Which way to go ?

Which way to go ?

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J4CKO

Original Poster:

30,898 posts

156 months

Wednesday 10th June
quotequote all
Have an M135i, was fancying an M4 next but not sure if it will be massively more fun or faster which I dont really need, obviously a lot more expensive.

Part of me says F55 Cooper S, maybe with a few tweaks, dont do a great deal of miles and want something a bit more engaging/fun,

193 I dont think would cut it but thinking a remap and some other bits to get it nearer 300 than 200 bhp, maybe an LSD,

Anyone gone in a similar direction ?

Only driven a very old One and we had a previous Cooper S Clubman for a couple of days but it had issues and went back, found the ride very harsh, are the newer ones better in that respect ? was on 17s with the Sports suspensions and Run Flats.

my son has a Fiesta ST which I love but find it a bit hard work, is a Cooper S similar/better/worse in that respect ?

BeMo

108 posts

139 months

Wednesday 10th June
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Can't comment exactly as I'm waiting on mine being built/delivered but I'll be going from a M140i to a F56 Cooper S very shortly. I had intended the M140i to be a keeper, being a manual which you can no longer get but had a go in a couple Mini's recently and thought the short upright windscreen amongst other things made them feel quite unique.

I have always had a soft spot for the Mini's and having had one for a couple of weeks as a courtesy last year, thought it drove really well even if it was just a Cooper with an auto box. Had a extended test drive of a JCW back in March and decided to put an order in, gone for an S in "exclusive" spec with 17 inch non-run flats and passive suspension so can report back on the ride when it arrives.

The JCW I test drove was hard but probably rode better than my non-adaptive M140i. I will definitely miss the BMW's engine, but there aren't many opportunities to stretch it's legs even with some of the best roads in the country on my door step and other than the powerplant it's not a particularly exciting car.

I'm hoping the "fun" factor that I got from driving the Mini won't wear off too quickly and I won't regret my decision...

The B48 engine in the Cooper S seems to respond well to remaps with lots of them approaching 300bhp just on software.

J4CKO

Original Poster:

30,898 posts

156 months

Wednesday 10th June
quotequote all
BeMo said:
Can't comment exactly as I'm waiting on mine being built/delivered but I'll be going from a M140i to a F56 Cooper S very shortly. I had intended the M140i to be a keeper, being a manual which you can no longer get but had a go in a couple Mini's recently and thought the short upright windscreen amongst other things made them feel quite unique.

I have always had a soft spot for the Mini's and having had one for a couple of weeks as a courtesy last year, thought it drove really well even if it was just a Cooper with an auto box. Had a extended test drive of a JCW back in March and decided to put an order in, gone for an S in "exclusive" spec with 17 inch non-run flats and passive suspension so can report back on the ride when it arrives.

The JCW I test drove was hard but probably rode better than my non-adaptive M140i. I will definitely miss the BMW's engine, but there aren't many opportunities to stretch it's legs even with some of the best roads in the country on my door step and other than the powerplant it's not a particularly exciting car.

I'm hoping the "fun" factor that I got from driving the Mini won't wear off too quickly and I won't regret my decision...

The B48 engine in the Cooper S seems to respond well to remaps with lots of them approaching 300bhp just on software.
Awesome info BeMo, thanks for that. Amazed it rides better than a non adaptive F20, really quite happy with the ride on my M135i so it it matches or betters it, i am happy with that.

Not sure I want the agro of rank hubs, wonky turbos and something quite that fast as an M4, completely agree that with my M135i, which has a tuning box, I am a bit nonplussed except for the engine, the rest, as a drivers car leaves me a bit cold.

Think might pop in to the local BMW/Mini agent where I got mine and see what they can do, might go new.

paultownsend

803 posts

139 months

Thursday 11th June
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The JCW feels more special. It is. Different turbo, brakes, exhaust, and those seats!
But I like the understated look of the MCS. Both are spec sensitive. You want Chilli Pack, LED lights, driver pack with modes, and Media XL as a minimum.

I’d possibly be looking for the Cooper S Works 210. Less shouty than the JCW but the same power. And the Cooper S suspension which I have a feeling will be better for our roads.

The wife has a 5 door Cooper S. It’s good. It feels like a BMW product. If it were mine it would be going to Evolve for a map and Wavetrack LSD. And the standard JCW exhaust grafted on.

twokcc

494 posts

133 months

Thursday 11th June
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Owned a r56 cooper s ad now have a F56 cooper S .

Test drove a few R56 cooper s before purchase and suspension didn't seem that bad on test drives . Bought a low mileage high spec one but initally was disappointe with ride quality on local roads. Winter 2017 and council not done any pot hole repairs for years. Worst extreme was car hitting brokebn surface with both front wheels and car would skip across road with no front wheels grip. In all other respects car was great fun - and really had everything that I needed from a daily with plenty of poke and relative smallness just seemed to make parking anywhere a doddle ( other car a E91LCI 325d SE).
Best option at time seemed to be to change shock absorbers so decided to go for Koni FSD's which are aimed solely at improving car ride. ( car already on non runflat tyres) . A large improvement and made car a far smoother ride but still not as good as the 325d also on non runflats) Changing 17" wheels for 16" improved it yet again.Just didn't look as good and decided to try Michelin PS4's on original 17" and changed front's from toyo TR1's that were on car when I bought it- original Continentals still on rear).
Michelins made an amazing difference- don't know how much Koni's contributed to this but combination worked well and made it how I thought it should have been produced as standard.

With knackered left ankle decide I would at some stage need an auto and started to look for a replacement and went for test drives in F56 which in standard form on 17" runflats has a greatly improved ride over the standard R56.
Found one with my spec and could live with the ride- but having seen some replacement wheels which I prefer decided to change to Michelin PS4's- currently at Costco waiting for me to go and have then fitted. As changing wheels and tyres completely will be able to give a direct comparison between min with run flats and non runflats.both 17"
Deciding what is acceptable ride is a personal decision. Bought the E91 in Se form to avoid the M sport suspension after owning an E46 330 Ci m sport..IMO the e91 Se suspension very similar to e46 330 ci m sport .
The standard F56 on runflats nearly as good . The 3 door cooper S has shortest wheelbase and suspect that this may be part of the reason for its ride and longer wheelbase Cooper S's may ride better. Avoided the JCW as believe this has upgraded suspension from Cooper S which results in a poorer ride. r


Edited by twokcc on Thursday 11th June 08:16

J4CKO

Original Poster:

30,898 posts

156 months

Thursday 11th June
quotequote all
Cheers chaps sounds like I need to research the models and available options I may want need, am not a spec hound but worth knowing what is available, need to drive one as well, as stuff opens up that gets a bit more viable.




shoestring7

5,839 posts

202 months

Thursday 11th June
quotequote all
I have a manual 2016 F56 JCW* after an M135i and then a M140i.

The Mini has a lot going for it; there is a quality feel to the interior, a very good driving position, it has a modern torquey turbo motor that's economical, its refined enough for motorway work, the handling is fun, it has BFO brakes, decent connectivity, and the fairly classless image means no-one really notices(hates) you (although my partner reckons its because they think it's hers). Mine has auxiliary driving lights which are fantastic - I live in amongst country roads, and I can wring it's neck without quickly finding myself at M-lite speeds.

On the downside, the ride is harsh on typical B roads unless you go for smaller wheels and non-runflats (I have adaptive suspension which IMO is a must), rear leg room and boot spacer is very limited, the gear change is mediocre at best, steering is modern-lifeless (but better than the M-lite's and way better once I chucked out the run-flats), the motor is nothing like as enjoyable as a B58's once the revs rise.

As for tuning the thing, I can only comment that torque steer is still a thing even with the std 230bhp, and in winter slime mine will spin up in 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th without too much effort.

SS7
*Might be available soon.....

Edited by shoestring7 on Thursday 11th June 14:51


Edited by shoestring7 on Friday 12th June 12:24

paultownsend

803 posts

139 months

Thursday 11th June
quotequote all
I’d suggest looking at the Mini Used online site as it gives a good insight into spec. Without the media XL the inside looks cheap. You absolutely need the driving modes. The external LED are both excellent and again makes the outside look less base spec.

My wife was adamant she wanted the JCW body kit on the 5 door. It does work on the 5 door as it is an awkward looking thing. Has a slightly longer floor pan between the wheels, longer boot floor and I think the roof skin is taller. It has the JCW which I fear for when she parallel parks.

The only box we couldn’t tick was heated seats, But the leather doesn’t seem to get too cold. And warm up quickly as they are snug. But we got the heated screen which is superb. I wouldn’t want a car without one again bad the cars are outside.

Look at the Evolve Mini on YouTube. Also look at Lohen. But I’m not sure what mapping they are doing as Manic and Superchips have both folded. There’s not actually that many companies that map the F56. Considering it uses the B48 I thought there would be plenty of choice.

Edited by paultownsend on Thursday 11th June 10:30

halfpenny43

846 posts

192 months

Thursday 11th June
quotequote all
I've had a F56 JCW for nearly 4 years now, but just traded it for a 2019 Z4 3.0iDrive which I pick up on the 19th.

The JCW has been great - but agree with everything Shoestring said.
I too have the adaptive suspension with the standard JCW 18" wheels (which are so easy to curb !) but never got around to changing the run-flats. In my experience they are way to hard and affect the overall handling and grip of the car - spinning the wheels easily, breaking traction and really not giving confidence under heavy braking.

The interior is a nice place to be and the seats really comfortable, but boot space dreadful (the Z4 has a bigger boot than the Mini with the seats up !).

I also have the JCW bluetooth exhaust which gives no end of fun and smiles. I will miss the Mini - but looking forward to getting back to a 2 seat cab - and my first proper BMW.




craig1912

1,511 posts

68 months

Thursday 11th June
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I have a 140i and wife has the JCW. I’d take the 140 every time for longer drives as it’s smoother (adaptive) and generally a more refined place to be. The Mini is superb for shorter drives and great fun. It’s on run flats so ride is quite harsh and as said, the wheels are terrible for kerbing.

twokcc

494 posts

133 months

Thursday 11th June
quotequote all
More of a comfy lounge look for me- but that's beauty of mini can tailor it to what you want

Drekly

125 posts

14 months

Thursday 11th June
quotequote all
twokcc said:
Owned a r56 cooper s ad now have a F56 cooper S .
Best option at time seemed to be to change shock absorbers so decided to go for Koni FSD's which are aimed solely at improving car ride. ( car already on non runflat tyres) . A large improvement and made car a far smoother ride but still not as good as the 325d also on non runflats) Changing 17" wheels for 16" improved it yet again.Just didn't look as good and decided to try Michelin PS4's on original 17" and changed front's from toyo TR1's that were on car when I bought it- original Continentals still on rear).
Michelins made an amazing difference- don't know how much Koni's contributed to this but combination worked well and made it how I thought it should have been produced as standard.

The standard F56 on runflats nearly as good . The 3 door cooper S has shortest wheelbase and suspect that this may be part of the reason for its ride and longer wheelbase Cooper S's may ride better. Avoided the JCW as believe this has upgraded suspension from Cooper S which results in a poorer ride. r
Edited by twokcc on Thursday 11th June 08:16
I think if I knew I was going to keep my R56 for years I would be tempted to buy Koni FSDs (already ditched the runflats) as it is annoying on bad pieces of tarmac, on the other hand it might be better to just put the money towards an F56 instead.
The trouble with the F56 Cooper S, even the 210 Works, is it still has virtually the same brakes as the R56 Cooper S, and they are certainly not up to use with near 300bhp if you get it remapped.

So maybe best to stump up for an F56 JCW which has the Brembos, but choose one with 17 inch wheels and non-runflats fitted. Thats what I'd do if I upgrade to another Mini.
Incidentally I found you can deselect the default Sports Suspension option on the JCW which would then give it the same suspension as a stock Cooper S, but I wonder how many people actually did that?
One other thing, I actually thought both cross punch leather or lounge leather seats, which you can option, are noticeably more comfortable that the hard grey alcantara JCW seats that most of them seem to have and youtubers seem to rave about.

Or just buy an M2 Competition over an M4.


Edited by Drekly on Thursday 11th June 14:38

amare32

2,289 posts

179 months

Thursday 11th June
quotequote all
Had my JCW for 2 years now, couldn't be more happier. It's a June '17 car with the exhaust that still pops and bangs - one of the most fun cars you can buy today and enjoy without the need to go silly speeds. I'd recommend anyone to change the Pirelli P7 run flat tyres which are terrible... just upgraded the wheels to OZ Ultraleggera and Michelin Pilot Sport 4 - the difference with lighter wheels and much more pliant tyres is amazing. Also going to get it remapped by DMS soon which I cannot wait smile




J4CKO

Original Poster:

30,898 posts

156 months

Thursday 11th June
quotequote all
Drekly said:
twokcc said:
Owned a r56 cooper s ad now have a F56 cooper S .
Best option at time seemed to be to change shock absorbers so decided to go for Koni FSD's which are aimed solely at improving car ride. ( car already on non runflat tyres) . A large improvement and made car a far smoother ride but still not as good as the 325d also on non runflats) Changing 17" wheels for 16" improved it yet again.Just didn't look as good and decided to try Michelin PS4's on original 17" and changed front's from toyo TR1's that were on car when I bought it- original Continentals still on rear).
Michelins made an amazing difference- don't know how much Koni's contributed to this but combination worked well and made it how I thought it should have been produced as standard.

The standard F56 on runflats nearly as good . The 3 door cooper S has shortest wheelbase and suspect that this may be part of the reason for its ride and longer wheelbase Cooper S's may ride better. Avoided the JCW as believe this has upgraded suspension from Cooper S which results in a poorer ride. r
Edited by twokcc on Thursday 11th June 08:16
I think if I knew I was going to keep my R56 for years I would be tempted to buy Koni FSDs (already ditched the runflats) as it is annoying on bad pieces of tarmac, on the other hand it might be better to just put the money towards an F56 instead.
The trouble with the F56 Cooper S, even the 210 Works, is it still has virtually the same brakes as the R56 Cooper S, and they are certainly not up to use with near 300bhp if you get it remapped.

So maybe best to stump up for an F56 JCW which has the Brembos, but choose one with 17 inch wheels and non-runflats fitted. Thats what I'd do if I upgrade to another Mini.
Incidentally I found you can deselect the default Sports Suspension option on the JCW which would then give it the same suspension as a stock Cooper S, but I wonder how many people actually did that?

Or just buy an M2 Competition over an M4.
M2 Comps are beyond my budget, was thinking I could perhaps spend 30 on an M4 and stretch, but they are still over 40.

Just never really gelled with the M135i, might be partly as its an auto box, very good auto and its great in traffic but just missing a manual, plus the steering and suspension arent great, nice engine, decent base of the 1 series, but as a package I dont think it works. I think all the hype around them was perhaps based on it being a missile in 2012 compared to what had come before. Dont think I need 450 bhp either, am past willy waving about BHP, you end up looking at 600 bhp auto saloons and remap options.

The M4 issues of Crank Hubs and Turbo failures put me off as well, I dont want to get into spending 30 grand plus on a car then fretting about a potential three grand for turbos and the Russian roulette of it slipping the crank hub, plus its a bit bigger than I need.

I am re assessing what I get out of a car for the money spent. want something reasonably practical that I want to take out for a drive for the sake of it, not really got anywhee to keep a Caterham or classic so needs to be a modern car really.


J4CKO

Original Poster:

30,898 posts

156 months

Thursday 11th June
quotequote all
Both cars pictured look great.


Drekly

125 posts

14 months

Thursday 11th June
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Or maybe the earlier M2, they seem to start from just under £30k. Most seem to be DCT but a few manuals just over £30k. I think that would stack up over a new JCW (it isn't hard to spec one to 30k!), but going used then £17-19k should bag a reasonable one.

stevemcs

4,580 posts

49 months

Thursday 11th June
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How about a F54 clubman, 20k should get you a JCW. More power, better brakes and the ride is a bit better. You also get the benefit of awd. Its wider too so there is a bit more space.

If it needs to be the hatch then find something with the works 210 pack. Options wise, chilli pack - the LED's are a must, media XL is a must have too, everything else is a bonus.

paultownsend

803 posts

139 months

Thursday 11th June
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The Clubman makes our 5 door hatch look pretty! You are absolutely right about the spec though.

stevemcs

4,580 posts

49 months

Thursday 11th June
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It’s the bonnet on the clubman, it’s to wide for its lights. From the windscreen back it’s better looking.

BOR

4,087 posts

211 months

Friday 12th June
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We have an F55 MCS

It was specifically. ordered with

17" wheels
non run flats
adaptive suspension

to ensure the ride quality was ok.

I would say it is pretty good. We have run flat winter tyres on the same rims, and you do notice a more jittery ride as soon as those are fitted.

Otherwise, I don't think any of the options are must haves.

I enjoy driving it on the few occasions I can.