2nd Gen Coupe Introducing: Rocky the Flying Squirrel

Discussion in '2nd Generation: 2007+ R55 through R61' started by BillTheCat, Oct 30, 2011.

  1. BillTheCat

    BillTheCat New Member

    May 5, 2009
    +13 / 0 / -0
    Sorry I've been late posting over here on MA, but here I am. As it turns out, MOTD 9 was my LAST MOTD in a Mazda. On August 6th, I ordered an MCS Coupé, and on October 11th, I took delivery.

    I originally ordered my Coupé in Midnight Black, top to bottom, with piano black & carbon black inside, black headlight housings, and had plans to black out all other chrome.

    Then I remembered that I grudgingly wash most of my cars (even MINIs) about 3-4 times a year, so it would simply be unforgivable of me to let a beautiful black car get that crusty. (My '05 MCS was Electric Blue partially due to the fact that it hid road dust so darned well.)

    Thought about BRG/Silver, but I prefer BRG/White. So I called my MA and changed the order to Lightning Blue/Silver. Also deleted all of the black accents, saving over half a grand in the process.

    In the end, I ordered:

    2012 MCS Coupé
    6-speed manual
    Carbon Clack Checkered Cloth seats
    Lightning Blue w/ Silver roof & mirrors
    Sport stripes
    16" Star Spoke wheels & runflat tires
    Harmon Kardon stereo
    Xenon headlamps & White turn signals
    Factory alarm

    Planned upgrades: CAI, exhaust, coilovers, lightweight 17" wheels & tires, driving lights, possibly a BBK.

    Why "Rocky the Flying Squirrel?" Well, he's wearing a helmet, has a tail, and loves to zip, zig & zag all over!

    Took delivery @ 10 a.m. on Tuesday, the 11th, and debuted Rocky at a Bay Area MINIs meet & eat that afternoon. Took everyone by surprise, as I had not mentioned a word of this within the MINI community, aside from 1-2 trusted confidantes.

    Attended Ferman MINI's Pirate themed Poker Run on Sunday, the 17th. Added window tint on Friday the 22nd. (30% all around) And attended a Sarasota Area MINIs Oktoberfest gathering last night.

    Keeping in mind that I am on the base stock suspension, and this is an MCS with the N18 engine & all of its Valvetronic upgrades, here are my driving & ownership impressions after 1,300 miles. Also please bear in mind that my comparisons will be to my R53 MINI, as I never drove an R56.

    First, the Coupé is quiet. Not silent, but even with the Sport button on, the exhaust & engine noise are pretty tame. This is both good & bad, as the silence means I can keep the stereo quieter, hear my phone ring more easily, etc. But it also means I'm not hearing the engine as well as I did in the R53. So I feel a little less "connected."

    Second, the Coupé ride is smooth to the point of almost feeling soft. Again, this can be both good and bad. Great for the interstate portion of my upcoming Dragon trip on Wednesday. But while ON the Dragon, I expect much less "road feel" thru the wheel- like the lack of sound, the lack of tactile feedback will mean a less visceral experience behind the wheel.

    But don't get me wrong. I'm still constantly grinning from ear to ear with this car. Because while the auditory & tactile feedback is dampened, the pep and handling characteristics are everything I had hoped for. On the street, it corners every bit as well as my R53, with minimal body roll & fairly minimal understeer. Would like to get it on an autocross track while still in stock form just to really push it thru some maneuvers & see if it holds up as well as it seems capable of.

    Biggest daily functional complaint- the car needs a rear windshield wiper. I know there is a contingent of people who think rear wipers are sent from Satan, but the factory should have built it as such. You can always delete a rear wiper if you don't like it. Nobody is ever going to fabricate & produce a rear wiper kit add-on.

    Because the top spoiler does its job, the airflow does not hit the rear glass- air pushes DOWN on the spoiler, spoiler pushes the air UP and away from the glass below. I have driven 25 miles home from work with water beaded up on the rear glass & watched all of the droplets stay right where they started. (20 miles is 55+ local highways with minimal stopping)

    Plus, I like to use the rear washer/wiper to clean dust off the glass. And here in Florida, where the humidity likes to settle in around 112% most of the year, it is VERY common for the car to be coated in dew on a nearly daily basis. Rear wiper would slap away the dew nicely. Instead, I have bought a squeegee and am trying to train myself to inspect the rear glass before I enter the car & see if it needs a swipe.

    The A/C has no main vent/footwell combo. WTF? The only combo that includes these 2 vents also includes the windshield vent. Again, Florida... if you send cold air directly onto the windshield, the 147% humidity will cause condensation. So now I'm stuck bouncing back & forth between the "feet only" setting and the "main vent only" setting.

    I knew the "DSC Off" and "Sport" buttons would reset each time the ignition was switched off. But I wish they would have made them permanent choices. On the other hand, why do the fog lights deactivate with every engine stop & start??? Seriously, MINI, you're making the process of getting in & starting the car very tedious!!!

    Visibility is, as expected, not as good as the Hatchback models. The rear glass is short, and the spoiler can block nearly a third of that view at times. But the good thing is, the side mirrors can easily be adjusted to show you everything you need to see. The rear side windows are one step shy of useless, but hey-a little visibility is better than none.

    I'm not a tall guy (About 5'7"-5'8" IF my neck were not so out of whack). But due to my neck problems, I have limited flexibility, and this makes getting in & out a minor challenge. Finding that I need to sit my arse further back into the seat before trying to bring my torso & head into the car. Not hearing roofline height complaints from most, though. And I am getting pretty good at NOT bumping my noggin any more. However, if I start going bald in the back/top of my head soon, I'll know why... lol

    OK, on to more positives...

    Others have complained about clutch issues during test drives. My clutch seems fine. A little soft on the pedal feel, but smooth & easy to operate.

    The seats are comfy & supportive, and I am NOT sliding around in the least. Liking that a lot. I also feel like I have more room between my right leg & the center console than in my R53, which makes it feel less cramped in that area.

    As stated, the car is very tossable, and there is plenty of power. Turbo lag is almost completely a non-issue, as acceleration is smooth & strong all the way. The Coupé still feels eager to accelerate on every highway offramp & begs for hard corners & twisty challenges.

    I am loving all of the personalized settings available thru the tach display. From alarm behavior to door locks & turn signals. That's just freaking awesome.

    HD Radio sounds absolutely fantastic. I am also enjoying satellite radio, which I have never had before. Not sure if I like it enough to cough up for a monthly subscription when my free year ends, but we'll see. the H/K also sounds fabulous for an OEM stereo offering. I've pushed it with heavy metal, classical, and even the 1-2 albums I won with serious bass in them, and it sounds solid beyond the comfortable listening volume range.

    The larger speedo doesn't bother me as much as I worried that it would. I still think it could be smaller, but no worries. I'd also prefer an analog fuel gauge, but the "miles to empty" readout on the OBC makes up for the vagueness of the 9-slice digital gauge. (Liking the OBC in its entirety, actually- I was too cheap to pay for them to turn it on in my R53's)

    Oh, this car is almost entirely free of wind buffeting/noise at highway speeds. It's eerie. In a very good way. Most every car I have driven has had a nice whoosh/whistle at highway speeds, but this one is slicing thru the air like a hot knife thru warm butter.

    My R53 netted me around 25mpg overall. The Mazdaspeed3 got about 24 overall. Thus far, the Coupé is sitting right at 30mpg combined. I just cannot complain about that. That's just pure, decadent cream cheese icing on top of the moist carrot cake of superb handling & eager power.

    While my list of gripes may seem long, they are mostly very minor. I am absolutely thrilled with the car as a whole. I know they're not for everyone, but I think the Coupé is a perfect new addition to the MINI family.

    Delivery day, at BAM meet. I arrived a tad early...

    I got some company...

    Ferman MINI Pirate Poker Run...

    Getting windows tinted...
  2. AliceCooper

    AliceCooper Club Coordinator

    Mar 13, 2010
    CT Technologist
    South Florida
    +123 / 0 / -0
    Very nice :cornut:
  3. Gil-galad

    Gil-galad Club Coordinator

    May 19, 2009
    Decorah, IA
    +435 / 0 / -0

    "Now that's what I REALLY call a message!" (i.e., not sand mail from some flounder...)

    Congrats on the beautiful ride. :Thumbsup:
  4. Zapski

    Zapski Well-Known Member

    May 4, 2011
    Columbus, OH
    +936 / 0 / -0
    Awesomesauce. :)
  5. Crashton

    Crashton Club Coordinator

    Jun 4, 2009
    Retired old fart
    Hooterville Ohio USA
    +11,051 / 2 / -0
    Nice love the color! :Thumbsup:
  6. Mini'mon

    Mini'mon New Member

    Jul 16, 2009
    MINI Performance Parts Designer
    San Francisco, CA
    +39 / 0 / -0
    Nice! :Thumbsup:
  7. KittyMini

    KittyMini Club Coordinator

    Jun 24, 2009
    +1,181 / 0 / -0

    And I love the name!!!!! :Thumbsup:
  8. Rae

    Rae Club Coordinator

    Oct 14, 2010
    teacher for severely/multiply disabled students
    +77 / 0 / -0
    Many congratulations, can't wait to hear more about your adventures! I'm impressed with how quickly you were able to take delivery!
  9. BillTheCat

    BillTheCat New Member

    May 5, 2009
    +13 / 0 / -0
    Thanks for all of the positive feedback!

    Posted this elsewhere already, but thought it belonged here as well...

  10. BillTheCat

    BillTheCat New Member

    May 5, 2009
    +13 / 0 / -0
    #10 BillTheCat, Nov 8, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2011
    A co-conspirator took photos @ Bald River Falls. Just posted this morning:

  11. Nathan

    Nathan Founder

    Mar 30, 2009
    Short North
    +10,050 / 0 / -0
    Very nice!
  12. MinixB

    MinixB New Member

    Jul 14, 2009
    Owner of Silver Ring Graphics/ Make plastic bags f
    Kansas City, MO
    +14 / 0 / -0
    So sexy. :drool:

Share This Page