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Discussion Starter #1
I saw for the first time on Saturday a dealers Cooper with the 17" wheels.

Have forum members noticed that cars with 17" wheels have a tiny plastic wheel spat on the rear upper wheel arch? It is so tiny that it must be purely a cosmetic feature.

The dealer told me that this was due to registration requirements. Is this bureaucracy gone mad? What will the spat really do?
 

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MINI2 Global Moderator
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I think this is on the 16" wheeled MINIs as well, I think it just acts as a little mudflap to stop the side of your car getting dirty...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I haven't seen it on the Coopers with the 16" wheels.

I think that it ridiculous that the DVLA requires this little piece of plastic to be fitted.

It looks OK but it doesn't do anything.

Just adds costs to the production that we end up paying for.
 

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There is an additional (very small) part to rear the wheel arch if you have chilli pack with the 16" wheels.

Mine has 15" and it does not have it.
 

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Mine has the extra piece of plastic, didn`t notice that the non 16" wheeled cars didn`t though.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Checked out the latest 2002 delivered cars and found that both 17" and 16" wheeled cars have the spats.

Guess MINI are making minor changes along the way.
 

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Garry said:
Checked out the latest 2002 delivered cars and found that both 17" and 16" wheeled cars have the spats.

Guess MINI are making minor changes along the way.
I have the spats on my Cooper with the 16" wheels. Mine is an October car.
 

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...where´s the any-key?
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What are you all on about?

LMB:confused:

I have just noticed this is my 500th post....WOOOO HOOOO

I am now a master :D
 

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My Mini Dealer fitted aftermarket (Fondmetal) 17" alloys to my Min and there was no mention of any spats or whathaveyou being required........?!?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I will get a photo of them in the next couple of days so that you can see what I am talking about.

They are very very small, and I too wonder why and what they achieve?

Check out the latest cars at your dealer and see if you need (or want) to have them put on your car.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Garry said:
I will get a photo of them in the next couple of days so that you can see what I am talking about.
No spats...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
And with spats...
 

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My guess is it's something to do with the wheel protruding out further than the wheel arch, it must be due to a dimension. As a dealer fitted item he must fit it, whereas in the aftermarket world, you must make sure your vehicle complies.

Thats a bit technical for me, I better sit down for a while now.
 

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It's a uk legal thing, with the larger alloys on, the side wall protrudes at that particular point, further than the bodywork, they therefore have to put a small covering lip to cater for the slight extension.
Apparently the police take a dim view in this country, if your wheel and tyre sticks out a little more than it should do!
 

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It seems that BMW have 'dropped one' with the design of the rear wheel arches, if, in order to to comply with the Vehicle Constrution & Use Regulations, they have to fit these ugly spats, when 16" or 17" wheels are fitted. Surely the spats are a temporary solution. I have read somewhere, perhaps elsewhere in this forum, that the 'S' will have wider arches.
The brochure I have for the One & Cooper shows a dimension of 1688mm between the outside edges of the rear wheelarches. The same dimension is shown in the 'S' brochure between the outside edges of the wheels, with arches protruding further out, which, if correct, the 'S' will look much better without those ugly spats.
 

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AER said:
It's a uk legal thing, with the larger alloys on, the side wall protrudes at that particular point, further than the bodywork, they therefore have to put a small covering lip to cater for the slight extension.
Apparently the police take a dim view in this country, if your wheel and tyre sticks out a little more than it should do!
That silly 1/4 inch of plastic sticking out is needed to keep the law away? And you Brits make fun of American regulations?! :eek:

A sight like the one below might just make a British police officer faint. Yes, it is street legal.
 

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An over-eager traffic officer could have a field-day with that one, Bruce!

It looks like the spat is used to cover the tiny gap in the wheelarch where technically the tyre would be wider - but it's all a bit silly. If my car comes with "spats", first thing we do is rip them off! There *must* be a better way round the problem.

If indeed it is a problem. No traffic policeman's going to notice, unless the micrometre is now standard issue. I'm sure the wheels stick out slightly further than the arches at some point in a lot of cars - my Mini included.

Might the spat instead be to protect part of the wheelarch?
 

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Just to add my two penny worth:)

I have 17" alloys, and think the spats look cool.:cool: What ever they do, I imagine the aerodynamic effect on stuff off the wheel is considerable, and maybe keeps the car cleaner?:rolleyes:

I certainly think this looks better than increasing the overall arch;)
 

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Spats on 17" fitted cars

Gary....my car gets delivered this week with 17"s on it...I'll see if mines got these on and let you know what I think!

Cheers...

Stuart
 
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