...market, the 2003 Mini Cooper and Cooper S will now come with a second remote key and pre-wiring for a dealer-installed alarm system. Anthracite (smoke gray, that is) interior trim is available as a no-cost option for both cars, and the Cooper S is eligible for the high-gloss silver interior treatment found in the base Cooper. Sound systems will be satellite radio-ready this year, and the rear cargo area now has a power point. Pros: The thrill of owning a piece of history with modern underpinnings, BMW-engineered suspension and steering, chock full of comfort and safety features, hatchback...
...Cargo space is 5.3 cubic feet. Under the Hood The supercharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine in the Cooper S delivers 163 horsepower and 155 pounds-feet of torque; it mates to a Getrag six-speed-manual gearbox. Mini claims the Cooper S can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds. Safety Six airbags are installed, including BMW?s Head Protection System. Dynamic Stability Control and all-disc antilock brakes are standard. Driving Impressions Fast-moving fun is the word for the Cooper S. In addition to sizzling performance, you get tight, quick maneuverability. These little hatchbacks...
...This little hatchback clings to the pavement as if it was magnetized. It can start to leap upward in hard turns at high speeds, but there?s no sensation of losing straight-on momentum or relinquishing the tires? grip on the road. Only a slight turn of the steering wheel ? just 2.5 turns lock-to lock ? produces substantial directional change, which is a big reason for the Mini?s intense delight quotient. Ride quality is another story. All cars are compromises between ride and handling. When making a decision, BMW developers clearly leaned toward sportiness. The Mini can get pretty bouncy on...
...the MINI retained many of the elements of its iconic ancestor, which first appeared in Great Britain in the late 1950s, although the new MINI gave those elements a decidedly modern twist. For instance, the new MINI's taillights, fender, and roofline all mimicked similar elements in the 1960s-era Minis, while interior components such as the center console, instrument panel, switches, and air vents all drew inspiration from the classic Minis.The MINI Cooper was well-equipped with such standard features as air conditioning, power windows, power door locks, dual front and side airbags, a CD...
...The S does have a slightly stiffer suspension (stiffer spring rates) and thicker antiroll bars than the base Mini, and its effects were evident (in a second Mini Cooper S) during flat, hard cornering on the race track at Pocono International Raceway. Handling is also aided by a host of acronyms: ABS, EBD, CBC, DSC. ABS we know well as the antilock brake system. EBD is Electronic Brake Distribution, which monitors weight distribution in the car and distributes braking force front or rear to prevent nose diving. CBC stands for Corner Brake Control and it distributes brake force side to side...
MINI has just launched its third-generation Cooper, and the car is available for the first time in Cooper 5 five-door trim. However, the variant we’re most interested... read more July 2, 2014 by Viknesh Vijayenthiran
The Internet is awash in videos (real and fake) of people jumping (or trying to jump) moving vehicles. Many end in predictable tragedy. This one ends in triumph. Why? Because... read more May 22, 2014 by Nelson Ireson
MINI has just launched an all-new, third-generation Cooper but so far all we’ve seen is the three-door Cooper Hardtop. That means we still need to see redesigned... read more May 13, 2014 by Viknesh Vijayenthiran
The essence of the classic Mini Cooper is easy to define: it's endearingly small. What happens when you mess with the "small" part? In more than a decade since Mini... read more March 17, 2014 by Marty Padgett
The third generation of the modern MINI Cooper recently made its debut, but so far only in its three-door Hardtop bodystyle. There are still many variants to be revealed... read more February 24, 2014 by Viknesh Vijayenthiran