It has been a busy summer so far! Between trying to find a good home for my 2006 MINI Cooper S, Scooter, and preparing for the arrival of my new 2016 MINI Cooper S, Clark (as in Clark Kent), things have been pretty hectic lately. I can finally see the end of the tunnel, however. In just over a week, Scooter’s new owner will be flying down to pick him up and bring him back to his new home in Indiana.
While that is bittersweet, the arrival of my new MINI is just around the corner. Just two days ago, my 2016 MINI arrived at the VPC in Brunswick, Georgia aboard the K-Line vessel, Eurasian Highway, and, today, went through vehicle processing. Unfortunately at this time, 2016 models are being held at the VPC, but hopefully they will be released within the next week so I am not without a car for too long.
With Clark’s release date coming any day now, I figured I would finally share information on the build as well as what I have planned and what items have already been ordered/received in preparation for his arrival. Here is how Clark (or should I say, “Kal-El”, if we are keeping with the Superman theme and since technically he won’t be “Clark” until the mods start lol) will arrive at Vista MINI before any customization begins:
Model: 2016 MINI Cooper S Hardtop 2 Door 6 Speed Manual
Color: Deep Blue Metallic with White Roof/Mirror Caps
Upholstery: Leatherette Carbon Black
Fully Loaded Package, including:
– Comfort Access Keyless Entry System
– Dual-Pane Panoramic Sunroof
– Storage Package
– Harmon Kardon Premium Sound System
– Dynamic Damper Control Suspension
– LED Headlights with Cornering Lights
– LED Fog Lights
– White Turn Signals
– 17″ Tentacle Spoke Silver Wheels
– Navigation System XL
– Enhanced Bluetooth and USB/iPod adapter
– MINI Connected + Visual Boost XL
– Center Armrest with Mobile Device Docking
– Realtime Traffic Information
John Cooper Works Interior Package
– JCW Leather Multifunction Steering Wheel
– Sports Seats
– JCW Stainless Steel Pedals
– JCW Door Sills
– JCW Leather Shift Knob
– Anthracite Headliner
JCW Rear Spoiler
Chrome Line Interior
Rear Fog Lights
MINI Heads-Up Display
You may recall that I originally was going to order a factory John Cooper Works 6 speed manual. However, after playing around with a Cooper S with the John Cooper Works Pro Tuning Kit Exhaust, I quickly changed my mind and decided to go that route instead. My JCW Pro Tuning Kit arrived a few weeks ago ahead of the car! One other factor that played into my decision was that MINI will not let you order a JCW in Deep Blue Metallic. Instead, you have to opt for the darker, Lapis Luxury Blue (a $1000 option!). Since Lapis Luxury Blue was a tad too dark for the “Superman” theme I was shooting for, going with a Cooper S and adding the JCW bits later just made sense.
One thing I would need to do in order for the idea in my head to become reality was to figure out how to make the roof and mirror caps Chili Red. While the factory JCW has an option for Chili Red roof and mirrors, no such option exists for a Cooper S, unfortunately. That left me deciding between painting a brand new car’s roof or going with a professional wrap job. Using a wrap would be the most cost-effective method, however, the JCW spoiler has a few curves that would make wrapping difficult. In the end, I decided to use a hybrid approach of painting the mirror caps, brake ducts and JCW spoiler Chili Red and using a Chili Red color-coded vinyl to wrap the rest of the roof.
I really liked the Chili Red accents from the factory JCW that were used on the front grill and side indicators. Unfortunately, these parts are not available in the US market just yet. As a result, I had to order them from Europe thanks to eBay and some help from Luis “The MINI Part Guru” at Tom Bush MINI. Since the car is being fitted with the JCW Pro Tuning Kit and exhaust (not to mention the JCW Interior Package), I felt it was acceptable to add these JCW bits to the exterior.
It is no secret that the front bumper of the F56 MINI Cooper S sticks out like a sore thumb (due to European pedestrian crash standards). The chrome grill surround does not help draw attention to this, unfortunately. To remedy that, I decided to order a chrome grill surround and get it wrapped in a glossy black vinyl so it is ready to put on the car when it arrives. This should help blend the front bumper into the car a bit better (why doesn’t MINI USA offer this as an option from the factory is beyond me!).
Originally I was going to opt for the John Cooper Works Pro Suspension option. Unfortunately I was informed after I ordered my car that the JCW Suspension is not compatible with cars that have the Dynamic Dampers installed. As a result, I am researching adding the nm Engineering lowering springs to the car to help with ride height and to stiffen the suspension up a bit (stay tuned for future updates on that!). One thing that I decided to order straight away, however, was the nm Engineering 22mm adjustable rear sway bar and end links to help reduce the understeer inherent in the vehicle.
So there you have it! Hopefully within a week I can start transforming “Kal-El” into “Clark” lol. Oh – I almost forgot!! The good folks at Boca Tint and Wrap who are doing my roof wrap and tint are also making a nice Superman “S” logo magnet that I will be able to use for MINI events and car shows. This will will allow “Clark” to change into “SuperMINI” when the need arises ;).
I will continue to post updates as the process continues so check back soon!