So, the BMW Group decided to completely rid their interpretation of the MINI of any connection to its spiritual successor, by making it bigger, posher and giving it larger displacement engines for the latest generation.
Aside from the new Cooper S, which is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged petrol engine that replaces the old 1.6-liter unit, they’ve gone ahead and done the same with the top-spec diesel MINI, fitting it with another 2.0-liter unit in place of a 1.6.
Now they seem particularly proud that it’s the torquiest MINI ever, with 360 Nm / 265 lb-ft delivered from as low as 1,500 rpm. Power is rated at 170 horses, which is good for a naught to 100 km/h (62 mph) time of 7.3 seconds, which is faster than some older petrol-powered hot hatches. Specifying the optional six-speed automatic gearbox, in place of the stock manual-six, cuts the sprint time by one tenth.
Obviously, you don’t buy the diesel for the performance alone, as it’s usually the economy figures that turn out to be the clincher – the MINI Cooper SD, which in the UK costs £19,450 OTR, returns 68.9 mpg UK (4.1 l/100km) and emits just 107 g/Km CO2. The model becomes available for order in the UK this July.
By Andrei Nedelea