corner.

Go test drive a few cars with what you are looking at...that way you can work out what is best for you !
 

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Derv? Nein Danke.
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Fergus have you driven an S any distance with non sports suspension to (after obviously driven alot with it fitted) to get a real life feel for the diffreences?

Is the spring and damper rate alot harder as based on my cars setup I'd imagine the sports suspension to crash alot over back country B road? Just wondering if the sport suspension has bigger anti roll bars and subtle changings to the spring rates than rather a big leap.

I didn't test drive an S with sports suspension very far and found the S with standard suspension on an extended test drive to nice and firm and just right for me.

Quite interested to know just how different the two are in real life. The salesman I bought off has a new Copper S every 6 months and says he won't get a car with Sports suspension as he finds its quite harsh.

As with everything we all prefer different setups and like cars to feel right for our individual driving styles. :smile:
 

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Mini Design Philosopher
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I have the R56 MCS with standard suspension on 17" alloys with runflats. The ride comfort is superb in comparison to my previous MINI - a Cooper with Sports suspension+. On a good road surface at 70mph, you don't feel any vibrations in the cabin. In most situations the handling is good - the only time I can feel body roll is exiting a roundabout quickly and straightening up (using my friend's private test track), but strangely I can't detect anything on normal twisty roads - I guess something to do with changing camber.

Normal suspension won't give you the tautness of the sports suspension, but it gives the chassis a fluid feel between corners allowing you to make progress easily.

It probably is worth speccing the LSD if you like to drive your car hard (an absolute requirement for track day use) but otherwise it isn't a necessity if you don't drive your car hard around corners.
 

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24hr
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As has been discussed before, it seems that the damper and spring rates between non-sports and sports on the R56 models is the virtually the same. It's the anti roll bars which differ. So the ride shouldn't be affected just the roll rate of the car. Compared to the gen 1 SS+ the new one is much more compliant and nowhere near as hard or crashy.

As for the LSD I'd say on the Cooper S it's a no brainer. It will reduce the torque steer and for the price it's a bargain, have a look what it would cost you to fit later !
At the end of the day your buying a Cooper S not a motorway barge. Get it with SS and LSD and drive a proper little sports car that will embarrass some serious cars down the right roads :smile:

Best advice is as fergus says drive as many different types as you can, and you decide what works best for you.
 

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The cooper s is quite a noisy car to be honest, more than I expected with a fair amount of road/tyre/wind noise coming in, and thats with 17" runflats. I've just dropped these for a Toyo proxies, and although handling and grip has improved, the noise is even worse!!

Think im getting old.

As for engine noise, apart from it sounding like a diesel, there isn't much really. It's a bit boring in comparison to an R53 to be honest, which you may like.
 

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Fergus have you driven an S any distance with non sports suspension to (after obviously driven alot with it fitted) to get a real life feel for the diffreences?

Is the spring and damper rate alot harder as based on my cars setup I'd imagine the sports suspension to crash alot over back country B road? Just wondering if the sport suspension has bigger anti roll bars and subtle changings to the spring rates than rather a big leap.

I didn't test drive an S with sports suspension very far and found the S with standard suspension on an extended test drive to nice and firm and just right for me.
In the end it is what suits you....nice having a choice.

I test drove one with no sports suspension..and still went and ordered one with SS. Without driving ones back to back it would be hard to say what the difference is. They never had one with SS when I went for a test drive.

I am certainly happy with my choices, though will swap to normal tyres when mine wear out. I think they will have a much bigger influence in how it rides than the SS / non-SS.

LSD is a no brainer for the money....I really think it is good, and I've never been near a track.

IF you really want it to ride better then go for 16" wheels and no SS.....17" wheels will always be a compromise...
 
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