From £17,540
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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The Apprentice 30 June 2010

Re: Mini Cooper S

Diesel has its attractions... No ones is going to mess with this at the lights.

HiltonH 27 June 2010

Re: Mini Cooper S

yes, sorry, go back to my earlier answer. This Cooper S petrol engine is a BMW/PSA block and new BMW top-end and turbo. The facelift Mini (this autumn) gets the 1.6-litre BMW diesel engine. It's also in the Countryman. I've seen the diesel in the metal and discussed it with the BMW engineers.

JezyG 27 June 2010

Re: Mini Cooper S

HiltonH wrote:
JezyG wrote:
The current 1er does not use any BMW/PSA engines yest next gen will though.
As I said...the engine in this Cooper and the Countryman is a BMW engine, like the unit used in the 1-series. Cooper S diesel = BMW engine

Its a jointly develope BMW/PSA engine and not used in any BMW badged product nothing to do with 1 Series engines shared with the 3 series. The Cooper S Derv was going to use the N47 engine in 181 guise and was due for release this summer but not heard anything more.......unless you know something as would be interested to hear :o)