Swinging Hard And Loving It
I’ve never done it before, but I’ll definitely do it again.
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Don’t think anyone can call me a promiscuous driver, but there’s something about getting behind the wheel of a MINI Cooper S that makes one tether on the edge of common sense.
The deal is irresistible. Inherited from Britain’s sexy and swingin’ ’60s, the call was that you drove your car to the MINI showroom, leave it that for 24 hours, while taking a titillating MINI specimen out for a day. A full day.
A test drive usually takes 20 to 30 minutes. It’s like very unsatisfactory speed-dating. That’s barely foreplay for understanding the playful, mischievous and lively personality of the MINI. But you can do a lot more with 24 hours, and this is exactly what makes the MINI Swingers Campaign so tempting.
You get a full day to do (almost) whatever you want with any of the five key MINI models for selection – the MINI COOPER, MINI COOPER S, MINI ONE, MINI CABRIO and MINI COOPER PACEMAN. (Check out www.mini.com.sg/miniswingers for details, and register your interest as it’s for a limited period only!)
How Do You Get On Board The MINI Swingers Experience?
Well, you drive your car to the showroom at Leng Kee Road. It will be a drive filled with grand anticipation, as you list the many reasons why the MINI is so drivable. It’s the car that makes passers-by smile. It’s not an aggressive ride, but its sporty British heritage makes it a pocket rocket that zips around faster than it ought to. It’s made for navigating expertly around giant metropolitans.
You can squeeze this car in between the tightest of spots. It’s like the lovable prankster in class, the roads would be so colourless without it. The design is filled with promises of playful nights and inspired mornings. So it’s not a serious sedan and we get it.
Handling and taking over of the car is easy. There is minimal paperwork that requires that you own a valid driving licence, and you can be in and out of the showroom in 15 minutes. Of course, the showroom is worth lingering in. It’s upbeat like a hipster’s lounge, with bold colours and comfortable corners. It’s like stepping into the living space of an unapologetic hedonist, a hedonist with taste.
A Premium Go-Karting Experience
The car itself is a real treat. There is a sense of brimming excitement as you slink into the driver’s seat. The driving position is perfect for appreciating the interactive, fun-filled design, with its LED centre instrument and disco-lit foot well area. There’s an outrageously huge speedometer which I love, and a funky design vibe which is equal parts retro and futuristic at the same time. Different colour schemes pop with different driving modes. My favourite has to be the fun Engine On/Off toggle switch. It’s a tiny detail that makes a big difference to the driving experience.
For a compact car, there is generous head and leg room. Driving dynamics are very impressive, comparable to some higher-end sports sedans. The new turbocharged four-cylinder engine has the personality of something more powerful. It’s steering is precise, the clutch and brakes are super responsive, and everything you hear about the go-kart references is true: It hugs those corners like koalas hug tree-tops in winter.
The Feel Good Factor
Whether you crave the attention or not, your MINI Cooper S is going to get stares and illicit smiles. I’ve seen tourists taking photos of the car at stop lights, and while cruising through Haji Lane, diners and restaurant owners were visibly enthralled by its bright mustard presence. It’s a handsome care and no one can deny that.
A full day spent with the MINI Cooper S is an intimate affair. At the end of it, you’re intuitively gelled with the car and the experience behind the wheel. You reach for the Engine On/Off toggle button easily. You’re in tune with how it sounds on the road. You’ve bonded.
Something about the MINI Cooper S perks up your zest for life. It’s a shame to let a car like this sit in the driveway or the lot, inactive. Maybe it’s the colour, its fun-filled interiors, or the way the engine throttles when you command it to. It just warrants a good day out. I love the drive and how it feels when the steering wheel is in my grip. It’s a car I can easily cruise with to every lifestyle corner of Singapore and feel proud getting out of. Drivers don’t usually admit that, but sometimes it’s all that matters.