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2012 MINI Cooper S Coupe Review & Test Drive 8
Mar
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in Automotive, featured, MINI, mini cooper, Mini Cooper S Coupe, MINI Coupe, Test Drives on 03 8th, 2012

The all-new Mini Cooper Coupe is a reinvention of the 4-seater Mini cooper that we have all adorned for its surprising functionality, cool looks, fun-to-drive demeanor and small size. Conversely, the 2-seater Mini Cooper Coupe manages to subtract two seats from the original equation while adding subtle intricacy and excitement at the same time.

Having driven the new 2012 Mini Cooper S Coupe for almost week, I have grown to appreciate what the Mini is all about. What it lacks in terms of less cargo space, diminished rear visibility, and less seating than the 4-seater Mini Cooper S, it attempts to make up in the fun department. The Cooper S Coupe is almost more of a novelty rather than practical transportation in a small package.

To support the impractical but fun transportation perception, BMW has injected the Mini Cooper S Coupe with added power from the previous generation Mini Cooper S. The new Mini Cooper S Coupe gets a turbocharged 1.6-liter inline 4-cylinder engine with an output of 181 horsepower and 177 ft-lbs. of torque. The little engine that could really turns out a respectable amount of power. The Mini Cooper S Coupe scoots along well and proves to be a nimble 2,600-pound two-seater subcompact.

One thing is for sure, the guys in the Italian Job would appreciate the new 2012 Mini Cooper S Coupe as it probably does not need many aftermarket modifications to make a quick get-away. However, they wont have much space to stow any of the “stolen” goods.

The new Mini Cooper S Coupe, with its strikingly distinctive looks, is very different from anything else on the road to say the least. Sure, you will quickly recognize it from the front-end that the new Cooper S Coupe is all MINI; but the off-colored low-rear-slopping roof throws some for a loop in terms of styling. The rear window has been miniaturized with limited visibility. Making things even worse, is a motorized spoiler that automatically rises to the occasion at around 50mph further hindering your rearward sight. The motorized spoiler, proven to be functional at high speeds, can be raised manually at any time but limits lowering once you have hit above 50mph. Drop below 45mph and it will automatically retract.

By bringing an original aesthetic to the Mini line, the new Cooper S Coupe initially strikes a chord with enthusiasts. Despite that fact that the Cooper S Coupe does not really give enthusiasts much of a performance advantage over the Mini Cooper S, the unique styling may be the tip to excite potential buyers.

Interior accommodations in the new Mini Cooper S Coupe do not depart much from the Mini Cooper 4-seater. Being a two-seater Mini, seating areas were kept ‘friendly’ for many different sized adults. Surprisingly, my 6-foot 3-inch frame did not have a problem with finding a suitable seating position. Even the roof had curved/domed cut-outs to provide the driver and passenger with added headroom.

As in any Mini vehicle, the interior is customarily laced with BMW equipment, which proves to be user-friendly after spending some one-on-one time in a parking lot. The center speedometer, housing the rounded-off LCD screen for navigation, audio and other vehicle settings, proves to be clear and colorful. The toggle and navigation stalk located in the center console just in front of the arm rest, is convenient for navigating the LCD screen’s feature sets. Other vehicle controls, such as the windows, interior lights, spoiler control and door locks, are all arranged in retro-styled switches. In all, the interior does not sway far from other Mini siblings.

The new Mini Cooper S Coupe’s nimbleness expands only as far as the understeer limits. The interesting part about the Mini Cooper S Coupe’s understeer, is that you can only invoke abundant amounts of it with DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) completely off. That means putting the Mini into sport mode and hold down the DSC button for a few seconds until you see “DSC inactive” on the center LCD screen. It is not until then that the electronic limited slip is activated allowing the front wheels to virtually spin in synch when pulling some extra lateral Gs. Surprisingly, the Mini Cooper S Coupe has about 100 extra pounds to push around than the 4-seater Mini Cooper S.

Steering response is sharp and unexpected from an electric power rack. The Mini Cooper S Coupe’s suspension bites back well when pushing the two-seater to the limit. The vehicle stays very flat in the corners and the short wheelbase remains to play in synch during spirited driving even at highway speeds. You do however feel a bit of harshness in the damper rebound, but it is somewhat expected when driving something as small as the new Mini Cooper S Coupe.

Power output to the front wheels, courtesy of a well-tuned 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, is very healthy. With the snappy and quick-shifting 6-speed automatic box in my Mini Cooper S Coupe test vehicle, I was still able to break the front tires loose on several occasions. In manual shifting mode, using the steering wheel mounted paddles or floor shifter, the Cooper S Coupe will hold a gear until it reaches red-line. Don’t expect to bounce off of the rev-limiter at any time because the automatic box simply won’t let you.

Rev-matching downshifts are fun especially when you get an astronomical amount of snap-crackle-pop sounds from the dual exhaust pipes. If the higher-performing 208-horsepower JCW (John Cooper Works) Mini Coupe has half the amount of popping sounds of unspent fuel and closing of the wastegate as the Cooper S Coupe does, then you will be in for an extra noisy treat when decelerating. Actually, I rather enjoyed the exhaust sound, which mentally promotes flogging the Cooper S Coupe to the point that you get pulled over by the cops. Yes, I did get pulled over by the local wildlife law enforcement for speeding and noise pollution. Luckily, I didn’t have to sign any dotted lines because the officer was in a good mood after sharing a few ‘choice’ words with me about the styling of the new Mini Coupe.

As it currently sits, the Mini brand has a wide variety of vehicles in many different sizes. Perhaps the all-new 2012 Mini Cooper Coupe is an afterthought appeasing those who want a bit more sports-appeal at the sacrifice of versatility and rear seating. Don’t get me wrong – the new Mini Cooper S Coupe is definitely a neat little pocket-rocket, it just does not appeal to a mass nearly as large as the well-known Mini Cooper 4-seater variants. At a loaded-up as-tested price of $33,400, I sure hope the 34mpg highway figure pays off in the long run. Of course you can opt for a stripped-down version of the all-new Mini Cooper Coupe at a starting point of only $21,300.

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Copyright: 2012 AutomotiveAddicts.com

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Price: Base Cooper Coupe $21,300 As-Tested Cooper S Coupe $33,400
  • Engine: 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder 181 horsepower @ 5500 rpm / 177 ft-lbs. torque @ 1600 rpm
  • Total length: 147.0in.
  • Total width: 66.3in.
  • Total height: 54.5in.
  • Wheelbase: 97.1in.
  • Track: f/r-57.4/57.8in.
  • Headroom: 38.4in.
  • Fuel tank: 13.2 gallons
  • Curb weight: 2,679lbs.
  • 0-60 mph: 6.5 seconds
  • EPA mileage: 27mpg/city, 34mpg/highway


The Oddest Test Drive Ever: Video 29
Dec
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, Kurt, MINI, MINI Coupe, video on 12 29th, 2011

You can learn a lot about a person from a little word association. For example, if you say “machine” and the subject replies “head,” chances are they’re a Deep Purple fan. If you say “wife” and get a reply of “chainsaw,” or if you say “barnyard” and get the response of “lubricant,” then you know you have trouble. Along those lines, we’re not quite sure what to make of Mathew Foster, the winner in a recent MINI contest that had entrants define the ultimate test drive in six words.

Mr. Foster’s six words? Stewardess, salt flats, paratroopers, sushi, Falconer. If anyone can explain what the outdated term for a flight attendant, a high-speed testing ground, airborne soldiers, Japanese cuisine and an obscure Swedish power metal band have to do with the new MINI Coupe, we’re all ears. Odd though his terms may be, they do make for an interesting video, reminiscent of college roommates who ingested large quantities of magical mushrooms. Except in the video, the carpet never marched up the wall to eat the light.



MINI Coupe JCW Reveals More on Spycam 17
May
Posted by Alex Ion in Automotive News, JCW, MINI Coupe on 05 17th, 2011

We are pretty sure that our MINI fans out they will be excited to hear what’s on the rear design of the new Coupe model – the MINI Coupe JCW. So, we have for you the latest spy shots of the much awaited MINI Coupe John Cooper Works. Have a look.

Expected to make its debut at the Frankfurt motor show this September along with Roadster sibling, the 2012 Mini Coupe features an open hatch and a rear roof spoiler. The shots revealing the open hatch at the back makes it clear how tall the Coupe will be at the rear pillar.

The spied snaps also hint at a more upright windscreen than on the concept model. As you know, MINI had introduced the concept model at the Frankfurt show back in 2009.

What will possibly be the next spied news on the model?  Stay tuned.

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(Via WCF)

 

 



BMW New Energy Vehicle Concept Heads for Shanghai Show 16
Mar
Posted by Alex Ion in Active Hybrid, Automotive News, BMW, MINI Coupe, Shanghai Auto Show on 03 16th, 2011

BMW’s New Energy Vehicle (NEV) concept will make its debut at the Shanghai Motor Show. Complete with a 5-series long wheelbase system, the new concept  was announced by the company’s chairman Dr Norbert Reithofer at BMW’s annual press conference.


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Manufacturing will get underway in China, and the concept will benefit from the reputation the BMW brand currently enjoys.

The 5 series Active Hybrid concept will come with a 306 PS (225 kW / 302 hp) 3.0-liter twin-turbo straight-six petrol engine and a 54 PS (40 kW / 54 hp) electric motor .

However,  the electric-only detailing comes as a mystery as it doesn’t come with an electric only system. Details seem sketchy for now, but we expect the concept to let out more in the coming days.

Meanwhile, BMW has stated that they will also develop a new three-cylinder engine that will put to play TwinPower Turbo technology.

The launch of MINI Coupe and the next generation 1 series have also been scheduled for later this year.

 







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