Spoiling a good thing

That’s my opinion anyway …

smartbomb on MINI2 posted pics of his brand new R56 today, and the picture above really confirms for me that the redesign is disappointing …

  • I really don’t like the “twisted” headlights, they look very wrong (but then of course I’m used to the “old” style)
  • I also hate the yellow in the headlights – but thankfully this picture doesn’t really show it (but this one does)
  • The gap between wheel arch and bonnet is very noticeable, and not very pretty
  • And look at the huge space between wheel and wheel arch – that really looks bad

Visit smartbombs thread and gallery for more pics … but right now I’m glad I have my pre’07 MINI(s) … maybe these new cars look better in the flesh?

8 thoughts on “Spoiling a good thing

  1. Good to see you comment Ian, saying what most of us think.

    I will say I am very happy to have the first issue. I always find myself studying it as it sits parked in different ways in the driveway. I have no urge to order an R-56. I suppose someday the Bad Ess will meet it’s fate and I will move on to the latest MINI. I will be happy and love it too but for now I with the prettest sister in the family. Cheers!

  2. Ian:

    I’ve seen some photos of already-moddded R56’s and they look decent, IMO. The wheel arches were painted body colo(u)r, and the suspension lowered to close the wheel gap. The yellow turn signal bulb can be swapped for a silver bulb, I guess. As to the the headlight position – well… what can I say.

    I figure within a year there will be enough after-market accessories to change nearly every part on the R56 – just like on the R50/53. Think of the R56 as a ‘blank canvas’ – a starting for personalization.

  3. This post makes me sad. Not because of the design of the R56, but because of the feelings of a “leader” in the Mini community. I’m quite sure the the new design has not “spoiled” any of the cars that went before. I am glad to see that there was not much “piling-on” in the comments – perhaps its not what most are thinking.

    But I wonder, does this mean there will be no GB electo-gadgets for the 07s? Its clear the Mini train is leaving the station with the R56 – I hope you are not getting off here?

  4. Well I guess we’re all allowed to have our own opinions. As I said, maybe they look better in the flesh.

    My original opinion of the GP was that I didn’t like it – that changed! 😉

    If I do get interested in an ’07 it would anyway have to wait till the delayed audio package is available so no R56 circuits for a while. I don’t even know if there’s any need (maybe the R56 comes with auto-up?)
    But if a local R56 owner wants to get me looking at his car …

  5. Just curious, now that you’ve had an opportunity to see the R56 in person and (I’m assuming) drive the new car, if you’re views have generally remained the same or chaged in some way.

  6. Good question – in person, the gaps between hood & wheel arch is hardly noticeable, and although the R56 still looks like it needs lowering, the wheel space isn’t so bad.
    I suspect the suspension is a little softer, so the car will look lower or not depending how loaded it is.

    I still don’t like the yellow in the headlights, but overall I’m getting used to the look of the R56, and it’s just as much a MINI as the old car 🙂
    I still haven’t driven one to comment on it’s ride / performance / handling …

  7. I got a chance to drive an R56 down in NC this past weekend. Not on the Dragon proper but on some other scenic, twisty roads. After having flogged my R53 for a couple of days (which now has camber plates and a big brake kit, but most importantly 4-point Schroth harnesses!) I felt like I was swimming in the car. The additional power really was very nice; punching the gas in 6th gear still got you a nice kick in the pants. Maybe with the sport suspension and LSD (which this car didn’t have) it would have been a little more involving, but I feel so **connected** to _my_ car right now that it really wasn’t invigorating like the R53 is. I’ve never driven any other MINI (R53 or R50) in anger before so maybe I’d have felt the same about a car that’s not mine…

  8. After bringing mine in for service this week (swapping wheels, to the web-spokes I originally asked for in my order, actually), I was given another R56S loaner for 1/2 the day.

    I can definatly say that not having the Sport Suspension, H&R lowering springs and LSD that I have on my R56S was a HUGE change. Drive one in this configuration when you get the chance. It’s much more in tune with what you might be looking for blalor (not that your looking, mind you – I mean it’s got much more of that MINI feeling). I was really happy to get my car back at the end of the day.

    I would have to agree on the gaps and lighting, too. There are some angles where the hood-wheel arch gap jumps out at you and looks funky. Others where it blends in fine.

    At this point, there are only three things I still dislike (when compared to the older car): 1) I miss that 1-foot by 1-foot section of the older hood between the upper grille and the headlight. That small area was just a flowing work of art on the older cars IMO. So shaply & nice. Kind of reminded me of an older Austin Martin. New one looks more Audi TT. 2) The gawdy chrome side repeaters on the R56. Ughhh! I hope someone in the aftermarked makes somthing for these, soon. 3) Everything below the speedo on the center console. Night time they’re fine. Daytime, the switchgear looks too playshcool.

    Overall though, I gotta say I love it. They’re such fun cars in general (all MINIs, I mean).

Comments are closed.