Hi - Welcome to the forum! I too bought a brand new MINI One in September 2007. Now, as it happens, I did a bit of research on this whole grille issue only yesterday, and I have the solution. If you wish to have a grille that looks like that of the Cooper S, all you need to do is to take off the chrome middle piece of your existing grille (the three chrome fins, leaving the top and bottom chrome surrounds alone), and replace it with not the mesh of the Cooper S grille, but with the mesh part of the JCW aero grille - if you do a search for the thread "Alternative Grille", you will get the relevant part number for this piece. It's as simple as that - you'll have a grille that looks like a Cooper S one, with no modification or any of that tinkering nonsense!!! In the end, I actually decided against replacing mine, as my R56 is very much a chrome/silver/red/white themed car, and you're either going for the chrome look or you're not, so I left mine alone as I think the car looks better without the Cooper S grille. I think that the Cooper S grille would look odd on an R56 without the black Cooper S bottom bumper mesh grille to accompany it. Here's my R56:
Ahh the confusion of what to do. See my mini is black with the chrome wing mirrors etc, i thought maybe a black grill with the chrome surround would look perfect, but now looking at it i quite like the idea of the chrome grill with the chrome surround. Its just im not to keen on the bars, would much prefer a chrome mesh if that's possible?
Sorry to sound so clueless on the matter, but the excitement of actually owning a mini has caused me to come up with all these different ideas haha