From £11,350
Revised engine brings useful performance and economy gains

Our Verdict

Mini Hatch 2006-2014
With a higher waistline and bonnet, new Mini doesn’t look quite as good as its predecessor

The Mini Hatchback is desirable and fun, and it has great re-sale values

  • First Drive

    Mini Cooper SD

    This is the most entertaining oil-burning Mini to join the range. That it’s so frugal is a bonus
  • First Drive

    Mini Cooper S first drive review

    Revised engine brings useful performance and economy gains

What is it?

A facelifted Mini may be due later this year, but BMW isn’t sitting on its hands. The current Cooper S has just been given a mild engine upgrade that not only yields a 10 per cent drop in CO2 but also generates a useful power hike, boosting output from 173bhp to 182bhp.

This revised 1.6-litre engine features a twin-scroll turbocharger, direct injection and fully variable valve control. A more even torque spread means the S can now bag 62mph in 7.0sec dead, compared with 7.4sec previously. Economy improves from 45.6 to 48.7mpg, while CO2 emissions fall by an impressive 13g/km to 136g/km.

What's it like?

The outgoing Cooper S was hardly slow, but this latest version is noticeably brisker — so much so that you can feel the steering wheel writhing with torque under power or on uneven surfaces.

It’s a little unruly but mildly exciting. The engine has urgent throttle response and musters strong low-down grunt; you’ll probably not want for more go.

The Mini’s chassis doesn’t deliver the finesse of a Renaultsport Clio despite its nominally more sophisticated suspension, and the ride gets a bit turbulent on the same roads that generate torque steer. But despite these failings, this is a quick and entertaining car point to point.

Should I buy one?

Further upgrades are due in late summer when the Mini hatch gets a facelift – including minor styling changes and interior improvements. But this revised engine – superior to the one it replaces – is a useful step forward, making an excellent car even better.

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Comments
35

26 June 2010

amazing emissions for 182bhp can any diesel beat 182bhp and 136g/km?

26 June 2010

i cant find anything. i think this is a defining moment autocar has missed. petrol has now overtaken diesel with even co2 emissions. producing less co2 per bhp than any diesel engine on sale?

26 June 2010

[quote beachland2]amazing emissions for 182bhp can any diesel beat 182bhp and 136g/km?[/quote] Err, yes. BMW 123d, 204bhp and 135g of CO2. Also 295lb of torque. BMW 120d is just shy on power, more torque and 125g of CO2. Of course grams of CO2 doesn't tell the fuel economy story. 136g for a petrol is several mpg lower than for the equiv. diesel. Even a Volvo S80 D5 has 205bhp, 310lbs of torque and 139g of CO2 and you can fit far more people and stuff in an S80 than the Mini! Also Mercedes C250CDI. Merc C220CDI is very close on power, 117g of CO2. BMW 320D. Audi TT 170 runs it close. Volvo S40/V50/C30 D4 - 177bhp, 295lb of torque and 134g. Mazda 6 2.2d 180 runs it very close. Alfa and Fiat with the Guiletta 2.0JTD run it close on power and trash on CO2. All of the cars above (except maybe the C30) have significantly more space than the Mini. Don't think diesel is dead yet!

26 June 2010

"you’ll probably not want for more go."

Of course you will. The JCW edition already has more go, and I'm fairly sure that most people buying a faster car than this want more go too...

26 June 2010

ok a few mentioned there. its getting closer and price of the cooper s is cheaper than those mentioned.

26 June 2010

modern diesels are just too expensive, i think that is the reason why there is no flagship diesel supermini, such as a diesel fabia VRS. skoda would have to price it so high it wouldnt make sense. how much do you think a 180bhp diesel fabia would cost? and as this is about the mini, this is also why there is no flagship performance diesel mini. Even by the kings of diesel engines the germans, they cant make an affordable JCW competitor diesel engine.

a mini fitted with a bmw 123d 204bhp engine would cost at least £1k more than the 1.6 JCW, and then it becomes pointless.

i cant help thinking that with the massive expansion of the mini range of models that more powerful engines will come. there will inevitably be a 300bhp petrol mini before too long.

26 June 2010

[quote beachland2]a mini fitted with a bmw 123d 204bhp engine would cost at least £1k more than the 1.6 JCW, and then it becomes pointless.[/quote] One reason this does not happen with the BMW engines going in to the Mini are that they're arranged for longtidunal applications like the 3, 5, 7 etc. Changing them round isn't worth it - hence using PSA engines. If PSA did a 1.6 twin turbo banging out 160bhp I bet BMW would drop it in to the mini.

26 June 2010

i bet they would, but it would still cost the same as a JCW with 182bhp.

DKW

26 June 2010

[quote beachland2] i think this is a defining moment autocar has missed. petrol has now overtaken diesel with even co2 emissions. producing less co2 per bhp than any diesel engine on sale[/quote]

Impressive.

Imagine how important that would have been if cars actually made a significant contribution to global CO2 levels.

Proportion of greenhouse gases produced from human activity is in hot debate, but is always known to be a small figure compared to natural sources - see http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/greenhouse_data.html for some figures.

Proportion of the already small proportion that is due to domestic vehicles is also in debate, but is also agreed to be tiny, even if the exact number can't be agreed on.

Opportunity for waster governments to trumpet and be seen to be doing something without having to do anything politically challenging such as deal with logging, and sea management, which have a vastly higher effect on CO2 levels, is wonderful with domestic cars. Shame it has no effect on global warming.

DKW

26 June 2010

[quote DKW]Proportion of the already small proportion that is due to domestic vehicles is also in debate, but is also agreed to be tiny, even if the exact number can't be agreed on.[/quote]

Figures commonly quoted are that 35% of man made CO2 output is from vehicles. These figures are frankly absulute twaddle. That figure is arrived at by looking at the burning of fossil fuels only, and fails to take into account other man made sources of CO2 production, such as respiration and industrial processes. Furthermore, when other greenhouse gases apart from CO2 are taken into account, the contribution from vehicles (of which domestic cars are of course only a part) is truly small.

The effect of algae and phytoplankton in the sea, and the rainforests and other plants, in changing CO2 back to oxygen through the process of photosynthesis, is quite possibly very significant. But that's not politically attractive - exploiting something more visible, though in truth relatively harmless, like cars, lets you seem to be doing something about it.

Still, nice achievement with the new engine for the lads at Mini, if only to reduce tax liability.

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