MINI F56 Is Hitting the Shores Soon

MINI F56 Is Hitting the Shores Soon
Category: out motoring mini cooper blog
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Synopsis: The new MINI is here.
For many, the new redesigned MINI 'F56' model is a welcome evolution of the R56 model (or R55 Clubman, R57 Convertible, R58, R59, etc) they've grown to love over the years. Still, there are many that never liked the R56 model and prefer the style and scale of the R53/R50/R52 models and consider that to be the only MINI they'll ever own. I can see each view point as there are good and not so good things about each design and their quarks. Some consider the supercharger whine of the R53 to be music to their ears, while others prefer the Turbo models. Some prefer the stubbier and raw look of the gen 1 MINI models (R50/R52/R53) and can't get find the love for the slightly bloated wasteline, rear hatch area belt bulge, raised roof line and longer body of the Gen 2 bodies.  The tail lights are bulbous and the wheel arches and wheel gap is bigger. On the other hand, over all fit and finish on the Gen2 MINI is WAY better than the Gen1. The interior is more put together, better fit lines, more cohesive in how the dash and other elements integrate with one another. Yes, the speedo is too large and yes the disconnect between the steering wheel and the is a bother. The torque steer on the S is borderline dangerous and the death rattle tensioner problem has finally got MINI's attention. Is it a BAD car? No, in fact, I've owned a 2007 until it was sold to make room for the 2011 model. Do I miss my 2003 R53? Yes. I miss the lower beltine, the compactness of the body, the growl of the supercharger, the rawness of the interior and the lower stance. Which do I prefer? Well, to be honest, there's something nice about driving newer cars and not dealing with the repairs and looking at the wear and tear on the body from years of driving and the wear on the seats from thousands of days of driving. To me, it's a balance and I welcome the new design, afterall if I only focused on the past I would not be in business.

The new F56 model that we will use for OutMotoring product testing, photography and product development is sure to be a blast to own and drive. I have not decided if I will keep the Red R56 as a showroom car to leave at the OutMotoring HQ and drive a day a week or so or if it will be sold off. TBD. In any case, I'm excited about the new F56 body but not even remotely thrilled about having that absolutely horrid front bumper. As a designer I would like to sit down with the design team so I could understand WHY it had to be that visually dominant. Why so ugly?, why so boxy? Who was pushing who and what standards or physical parts had to be nested behind there? Maybe I will never now but at the very least the front bumper will be replaced with the slightly less ugly JCW front bumper as soon as it's available.

If you want to see what is likely the best news source for all things MINI and specifically the F56 and other MINI models check out Motoringfile.com

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