What is it?
The third generation of the new Mini, launched four years ago, is about to be unveiled. Sales of the UK’s most popular incubation derivatives peaked at 44,560 in 2015, but last year the figure was down 10 per cent. Mini want to refresh the headlights design, including the United Nations flag pattern of taillights, new wheels and a small amount of color options, piano black (rather than the chrome plated) edge, and more will help push the sales data recovery.
On the face of it, these curious taillions – which might look like a touch but in the UK – are likely to be better in mainland China and elsewhere – the clearest sign of the latest model. Otherwise, this is one of the more subtle changes in recent memory. There is more space in the cockpit and under the skin, but a high-quality cab can now be equipped with a touch screen and a wireless phone to charge.
The new front and rear lights use leds, which now provide very smart adaptive LED headlights in the list of options. There are new personalized options, including many 3D printing parts that buyers can customize with their own name or simple graphics – the auto industry’s first world war.
The Cooper S standard gearbox is a six-speed manual gearbox, but this is the first double-pedal replacement for a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox rather than a traditional automatic gearbox. The revised four-cylinder turbine engine also received a new high-pressure ejector, a new exhaust system and a new turbocharger. Power and torque data remained unchanged at 189bhp and 221lb, but fuel economy increased by about 7%. Interestingly, the updated engine is said to weigh 30 kilograms heavier than before; The suspension has been adjusted to solve the extra weight.
What does it look like?
With each new version of BMW’s Mini, the cute hatchback’s size is swollen. It looks fuller than the original 2001 version, more bulbous, perhaps less balanced, but not mistaken for anything else.
Compared with 17 years ago, before the basic dynamic characteristics and the same – flexibility, high speed front axle, mobile back-end – but compared with the first version, this latest models actually feel different. All the main controls have soft rubber edges, while the early versions have clear steering and smooth shifting.
Soon, however, you will get used to the sticky, elastic, and ununified manual shift mechanism of the steering, and as time goes on, you can stamp on it as quickly as possible. Dynamic, no real change. When you turn to a corner, you still feel the logo of the mini-axis and feel a slight bend in the back corner to keep the front end tight. The shift is still fast and straightforward, and any work done by the Mini engineers to cover the extra weight of the bridge is very effective.
In the first few miles, you feel like you’re sitting in your seat. The inclination of the car to bend is also quite high, and the orbit is very narrow. You’ll find yourself hoping the car will squat down a foot or two, while the previous generations are sitting on your low road, and you’re worried that you might be scraping your own tail off the speed bump.
But once again, this impression does pass quickly, and when the curve becomes thick and fast, you stop thinking about it completely. Instead, you are obsessed with racing agility and desire to jump from one vertex to another. When you turn to the corner, it’s addictive to be familiar with the car’s departure from the gears. The motor drive mode will be too much static to redirect, but otherwise the rudder’s precision will be enough so that you can place the car on a truly precise corner after the corner.
Our test car was equipped with Pirelli P Zero tires. Although there are other high performance tires at this level, these tires have a smaller deflection and higher precision, but they perform well on dry and fairly stable hard turns. It should also be noted that the other three tire options have been certified by Cooper S, one of which is the Michelin Primacy – a mid-range tire that has no place in the hot seat.
The stronger springs and short wheelbase caused Cooper S to sway back and forth, bouncing off the bumpy surface, like a boat being tossed in a storm. It’s not completely uncomfortable, but it must be busy. However, considering everything, Cooper S is a very interesting thing on the winding road. The mechanical limited slip differential can help it catch the curve faster and add a new dimension to the driving experience, but unfortunately, there is no factory option.
At the same time, the engine is strong and muscular, but it is not a happy screamer. As a matter of fact, starting at 2500rpm is a strong take-off, and its best work speed is 5500rpm, so you won’t chase the red line as you would in many other hot modules. On the way, you’ll find yourself holding a higher gear, not turbocharged torque.
In addition to sitting too high on the ground, Cooper S is driving the best fast mini. However, the most impressive thing is that when you only think about the place you want to go, it combines the dynamic character with the mature and mature style.
What is it?