BMW Cooper S

Following the huge impact the new MINI has had on the supermini market, MINI Cooper S will set a new benchmark in the segment when it goes on sale in June. At £14,500, MINI Cooper S is astounding value with supercharger and intercooler technology and great styling tweaks, inside and out, pouring power and luxury onto the much-loved MINI Cooper.

The MINI has already set the standards amongst small cars for driving dynamics and agility through its direct steering, long wheelbase, wide track, low centre of gravity and short overhangs. MINI Cooper S adds a responsive, short-shifting 6-speed gearbox and an extra 48 bhp that makes it a must for the enthusiast. Specially tuned suspension, drive-by-wire throttle control, a maximum output of 163 bhp and an athletic re-modelled body suggest that the 2002 MINI Cooper S will live up to the standards set by its older brother back in '63.

1.6-litres of heart and soul:

The power behind the 'S' begins with the standard 1.6-litre MINI engine, but look under the re-designed bonnet and the similarity ends there. State-of-the-art supercharger and intercooler technology increases the car's output to 163 bhp (120 kW) at 6,000 rpm and a maximum torque of 210 Nm at 4000 rpm sees pulling power available throughout the range. MINI Cooper S has a 0-62 time of just 7.4 seconds and the car can accelerate from 50-75 mph in 6.9 seconds, peaking at 135 mph. Fuel consumption remains modest at 33.6 mpg (combined), or 8.4 litres per 100 km.

The MINI Cooper S soundtrack is a constant reminder of the thrill experienced behind the wheel. A gutsy sound is tailored specifically to the car through an increase in the exhaust pipe diameter, a resonator integrated into an intermediate silencer and the air intake rush produced by the supercharger.

Turning heads whilst turning corners:

MINI Cooper S is the only true driver's car in the supermini segment that hits the magical figure of over 100 bhp per litre. However, the physical power of the car relies on its extraordinary chassis and advanced Sports suspension PLUS system to produce the great drive.

The multi-arm rear axle found on all MINIs is derived from the current BMW 3 Series. With re-enforced anti-roll bars on the front and rear axles and an even firmer spring and damper set-up on the MINI Cooper S, drivers will experience handling and driving dynamics unmatched in the small car segment. The stunning chassis is rounded off with 16-inch light-alloy wheels running on 195/55 R16 tyres as standard, with optional 17-inch wheels on 205/45 R17 tyres really setting the car apart.

Supercharged, but super safe:

Superb levels of performance and handling are matched by equally impressive levels of passive and active safety. Disc brakes all round (front ventilated), ABS, Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), Cornering Brake Control (CBC), and Automatic Stability Control with traction control (ASC+T) ensure that under extreme road conditions, MINI Cooper S stays under control. For the enthusiast looking to take the car to its limits, ASC+T can be switched off. Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) is also available as an option and MINI Cooper S is the only car in its class to be fitted as standard with run flat tyres and a tyre pressure indicator.

A torsional stiffness two to three times that of its nearest competitor aids driving dynamics, but also provides MINI Cooper S with a very strong passenger cell that absorbs and distributes crash energy away from the occupants. Front and side airbags for the driver and passenger offer further protection and BMW Group's Advanced Head Protection System (AHPS) is also available as an option and serves both front and rear occupants.

MINI Cooper S comes with an immobiliser and an alarm system (Thatcham category 1) that is triggered by forced entry or any attempt to move the car. Insurance levels are expected to be very competitive reflecting the impressive levels of safety and security.

Supermodel looks:

The car is badged with the famous 'S' as a constant reminder to the owner that this MINI can take on any twists and turns. It can be seen on the side grille, boot and on the stainless steel door sill and, as with the original Cooper S, is not the initial to any specific feature of the car - it simply stands for power, agility and pure driving pleasure.

As you'd expect with the top model in the range, MINI Cooper S stands out from MINI One and MINI Cooper visually as well as in terms of performance. The re-modelled bonnet features an impressive air intake scoop that draws air in and over the intercooler. Body coloured bumpers, black side sills, a re-designed body-coloured radiator grille and the MINI Cooper S rear roof spoiler make the car stand out from any angle.

The great looks are highlighted by chrome features, including a chrome-plated side grille, chrome-plated fuel cap and two chrome-plated tailpipes in the middle of the rear bumper.

MINI Cooper S is available in eight exterior colours, two of which, Electric Blue metallic and Dark Silver metallic, are exclusive to the car. The classic white or black roof and side mirror housings are obviously available on MINI Cooper S as standard and 16" alloys can also be painted white as a no cost option. A body coloured roof with black wing mirrors is available as a no cost option. Inner qualities.

The impact that MINI's interior styling has had on the market gets a luxurious tweak in MINI Cooper S. The family's unique design language is emphasised through high-quality textiles, surfaces, leather and contemporary colour themes.

The brushed aluminium-look trims of the instrument panel and door casings is a perfect match for the Black Panther or Magnesium Grey door trim and the black or blue carpets and matching upholstery. Exclusive MINI Cooper S cloth sports seats come as standard and are also available in cloth/leather or full leather options. Further leather and stainless steel details exude an air of luxury and add to the emotional driving experience. The steering wheel and gear stick are finished in leather and 'S' badged stainless steel doorsill strips remind the occupants of the great drive as soon as they open the doors.

Extraordinary equipment:

Standard equipment includes four airbags, four disc brakes, ABS, CBC, EBD and ASC+T traction control, a six-speed manual gearbox, Sports suspension PLUS, electrohydraulic power steering, 16-inch light-alloy wheels, run flat tyres with run flat indicator, sports seats, height-adjustable leather steering wheel, central locking with remote control and alarm, stereo, rev counter, electric windows, electric wing mirrors and a rear roof spoiler.

Option availability will be staggered over the launch period, but will include Xenon headlights, Park Distance Control, satellite navigation system, a Harman Kardon stereo system, 6 disc CD changer and heated windscreen. MINI Cooper S will also be available with its own Chili pack following the successful launch of the 'Salt', 'Pepper' and 'Chili' packs on MINI One and MINI Cooper that provide a selection of options at a more favourable price than if bought individually.

Trevor Houghton-Berry, general manager for MINI in the UK, commented: "MINI Cooper S is the icing on the cake for us. It has a proud heritage and I know that the new model will be a deserving car to lead the MINI range. It will offer a fantastic driving experience with levels of equipment, styling and head-turning qualities that were missing in the small car market before MINI came along. It's great to work with an affordable car that is truly desirable and with over 2,000 orders already at the MINI dealerships we are expecting MINI Cooper S to lead the brand through a second great year."

Published : 18/03/02 Author : Melanie Carter


This is a 20-year+ news article, from our MINI archive, which dates back to the year 2000.

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