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Elsewhere in this Cooper S forum, Geoff Poad posted this:

GeoffP said:
There are number of members of this forum who, with experience, consider SSP+ to be too firm for everyday use, particularly with 16" wheels. I feel that, to suit all tastes, the choice of standard or + suspension should be available. ....
This raised the question: “Should the SSP suspension be optional on the S?“ That is, should Cooper S buyers have a choice between a softer-riding suspension and the SSP?

Based upon an historical perspective of an ultra-stiff suspension on one year of the Corvette, perhaps the answer should be “YES”.

Nineteen eighty-four marked the launch of an entirely new Corvette model after 16 years of the previous model. During development of the car Chevy management said they needed some really incredible handling statistics to impress the automotive press and buying public, so they directed the Corvette's engineers to make a very stiff, virtual racecar suspension as standard. It worked, the car handled wonderfully, made all the right "numbers" and the car magazines loved it -- but those early customers of the 1984 Corvette ended up hating the car’s ride in very short order.

Just 6 months after the introduction of the 1984 model, sales had dropped off dramatically as the word got around of how badly the car rode. For 1985, the suspension was softened considerably (25% softer!) to try to recover from the drop in sales.

That Corvette bodystyle, (the C4), was kept in production until 1996, but, as used cars, the ’84 Corvettes have remained as the least desirable of the bunch because of the rock-hard suspension.

I wonder if it will be the same with the 2002 Cooper S models? Is BMW trying too hard (pun intended) with the SSP?
 

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BruceK,

Of the cars that I have driven - around a dozen different Cooper S, I have not found the suspension to be overly firm. The trouble is it's very subjective and also what I find as acceptable may not be in accordance with your view. If you consider the car to be a racer, then no it is not firm. If you consider the car to be used to chauffer your granny around, then yes, it may be too firm - you'll know as she bleats into your ear!

At the moment, there are no plans to introduce the Sports Suspension, but this should not be too difficult to introduce if as you say may be required.
 

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Is SSP a flaw for the Cooper S

Well BruceK, I think you started this thread due to my info on the Dutch Cooper S specs. Let's loke at the facts: the Cooper S will be one of the fastest little cars around and is the top of the Mini (excluding Cooper S Works / Alpina etc) If you loke at the manufactures now you see that many models do have a GTI/S16/Type R/Sport version all with a few changes comparedd to the less powerfull versions: they all have bigger and wider wheels, stiffer and stronger suspension and stabilisers and better breaks. So you can go back to 1984 and make a comparison with the Corvette but that's not realistic, we live in 2002 (well almost ;) ) and you should compare it to other today's hot hatches like Civic Type R (very stiff suspension), Clio RS (less stiff but stiffer dan normal Clio's) and the 206 GTI. My current car is a Peugeot 206 GTI and that's a lot firmer than the Cooper, even with SS+. So in my opinion, a car with so much power, must have a stiff suspension and in comparison with other cars even the SS+ is pretty much comfortable. Why would you let the people choose? Most Cooper's sold are, as far as I have heard, with the SS+ so a top model must have that suspension at least, if not stiffer.....

Greetz Roy
 

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To be honest I don't see what all the fuss is about. I think the Mini's ride is firm yes, but not hard. I have driven many cars with seriously hard suspension and believe me you know about it.

From the Mini's I have driven the difference between the SSP and SSP+ is minimal. I truly believe someone couldn't tell the difference between them it is that subtle.

You don't want soft suspension on the Mini, it would ruin its drive.

At the end of the day the Mini is a driver car and that is all there is to it.

If that is not want you want..don't buy one.


LMB:D
 

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Discussion Starter #5
LMB said:
To be honest I don't see what all the fuss is about. I think the Mini's ride is firm yes, but not hard. I have driven many cars with seriously hard suspension and believe me you know about it.

From the Mini's I have driven the difference between the SSP and SSP+ is minimal. I truly believe someone couldn't tell the difference between them it is that subtle.

You don't want soft suspension on the Mini, it would ruin its drive.

At the end of the day the Mini is a driver car and that is all there is to it.

If that is not want you want..don't buy one.


LMB:D
Well, I'm used to the stiff suspension of the classic Mini so however stiff SSP is in a MINI Cooper S I'm sure I won't mind. :D
 

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I think I will be happy with SS+, but will most likely stick with std 16" wheels - Aussie roads are pretty rickety, so my gutfeel is that 17" wheels will loosen the fillings in my teeth rather too quickly:rolleyes:
 

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Shortened Springs

An early autoexpress article on the S, stated that it would have shorter springs, and therefore I assume, lower ride height to standard Coopers and SS Coopers.

Can anyone confirm that SSP+ lowers the ride height as I do not recall seeing this mentioned in many other articles on the "S". ?

I answer to the thread, Rich Is right about oz roads, but i would have to go further and say that generally they are CRAP!!!. But the S is being purchased in the knowledge that on the GOOD surfaces the S will fly, so the stiffer the better.
 

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Re: Shortened Springs

Basil said:
An early autoexpress article on the S, stated that it would have shorter springs, and therefore I assume, lower ride height to standard Coopers and SS Coopers.

Can anyone confirm that SSP+ lowers the ride height as I do not recall seeing this mentioned in many other articles on the "S". ?
According to Tech Man at MINI USA:
The MINI Cooper with sport suspension has a ground clearance of 113mm (4.5"), while the Cooper S with Sport Suspension Plus has 120mm (4.8") ... the 7mm lowering from the sport suspension plus is offset by the slightly larger 16" wheels and tires.
The specifications at MINI USA confirm this ... the height of the SS Cooper is listed as 55.9" while the SSP S is listed as 56.2".
 

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Re: Re: Shortened Springs

MINIAC said:


The specifications at MINI USA confirm this ... the height of the SS Cooper is listed as 55.9" while the SSP S is listed as 56.2".
So as I read this, The Cooper S rides lower, but ends up higher than a standard Cooper with SS.....!! Hmmm.....
 

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Yeah you've confused me too. I think this was discussed ages ago and concluded that the SS and SS+ both gave the same ride height, both being 8mm lower than the set-up on the MINI One. I'm sure someone will correct me if i'm wrong.....:rolleyes:

Back on topic though, i picked up my Cooper (with SS+) on Saturday and have put 400 miles on it so far, on a mixture of motorways, A-roads and some of the best small twisty stuff the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District has to offer. I admit that the SS+ is stiff but i haven't found it to be annoyingly so. My mates WRX is certainly less easy to live with on longer trips!!

Conclusion: I definately want SS+ on my Cooper S!!:D :D :D
 

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This height difference could be caused by different wheel sizes... I've seen my cooper (with ssp) against a cooper without and mines definitely lower.

Or maybe they just measured the cooper s spoiler :D

Dom
 

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Dom said:
Or maybe they just measured the cooper s spoiler
...I think you may be right - Hard to tell for sure from photos
 

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Dom said:
This height difference could be caused by different wheel sizes... I've seen my cooper (with ssp) against a cooper without and mines definitely lower.

Or maybe they just measured the cooper s spoiler :D

Dom
The correct method to measure the ride heights is to measure the centre of the wheel to the centre of the wheelarch for both the front and the rear.
 

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in that case, using the measurements above, those MINI's must have had some rather large wheels! Do you think that would effect handling? ;)

Dom
 
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