16 September 2004

The fastest Mini on sale finds some extra speed this week as John Cooper Works announces a new tuning kit for the Cooper S. The improved Works tune boosts power to 210bhp – 10bhp more than the firm’s former tinkerings could muster – and will be available on both the revised Cooper S hatchback and new Convertible.

For an unchanged £2999, plus approximately £500 for fitting, BMW dealers will endow your Cooper S with a 6.6sec 0-62mph time and a top speed of 143mph. Although these are only 0.1sec and 2mph improvements, BMW claims more meaningful gains for in-gear acceleration times, thanks in part to the different ratios of the Cooper S’ new six-speed gearbox. The fourth-gear sprint between 50 and 75mph is now the work of 5.4sec – two tenths faster than before.

Bringing these performance upgrades about are changes to the air filter system, as well as new fuel injectors and recalibrated engine management. The work will also be available to any of the 1260 UK owners of the outgoing Cooper S Works for £335 plus an hour’s labour for fitting.

Meanwhile, Mini will introduce a raft of new accessories at the Paris Motor Show, including new sports suspension – including shorter, stiffer coil springs – larger brakes and, to add some visual clout, a new carbonfibre spoiler, tailgate, door mirror and interior trim, and new star-spoke 18in alloy wheels. A cross-brace, reinforcing the engine bay and reducing body vibration, will also be available.

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