Mini (owned by BMW) first introduced the Mini Cooper in early 2002 with a great deal of hype and anticipation for Mini fans in Australia. 4 years have gone by and while the Mini Cooper S presented an interesting choice for those who have about $40,000 and little taste, BMW had originally promised to make the Mini Cooper into every sorta of car they could think of, and while the Cabrio Convertible came out in late 2004, thats been about it.
Nevertheless, the new Mini Cooper is on it way. Mini has announced what would have seemed obvious from the start, they are dropping the Supercharged in the Mini Cooper S (the S comes from the Supercharger) and instead have decided to Turbo Charge the Mini Cooper, however as far I we can tell, BMW & Mini have agreed to keep the name as the Mini Cooper S and not change it to Mini Cooper T since it doesn’t sound as good.
As you can see from the picture above (the New Mini Cooper S) it really doesn’t look too different. Both the Mini Cooper and the its Turbo charged brother the Mini Cooper S will arrive down-under at the same time. The standard Mini Cooper will be the naturally aspirated 4-cylinder 1.6-litre engine which gives out around 88kW which is 4kW more than the current model. While the turbocharged Mini Cooper S has 128kW up 3kW from the previous model and 240Nm of torque up 20Nm from the previous model.
Mini mentions that the new Turbocharger takes some lessons from Porsche with the ‘Overboost’ slingshot torque feature for super fast acceleration. What does the Overboos do? Well when you really start putting your foot down torque is boosted briefly to 260Nm by a short increase in turbocharger pressure. Not bad!
The Turbo-charged engine uses a twin-scroll turbocharger fed with a separate flow of exhaust gas from two cylinders each. Helping the turbocharger’s response time in low revs, Mini claims this system will help eliminate turbo lag. The turbo is set to 11.6 psi (0.8 bar), with pressure building from around 1400rpm, which should promise some good acceleration.
So the real figures are 128kW of power @ 5500rpm and 240Nm of torque from 1600rpm to 5000rpm.
The new Mini Cooper also comes with the newly developed EPAS Electric Power Assisted Steering which Mini claims will deliver natural feedback, a direct response at high speed and low steering effort when parking. The EPAS also reduces fuel consumption, and has two modes, one for regular driving and one for sportier motoring. This second mode also increases the responsiveness of the electronic throttle.
The suspension in the Mini is via McPherson struts and equal length driveshafts for the front and at the rear the central arm axle has weight reducing aluminium longitudinal arms.
Safety features on the Mini are as good as always, the new car comes standard with
The New Mini Cooper and Mini Cooper S will be officially launched in September