2009 MINI Cooper D

Update: Mini Cooper D Review.
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“With specifications like 260Nm, 104g/km and a range of 1,025 kilometres from 40 litres of diesel, the new MINI Cooper D is the ‘green’ version of a Supercar”

It seems too good to be true, but from just $33,750 the MINI Copper D, which goes on sale in Australia from May this year, will offer buyers a viable and more affordable alternative to the high priced Hybrids.

My only concern is when you run the numbers, that’s 240-260Nm, 0-100km/h in 9.9 seconds and over 1,000kms on a single tank of diesel, can the MINI factory in Oxford, actually build enough MINI D’s to supply what should be a runaway success.

You just don’t expect to be able to purchase such an iconic car such as a MINI for near enough to $33,000, which will not only take the title of the fastest accelerating diesel in its capacity class in Australia, but will run away with Australia’s lowest CO2 emitting car and Australia’s most fuel efficient car, to boot.

So, all this greenery, without the need to sacrifice either, automotive style or performance. Like I said, it’s too good to be true, there must be a catch.

The MINI D is without question, a highly technical bit of kit. It’s 1.6-litre turbocharged direct-injection four cylinder engine is boosted by variable turbine geometry, which ensures a low boost threshold or simply, minimal turbo lag. Not only that, the level of turbo boost increases at higher speeds to provide solid torque right through to the red line.

It’s not Euro 5 but the MINI D is fitted with a particulates filter, which means emissions are very low and comply with the Euro 4 standards.

Standard fitment will be MINI’s svelte six-speed gearbox, but you can option a six-speed automatic transmission for $2,350.

MINI Cooper D is also about “MINIMALISM” which is MINI’s take on BMW EfficientDynamics, and that includes features such as Auto Start Stop, which means when you pull up at a red light or are motionless in peak hour traffic, the engine switches off rather than idling and wasting fuel. Of course, the moment you depress the clutch, the engine starts again.

And some technology from BMW’s M3 in the form of Brake Energy Regeneration, meaning that the car’s battery is charging whenever the driver brakes or the car is coasting in traffic.

It’s hard to know when to shift gears at precisely the right moment, so that you’re not wasting fuel unnecessarily. The MINI D takes care of that for you, with its Shift Point Display. The system works out the most economical gear to be in, based on speed and acceleration and prompts the driver to shift up or down via arrows in the rev counter.

The car also features advanced aerodynamics via a streamlined underbody panel, which optimises downforce and thereby saves energy.

“As I have said several times in this article, it all sounds too good to be true and frankly, we at Car Advice, can’t wait to get behind the wheel of the MINI D”