Hold onto your steering wheels, Mini enthusiasts! Just months after the electric Cooper took the stage, the iconic brand is unveiling its internal combustion-powered siblings: the Cooper and Cooper S. But don't expect a complete departure from the EV sibling – these gasoline-powered Minis share a modern aesthetic and embrace some cutting-edge technology.
Let's dive under the hood first. For US drivers, both versions pack a punch with 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines. The Cooper S boasts a respectable 201 hp and 300 Nm of torque, propelling it to 60 mph in a brisk 6.3 seconds. While details for the entry-level Cooper remain under wraps, its European and Australian counterparts suggest a 156 hp, 230 Nm punch from a three-cylinder engine, capable of hitting 62 mph in 7.7 seconds. Mini promises more details about the US-spec base Cooper closer to launch.
While Mini remains tight-lipped about other mechanical details, one thing is clear: agile handling remains a priority. The new Cooper boasts a "suspension and damping system designed for agile handling," complemented by "powerful brakes" (specifics yet to be revealed). Gearheads might be disappointed; there's no manual transmission option this time around.
Moving outside, the visual differences between the gasoline and electric Coopers are subtle. Slightly larger front grilles mark the most noticeable change, while the familiar circular LED daytime running lights and iconic triangular taillights maintain the Mini spirit.
Safety has not been overlooked. The new Minis come equipped with a front radar sensor, 12 ultrasonic sensors, and a suite of driver assistance systems, including a Safe Exit function, active lane-keeping assist, and automatic speed and distance control.
Inside, the Mini philosophy continues with a blend of modern and retro. The round OLED display from the Cooper EV takes center stage, accompanied by a panoramic glass roof, wireless smartphone charging, and a stylish two-tone textile dashboard.
US fans can choose between Classic and Favored trims, with each body color offering compatibility with three exciting roof color options. Whether you prefer 17-inch or 18-inch wheels, there's a Mini to match your personality.
Speaking of personality, the price tag might raise some eyebrows. The Cooper S starts at $32,000, while the base Cooper comes in at $28,950 (both excluding destination and handling). Production for the Cooper S begins in March, while the base model rolls off the assembly line in July.
So, will the new Cooper and Cooper S live up to the Mini legacy? With their modern take on classic design, impressive technology, and agile handling, they seem well-equipped to conquer the hearts of both existing Mini fans and newcomers seeking a stylish and exciting ride. But will the price tag leave them charmed or slightly disappointed? Only time will tell.