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The adventures of Albert, my new 2019 JCW

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The adventures of Albert, my new 2019 JCW

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Old 04-30-2019, 09:03 AM
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The adventures of Albert, my new 2019 JCW

I am please to introduce “Albert”. Albert is a 2019 JCW who I adopted on Friday last week after he begged me to take him home. He is our fourth MINI Cooper; 6th if you count the electric kid’s car and the kid’s JCW pedal car that we got for our grandkids.

Beg, he did. He growled, barked and snapped at me though the whole test drive, just to get my attention. He showed off his prowess through the twisties and wanted so dearly to out-muscle the cars around him, although he got a warning from the MA about that not being a good idea because of those people who drive around in cars with flashing lights... . He had been waiting quite a while for the right person to come along and claim him... I guess that was me...

Albert is a basic JCW, Midnight Black metallic, heated seats and black bonnet stripes. What more does one need?

So here is Albert:


And so the adventures begin...

The power is addictive! The handling is sublime and the brakes fantastic. Albert’s first adventure was to show off the capability of his brakes when, on his first real ride, a turkey thought it would be a good idea to challenge him to a game of chicken. Rather than risk having turkey guts cooking in his intercooler, Albert though it would be the better part of valor to given in first. Boy, those binders really do work!

Albert is joining Blue, my wife’s MINI, and Smokey, my S. Smokey has had a few modifications to make him a formidable track car, while retaining a pleasant composure on the road. It is interesting to note that, at least out on the road, the feel of the JCW and the S with the mods I have done is quite similar. In some ways the JCW has stepped up the game over the old S, too. The brakes are noticeably more aggressive. The ride and handling are similar but the JCW is a little less edgy. The power! Generally, the JCW more sophisticated. Given the comparison to my S, I expect that the JCW will be a worthy performer out on the track right out of the factory.

Enjoy the day and motor on.

The adventures of Albert will continue...

A post script:
As I find relevant and interesting thread I’ll post links here and update it when I can:
F56 Service Bulletins
Oil change
Wheel Alignment
K-Mac Camber Plates
Brake Fluid list
Install and code rear fog lights
 

Last edited by Eddie07S; 07-08-2019 at 08:17 AM. Reason: Added postscript section
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  #2  
Old 04-30-2019, 09:24 AM
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Best of luck with your new ride! Put some photo's up when you have some sunshine! Reminds me of our usual weather here in Portland.
 
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Old 04-30-2019, 02:46 PM
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Thanks, I expect years of smiles with Albert, if the last few days are any indication...
Yup, I think we have become the soggy NE. Rain and maybe snow in the forecast for the next few day. So pictures will need to wait.

I have been reading the ownerís manual. Boy have times changed. Clearly MINI expects you to not do anything with the car except play with the info system. There is no information on when to do oil changes or brake fluid changes. Yah, I know, it is all told to you by a computer who thinks it is smarter than me. There is no information on how much oil it holds or the volume of coolant it has. I am surprised that they still tell you what oil to use (just take it to the dealer). I popped the bonnet and canít see the engine and there is no opening to check brake fluid. I am surprised that there is a place accessible to put oil in and not some door that needs a special dealer password to do even that. Iíll need to be more careful the next time.

If I was just a driver with unlimited funds, that is all great. But I am not. I have loved cars since the Ď60s. Doing the hands on stuff is part of the fun. They have taken that away. Iíll get around this and settle into this new age of car ownership but I see it as just making cars throw-away and people in general wonít have respect for them. Sad to see.

Enough rant for one day.

I had a wonderful ride in Albert today, if only to just go to Barns and Noble and Whole Foods. Love this car.
In this ride I noticed that the clutch is settling in and becoming more ďMINI likeĒ. This is nice. But, at one point it baulked at me and wouldnít let me put it into first because my foot wasnít all of the way down to the floor.
 
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Old 04-30-2019, 04:17 PM
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"19 jcw

I gave up years ago doing any mods on these modern engines. Anyway, these new engines run so well, wilingness to rev but still are comfortable at 1800rpm .My '19JCW is also my fourth MINI and compared to the two R56S' and the F56S that I previously owned, the JCW engine doesn't flatten out at 4000 rpm. I love revving it out in second and third. I have an auto ( I know heresy to some), but driving it in manual 100% of the time, I just never tire of this engine's flexibility.And it still gets decent mpg. I just drove it on an 1800 mile trip with a lot of 80mph freeway driving and some winding two lane miles averaging 35+ mpg for the trip. It's no Prius, but pretty good for a car capable of 150mph. Enjoy yours.
 
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Old 04-30-2019, 05:14 PM
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dpcompt - nothing wrong with an auto. It looks tike that may be what the GP3 will come with. It is about 2 sec faster than the stick per the MINI web page. In a lot of cases it may be a better choice. If I was looking for pure speed/fast time on the track, I’d go with the auto. But I am into old school learning of things I didn’t know when I was younger. So it is a stick for me. To me, whatever puts a smile on one’s face is the right choice.

Actually, I’ve done no engine mods on the 2012. Just change the oil and brake fluid for the track events. Those are the things I was looking to be able to do. BMW/MINI has made that difficult but I’ll figure it out. Just something else to learn...

I the mean time...
I will...

Enjoy!
 
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Old 05-01-2019, 05:47 AM
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There is one thing that hasn’t change between the generations of MINI Coopers. MINI seems to have this one down to a science...

BRAKE DUST!

I think Albert is at just a bit over 100 miles and the dust is building. It is great to have black wheels, but it even shows on those. If it ever stops raining and snowing around here, those will get cleaned.

I have to laugh a bit about this as it has been a major complaint since day one and it is the one thing MINI hasn’t changed. On the other hand, the brakes do work well in this cooler/cold weather we have and for that I am thankful. A little brake dust just means the car will be washed more often.
 
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Old 05-01-2019, 02:10 PM
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Some wheel wax/wheel guard after a good cleaning helps a lot. And while it sounds corny, the wheel cleaner at the mini dealership is amazing at eating brake dust. I pick some up any time I am at the dealer.
 
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Old 05-01-2019, 04:27 PM
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So true. I have used the MINI wheel cleaner in the past and it really is good. I found another good one at my local auto parts store, that I have easier access to. That is a good idea about the wax. The wheels I have should be easy to wax given the shape of the spokes. Thanks for the suggestion.
 
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Old 05-01-2019, 04:49 PM
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I am pretty good with computers, following directions and hunting and poking about to get programs to do things. Most Apps require you to do this. But, I was defeated by the MINI media center. I could not get my iPhone to pair up with it. Koodos to my dealer (Keeler MINI) for getting it paired in about 3 minutes. But, shame on MINI for not having directions in their manual for getting through this. Also, I was able to get to a spot to do the pairing but it failed to pair. The dealer went through a different menu path to do the pairing. Not sure at this point how to do it as he; he was late for an appointment but took the time anyway to get it done. I’ll go back later to see how he did it.
 
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Old 05-01-2019, 05:40 PM
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After I drove home in my '19 JCW, I lost my Apple CarPlay. I drove back to the dealer and they fixed the problem. I learned that cars on lots are set up for temporary service for CarPlay and the other connectivity
products. The service department set everything up and all is fine. When you purchase a '19 MINI( equipped like mine), included in the purchase is a four year cell phone service for the car.
 

Last edited by dpcompt; 05-01-2019 at 05:41 PM. Reason: correction
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Old 05-01-2019, 08:09 PM
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Dinan worth it at this time?

While I was at the dealer for the phone thing I also stopped in to talk to the service department about the possibility of adding a Dinan Elite to the car. She didnít know about them so I showed her the Dinan web page that said that could be installed and not affect the new car warranty. I asked her if this was the case from MINIís vantage point. That is, if something went wrong with the engine, for example, who would be responsible? She agreed to take it up with her service manager. I got a phone call back from her saying she had taken it one step further and asked the regional service manager. According to that person there had been cases where MINI has not honored the warranty because of those devices. She said the Dinan Elite would would be treated as a aftermarket device and adding it would be at my risk.

I am not surprised by this response and, yes, I have read many a post where people cite the law saying that MINI needs to prove the aftermarket device caused the failure. I personally know someone who successfully fought MINI on one of these cases. But he won because the failure in his car truly was not related to his mods. But this took over a year to fight. Not worth it to me at this time. Maybe a Dinan or Manic tune in the future. But for now, Iíll bask in what I have and what I have seems pretty darn good. Hmmmm - a thought came to mind - I wonder if MINI will sell the GP3 tune? ĎTis to dream....

BTY - I promise pictures - just as soon as it stops raining and snowing around here. Unfortunately, it seems I may need to wait a while for the sun to come out as there is a week+ of clouds and showers in the forecast. Ugh!
 
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Old 05-02-2019, 03:40 AM
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After modding pretty much everything that could be modded on my '08, the only thing I've done to my JCW is the NM rear sway bar and good max perf non-runflats. I rarely need to go faster than it already goes, but I often wish it handled more like the '08. Enjoy!
 
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Old 05-02-2019, 05:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Eddie07S View Post
While I was at the dealer for the phone thing I also stopped in to talk to the service department about the possibility of adding a Dinan Elite to the car. She didnít know about them so I showed her the Dinan web page that said that could be installed and not affect the new car warranty. I asked her if this was the case from MINIís vantage point. That is, if something went wrong with the engine, for example, who would be responsible? She agreed to take it up with her service manager. I got a phone call back from her saying she had taken it one step further and asked the regional service manager. According to that person there had been cases where MINI has not honored the warranty because of those devices. She said the Dinan Elite would would be treated as a aftermarket device and adding it would be at my risk.

I am not surprised by this response and, yes, I have read many a post where people cite the law saying that MINI needs to prove the aftermarket device caused the failure. I personally know someone who successfully fought MINI on one of these cases. But he won because the failure in his car truly was not related to his mods. But this took over a year to fight. Not worth it to me at this time. Maybe a Dinan or Manic tune in the future. But for now, Iíll bask in what I have and what I have seems pretty darn good. Hmmmm - a thought came to mind - I wonder if MINI will sell the GP3 tune? ĎTis to dream....

BTY - I promise pictures - just as soon as it stops raining and snowing around here. Unfortunately, it seems I may need to wait a while for the sun to come out as there is a week+ of clouds and showers in the forecast. Ugh!
Eddie that's obviously quite different from my actual experience with the Dinan Elite that I had installed by Mini of Peabody, and which was replaced under warranty when Gollum threw a couple of codes and a SES warning light.

You've read that tale I am sure, and also note that in my case MoP is the only shop that has ever touched the car.

I am sure that there have been cases where the presence of the Dinan has created problems, and Mini has backed away. Some circumstances that would legitimately produce that result are detailed in Exclusions, found here.

But I wonder if your dealer is NOT an Authorized Installer, and Mini of Peabody IS. That might explain their reticence.

For me, using the warranty was easy, and the power increase was truly impressive.

Perhaps in future you may be tempted.

Cheers,

Charlie
 
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Old 05-02-2019, 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by oxtox View Post
After modding pretty much everything that could be modded on my '08, the only thing I've done to my JCW is the NM rear sway bar and good max perf non-runflats. I rarely need to go faster than it already goes, but I often wish it handled more like the '08. Enjoy!


Your 2008 sounds like my 2012, but maybe a bit more-so. And I am much of the same feeling about modding Albert.

There is probably no where around where I live that I would be willing to push the JCW to it full potential on the road. Even handling wise I like what Albert does and feels like (well mostly), at least on the road. I know that people complain about the run-flats, ride-wise. But I find that Albertís ride to be acceptable; this will never be a RR. Smokey with his mods now does his road duties on RFTs, also. Ok, that may not sound like a raving endorsement of Albertís ride, but it is. Smokey came with the optional sports suspension which included the stiffer shocks than the base S. It wasnít until I replaced those shocks with the Bilstein B8s that I found how truly crappy those MINI shocks were. I expected the ride to take a further hit with the B8s given that I knew they were even stiffer. Nope, just the opposite. Bilstein has built some magic into those shocks. Everything is better than those MINI shocks. They are stiffer, have more control and yet they take the harshness out of the ride, which has made even the RFTs tolerable to me. So, with a little less than 200 miles on Albert, I find the ride is similar to that of Smokeyís. A big upgrade from my previous experience with RFTs. The shocks may not be B8s, but clearly MINI has substantially upgraded the shocks that come on the JCW over what they put on the Gen I and II cars (Blue is now riding on FSDs, much better).

What I really donít like about the RFTs that are on Albert (Hancook A/S 205/45-17s) are their really poor handling characteristics. The Continentals that came on Smokey were better than these. For light steering inputs they seem pretty sharp, but then, when pushed, they feel like they are rolling onto the side of the tire. Sloppy feeling. I read through the reviews of these tires on TR, mostly from MINI owners, and they expressed similar displeasure with them. Not surprising, they also chided MINI for putting them on the car... But, given the cost of replacement tires, I will run these till they wear out, then, likely, with look for an upgraded RFT. I have have been saved a few times by the RFTs (a flat a 10 deg in a snow storm), so it seems like a good idea.

That said, I do like the idea of having a set of big fat sticky gumball tirees on Albert (Do these make my a*s look big? ... ). Wheels and tires (maybe some RE71Rs... ) will likely be coming Albertís way. Albert also got his hands on the MINI Pro catalog and is liking a few of the bits and pieces in there...
 
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Old 05-02-2019, 06:26 AM
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Originally Posted by cmt52663 View Post
Eddie that's obviously quite different from my actual experience with the Dinan Elite that I had installed by Mini of Peabody, and which was replaced under warranty when Gollum threw a couple of codes and a SES warning light.

You've read that tale I am sure, and also note that in my case MoP is the only shop that has ever touched the car.

I am sure that there have been cases where the presence of the Dinan has created problems, and Mini has backed away. Some circumstances that would legitimately produce that result are detailed in Exclusions, found here.

But I wonder if your dealer is NOT an Authorized Installer, and Mini of Peabody IS. That might explain their reticence.

For me, using the warranty was easy, and the power increase was truly impressive.

Perhaps in future you may be tempted.

Cheers,

Charlie
Charlie,

Yes, I did see that about your experience with the Dinan and that had me thinking about going that route.
.
I think that may be the case; Keeler isn’t an authorize Dinan dealer. Also, over the years I have heard they have been “hard” on mods. But they have been good to me. Maybe I have a “sweet” personality...

Maybe in the future. But for now I am considering other things. Maybe I’ll “grab” your wheels and tires...

Thanks for the input.
 

Last edited by Eddie07S; 05-02-2019 at 06:29 AM. Reason: Added info
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Old 05-02-2019, 08:23 AM
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Beauty in damp and gray

A picture in the park that is just outside my front door. Beauty is everywhere, even to the untrained eye. I have learned over the wisdom of the saying ďstop and smell the rosesĒ. Albert will get his chance to pose for pictures.


Spring time in the soggy NE

I find the mix of the shades of green a this time of year to be soothing.
 
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Old 05-02-2019, 01:39 PM
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So, with the gray and gloomy day I thought it would be fun to compare the R56 to the F56. While a picture is worth a 1000 words, it sometimes doesn’t tell the absolute true story...

R56 vs F56

To me, the F56 looks a lot larger and feels larger. But is that the true story? Sometime the absolutes are needed; for this case it means the tale of the tape:
R56 vs F56
height: 55.4” vs 55.7” - Basically the same
width: 66.3” vs 68” - diff: 1.7”
turning circle: 35’ 10” vs 35’ 4” - Really, the F56 is less? That’s what the book says!
wheelbase: 97.1” vs 98.2” - diff: 1.1”
Weight: 2600+ a little vs 2900 + a little (Really? The book is not clear on the JCW curb weight). I thought I had read that the F56 was 2800 + a little, but maybe that was for the S. Don’t know for sure. So call it 2 to 300 # more*.

So, the 2 cars are basically the same dimensionally, less than 2” in any direction. And the biggest difference is in something that you can’t see but can feel; the weight.

This car needs a diet - light weight wheels for sure...
and how about some CF parts like bonnet, boot and doors... Now we’re talk... Ya, right. Not in your wildest dreams, Albert!
More likely, the loose nut behind the wheel could loose some weight to go along with the lighter wheels...

* Per the official MINI web page the weight of the JCW is 2845#
for comparison:
Base........2645#
S..............2785#
It doesn’t say whether this is with or W/O the sunroof. My guess is that it is with the sunroof.
 

Last edited by Eddie07S; Yesterday at 08:38 AM. Reason: Added the actual JCW weight and the Base and S weights
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Old 05-02-2019, 02:18 PM
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So, for wheel, I might just piggyback on these guys did:
https://www.northamericanmotoring.co...l#&gid=1&pid=7

Or maybe these:
https://www.northamericanmotoring.co...17x8-rpf1.html
 

Last edited by Eddie07S; 05-02-2019 at 02:32 PM. Reason: Added info
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Old 05-03-2019, 04:50 AM
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MINI Surprise

So after walking the dogs last night, I was locking up and checking the cars and Albert surprised me with this:



Sooooo COOL!
Not sure how well you can see it, but that is the MINI logo being displayed on the pavement next to the driverís door!
These cars are so much fun.

Now I just need to figure out what made this happen. I know that the lights were on automatic and I had the fob in my pocket when I walked past the car while walking the dogs. I didnít notice it then as the outdoor garage lights were on. So, I am guessing that this fun courtesy light comes on at night when the light switch in auto and you approach the car with the fob?
 
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Old 05-03-2019, 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by oxtox View Post
After modding pretty much everything that could be modded on my '08, the only thing I've done to my JCW is the NM rear sway bar and good max perf non-runflats. I rarely need to go faster than it already goes, but I often wish it handled more like the '08. Enjoy!
I just upgraded from a 2008 as well. I got a 2019 JCW 2 dr and just put on the NM sway bar as well, to make it feel flatter, more like the 2008. The bar definitely helps. My 2008 was just too noisy and rattly. I was the fourth owner and it was a high mileage car and showed it. I love the new one, but the body lean is more than I expected. My next step is the non-run flats too.
 
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Old 05-03-2019, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Warren2185 View Post
I just upgraded from a 2008 as well. I got a 2019 JCW 2 dr and just put on the NM sway bar as well, to make it feel flatter, more like the 2008. The bar definitely helps. My 2008 was just too noisy and rattly. I was the fourth owner and it was a high mileage car and showed it. I love the new one, but the body lean is more than I expected. My next step is the non-run flats too.
Welcome to JCW adventure!

After having had 3 MINI Coopers (still have 2 of them), I thought maybe this next one of mine would be somewhat Ho-Hum. What a pleasant surprise with Albert in being able to continue that original excitement and even up the game on that one. When I first saw the Gen III MINIs, I thought ďnope, they missed the markĒ. I take that back. You must have thought Wow, this car is quiet after your Ď08. I thought our Ď04 was a solid and quiet car, but Albert upped the game there too.

I am surprised at the number of people who feel the JCW leans too much. I have been impressed with how little it leans. But then, I donít push real hard on the road. I do that on the track and likely that is where Iíll find Alberts weaknesses. Until then, Iíll be basking the fun I have with him. As for the RSB, Iíll reserve judgment as to whether I want to go that route. I really like the overall result of the larger FSB paired with a larger RSB on my 2012. But, Albert actually has his eye on the JCW Pro Coilovers. The price seems to be on pair with similar aftermarket coilovers, but the drop is a little less, which I like for road use around here. Also it would give me a different perspective on how the carís handling changes with those verse the sway bar change.

BTW - I noticed recently how nicely Albert steps up into our driveway. Our driveway has small but sharp rise just in from the curb. Smokey, with his big RSB and FSB, steps up that rise on 3 wheels as he is turning in (it must be quite a sight for on-coming cars. ). Albert clearly keeps al 4 wheels on the ground. So I am guessing, to ride as flat as Albert feels to me, that the Gen 3 JCW has softer sway bars (proportionally) than Smokey has, but has stiffer springs( proportionally) than Smokey has.
 
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Old 05-03-2019, 08:39 AM
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Another Albert Surprise

Yes, another surprise from Albert - Pop and Burble even in ďnormalĒ driving mode. Subtle and only after a spirited application of that right most pedal, but it is there.... Woo Hoo more fun.

And I want what he has:


Thanks vetsvette for posting this info. This is a must if you get a Dinan Elite or other tune. My display ends only 270 Hp - like that isnít enough...
 

Last edited by Eddie07S; 05-03-2019 at 09:12 AM. Reason: Edit wording
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Old 05-03-2019, 02:53 PM
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Just did Albert’s first fill up. He was showing just over 1/4 full. At 11.6 gal for the tank, that would be 8.7 gal used. I put in 6.9 gal. Close and much better than the gas gage on Smokey where at 1/4 full is more like 10+ gal or close to empty (-ish, as that doesn’t count the reserve). So, it appears that MINI has a more accurate gas gage on F56 than the past generations. That is comforting.
 
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Old 05-04-2019, 10:43 AM
Forcerecontrojan
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very odd

[QUOTE=Eddie07S;4467311]Yes, another surprise from Albert - Pop and Burble even in ďnormalĒ driving mode. Subtle and only after a spirited application of that right most pedal, but it is there.... Woo Hoo more fun.

And I want what he has:



That is interesting, I have the Dinan Elite and it does not go to 320HP, the Torque does though. Wonder if they changed something in 2019's.

 
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Old 05-04-2019, 11:27 AM
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Eddie07S
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My original post was just to show the update to the display, not that the car is producing 320 hp.... sorry for any confusion.

vetsvette’s original post was just to show the change to the sports mode display that he got and the ranges on it. So the way I read it is that it will show a max of 320 hp. The Dinan web site says the Elite is “only” 285 Hp so it shouldn’t max out that display for hp.
 

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