What is it?
Up until now, the one thing you would never look for in Mini’s diesel range is grin-making performance. With two diesel offerings of 90 and 112bhp respectively, the best that you could hope for would be a bit of liveliness around peak torque revs.
Well, the Mini Cooper SD changes all that by bringing a larger portion of power and a significantly bigger wedge of torque to the table.
The SD, which is identical to a regular petrol-powered Cooper S, ups the ante with 143bhp and 225lb ft of torque. That’s more torque than any other Mini in the range, including the John Cooper Works. On paper, it looks promising, with the 0-62mph sprint coming up in 8.1sec and a top whack of 134mph.
The engine is a turbocharged all-alloy 2.0-litre unit that does its bit to keep the weight of the Cooper SD down to just 1150kg; that’s only 10kg more than the equivalent petrol-powered Cooper S, which bodes well for the car’s dynamics, not to mention fuel economy.
What's it like?
From the first punch of the starter button, you’re in no doubt that there’s oil being burned under the bonnet; it’s not a supremely refined engine, but nor is it particularly unpleasant to live with.