From £11,350
Buy now for exclusivity; Checkmate adds to Cooper S's appeal.
Autocar
22 October 2005

What’s new?Just when you thought the Mini wasn’t stylish enough, BMW has decided to release three special editions: Parklane, Checkmate and Seven. This Checkmate version will only be available on the supercharged Cooper S and gets special Space Blue metallic paint, silver roof, silver bonnet stripes, bespoke 17-inch ‘flame spoke’ alloys, xenon headlamps, front foglamps and a blue leather/silver cloth interior.What’s it like?The cabin’s two-tone interior, meaty three-spoke leather steering wheel and body-coloured dash look fresh, while the liveried kickplates remind you that this is no regular Cooper S.The ride quality on the standard 17in alloys may be too firm for some, but there’s no denying the Checkmate’s composure when thrown into a series of third-gear bends.Should I buy one?Maybe. Adding exclusivity to the Mini’s blend of good residuals and entertaining dynamics will no doubt convince many to get out their cheque books. The special paint job and trim makes this Cooper S stand out from the crowd, but with production levels not capped, this exclusivity is unlikely to last for long.Jon Quirk

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