The Flip Side of Wheels - 2007 Mini Cooper S Long-Term Road Test

2007 MINI Cooper Long Term Road Test

2007 Mini Cooper S: The Flip Side of Wheels

April 07, 2008

My esteemed colleague Mr Jordan extolled the virtues of our long-term Honda Fit's small wheels, and it reminded me of something that's bugged me about our 2007 Mini's wheels (and tires) for quite some time.

It goes beyond our Mini's flinty ride quality and the tires' susceptibility to damage.

It's the look. To me, the styling of the 2007 Mini just doesn't look right with all that wheel...

The New Mini needs sidewall to look right. Looky above--that original Mini has ten-inch wheels. And not only are the wheels on the early cars teeney tiny, but there's quite a bit of sidewall.

This is not to suggest that we need to go back to wheels that small. All I'm saying is the New Mini needs more sidewall. Like this:

Those are 15-inch wheels on the above 1st gen New Mini. As a result, the wheel/tire is lighter and doubtless more compliant, they still clear the stock brakes, and are probably less expensive. Best of all, now the Mini looks more like a Mini.

Engineering Editor Jason Kavanagh @ 14,415 miles

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