For fans who prize economy over performance, there is also the prospect of the 141bhp 2.0-litre diesel unit currently found in all Cooper SD variants. All come with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, and all save the JCW include a six-speed automatic on the options list.
The standard Cooper kicks off the range. It features the 122bhp, naturally aspirated 1.6-litre four cylinder engine which is perfectly adequate for most buyers. It's acceleration is adequate too - Mini claims a 0-62mph time of nine seconds dead. Despite the reasonable performance, it is likely to remain a springboard to catapult buyers up the range.
Another £3000-or-so puts the Cooper S within reach, and it represents money well spent for the enthusiast - and let's face it, this is a car that is unashamedly pitched at the hardcore Mini fan. There's much to praise the engine for. The turbocharged four-pot develops 177lb ft between 1600 and 5000rpm, peaking at 192lb ft from 1700 and 4500rpm, endowing the Cooper S with tremendous flexibility. Peak power is rated at 181bhp at 5000rpm, aiding a 0-62mph time of 6.9sec and a 143mph maximum.
The JCW is the performance pinnacle of the range and boosts power to 211bhp and torque to 192lb ft at 1850 to 5600rpm. Twin-scroll turbocharging is to thank for the lack of turbo lag in the powerplant, as well as its genuine forcefulness between 3000rpm and 5000rpm.