I stopped by Tysons Galleria for lunch expecting to see the usual Ferrari, Maserati, and Lambos on display (not your ordinary mall…) and much to my surprise they had a Fisker Karma there too.
I’m not sure what to make of the design. It seems well built, even if the panel gaps are a bit large. I wasn’t expecting it to be this big. The proportions are just slightly wrong. I’m not sure if it’s because of the huge wheels or the fact that the wheels are pushed out to the ends of the body, but something isn’t right. It reminds me of a cross between a BMW Z4 (not a pretty parent) and a C6 Corvette. For $112K you can have a ‘lectric super-car with a 32 mile range too. I wonder if this is Colin Powell’s car…
I found myself getting off of the local interstate highway last Friday to avoid traffic only to discover two things: (1) The road I chose (MD 355) was also blocked in both directions because of an accident, and (2) Passport MINI of Alexandria now has a showroom in Rockville. Since I wasn’t going anywhere anyway, I decided to stop by and check out the new MINI Cooper Coupe.
The had all three flavors on the lot — Cooper, Cooper S, and JCW. I’m not sure what to make of this car. On paper it’s very interesting: Lightest, most powerful JCW car to date. Coupe hardtop means it should be a screamer on the track. The windshield is considerably more raked than the standard Hardtop, but it did not seem as claustrophobic as say an Audi TT feels. I adjusted the seat for my long upper torso and had plenty of room for a helmet. Visibility wasn’t bad. Trunk room is expansive and I like the pass-through slot. Sort of reminds me of the ski pass-through on the old E30s.
I initially hated the interior when the second generation MINIs came out, but they have really improved the quality of materials as well as the overall feel of the interior. That quality comes at a price, however. This JCW car without all of the optional packages, came in over $32K. A well built JCW can now run north of $50K which is nuts.
And then there’s that roof. MINI describes it as a baseball cap worn backwards. I was thinking “goofy” or “incomplete” would be more descriptive. The car reminds me of the lovechild of a second generation new MINI and a Mazda MX5 cup racer with a hard top. Compare the real car, to the GeorgeCo Photoshop hack job:
From behind, the goofy roof just makes the butt look huge.
So what’s the take-away? I like that MINI is making specialty cars just like the old days. Next up in the spring is a roadster. Now that will be a car to take a second look at. I think the roadster has potential. But the Coupe? It’s a swing and a miss. Maybe I’ll think differently if I ever drive one.