Written by Karl Peskett
It’s been 55 years since the first Mini went on sale, and the latest Cooper S sets out to capture some of that original charm.
To find the greatest caricatures of people, look no further than Mad magazine. But to see a caricature of a car, head to your local MINI dealer.
The original Mini was just over 3m long. The new MINI Cooper S is a massive 800mm longer, 317mm wider, and weighs 573kg more – double what it originally weighed. Certainly a caricature of its former self.
It is a lot more luxurious, however. The first Mini had no power steering or air-conditioning, yet with the MINI Cooper S they come as standard. The seats are a lot more comfortable – there’s room for four – sat-nav is available, and the cabin features ambient lighting that can be changed to any colour in the rainbow.
In Sport mode, MINI says it has ‘maximum go-kart feel’, and it does live up to this description. The steering weight is up, throttle response is better, and it darts around corners with the agility of a housefly. Thanks not only to its stiff suspension but also its turbocharged 2.0l engine (which makes 192hp and 280Nm), it charges through curves with alacrity. Dynamically, the MINI Cooper S is very good.