Big things with little cars
Big things with little cars
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Norev 1/18 2014 Mini Cooper S (F56)

As per my post yesterday, I bought the most expensive dashboard diecast™ to date. My Mini dealership had this little guy sitting in a display case, untouched for the past few years.

I decided to go in before class and buy it. Considering I can’t find it on eBay in Volcanic Orange, it was worth the trip. Although $90 plus tax seems steep for such a little model, I genuinely think it was worth every penny. Despite a flaw from the factory, it’s a wonderful model. I fixed it last night, so here’s a review of what you get when you buy a Norev F56.

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Now that I’ve decided to focus on Norev 1/18s for the price and quality, I’ve found that there’s a lot to unpack in every model when reviewing it. This one is no exception. I’m dumbfounded that they’ve managed to fit this many details into such a diminutive package.

This is an F56-gen Mini Cooper S Hardtop from 2014, its first year of production. Back then, the S was the highest trim level available in the US with a 2.0 B48 turbo-4 with 189 hp.

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This particular model is a European-spec version sans amber reflectors. It’s finished in Volcanic Orange, one of two standard gloss colors for the first few years of the F56. It features twin black stripes with white accenting, a black roof and mirror caps, and black Cosmos wheels. If you look closely, this one even has the LED headlights that were an option on the early models.

Illustration for article titled Norev 1/18 2014 Mini Cooper S (F56)
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Pictures don’t do this car justice at all. It looks sensational in person. My F90 and G15 were my previous benchmarks for how good a Norev could look, but this is probably my new favorite.

Illustration for article titled Norev 1/18 2014 Mini Cooper S (F56)
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The S badge gives away its sporting pedigree.

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The different grilles and hood intake further enhance the S’ sporty appearance.

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This particular S also has the twin-pane panoramic sunroof.

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The single best part? It’s the 6-speed Steptronic automatic version in lieu of the 6-speed manual.

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I also found that it has the Piano Black interior trim, Satellite Gray color line, and Mini Connected, which is their version of BMW’s iDrive.

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The attention to detail continues with the frameless windows and the cutouts for the headlights in the hood. If you look closely, you find that the trunk spoiler stops within millimeters of the antenna, just as it does on the real one.

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I’m pretty sure you could confuse someone into thinking it’s real if you take good pictures of it.

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Fun fact: My pinky finger fits in the headlight cutouts. Do as you wish with this information.

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Note: TwinPower Turbo isn’t twin-turbo, but rather a twin-scroll system that helps it produce all of 189 hp.

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Unlike the W140, I’ve found that the F56 has a relatively sturdy antenna, but I won’t push my luck.

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Pardon the finger, but I wanted to show the moving cargo cover, which I thought was neat.

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They did an excellent job at making the Cosmos wheels look authentic.

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The side turn signal has the small red S like the real one.

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I couldn’t be any happier with this model. It’s such a joy to look at.

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I also like how well detailed the exterior design features are. The twin exhaust and rear fog lights look much better than one would expect.

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You really do forget it’s not something like an AutoArt sometimes.

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In case you’re wondering why it doesn’t have an English plate, I’m guessing BMW asked Norev to make it a German-spec model.

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Either way, it’s certainly an outstanding model. As I said, I found it’s worth every penny of the $96 I spent after taxes.

I’ve been looking for this exact model for a while, and now that I have it, I couldn’t love it any more than I do. Here’s to hoping I can add their 2017 Cooper S Convertible and 2018 Countryman S.

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Illustration for article titled Norev 1/18 2014 Mini Cooper S (F56)

Overall, it’s damn well worth every single cent of what I paid. In Volcanic Orange with the black contrasting stripes, roof, and wheels, it becomes a reminder of how good Norev’s models can be. If you ever come across it at a dealership or online, you can buy it knowing it’ll be just as good as I found it to be.

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