Communication prior to the test drive was easy and our questions were promptly answered which made for a better experience when we arrived. Of course, the most fun is had with all nannies switched to their lowest settings, or off, and Sport mode engaged. As we wound our way through the rolling Tennessee countryside, the Cooper S Coupé was a joy to drive. A small net on the central tunnel near the passenger's feet serves as a convenient place for little items. The convertible looks enough like the prior-generation car that there is little difference to casual observers.
So can his five-foot-five daughter. The two-seat cockpit, the rear wing that automatically pops up at 51 mph, the brisk acceleration, the short-throw shifter and the Mini Connected features are all strong indicators of a premium high-performance coupe. Sitting in the Coupe, though, can definitely feel constricted compared to the hatchback, but it can also feel like a tailor-fit suit if you like cars that are worn rather than just sat in. The most striking view is undoubtedly the profile, with horizontal layering of the car into three separate tiers - the body, the wrap-around glass and the eye-catching 'helmet design' roof. But enough, at least, to put some daylight between it and the regular Mini. This is definitely no road-trip car.
The crux of that focus is performance. But we still have to wonder how far the ooh-it's-pretty attention spans of car buyers will go before a lack of usability begins to hinder purchase decisions. There's actually a remarkable amount of distraction to be found in the Mini infotainment interface, particularly if you spec the Mini Connect option, which connects the vehicle to the Internet through a paired iPhone for, among other features, Twitter and Facebook integration. Outward visibility is also a problem. Where the Coupe should have rear seats, there's a wall that separates the passenger and storage compartments with an integrated chassis crossbar. Its A-pillar gets slanted a further 13 degrees to help it achieve its sleek, skinny profile.
That speed bump is thanks to both its power and its improved aerodynamics. Up front is the familiar double-decker grille flanked by a pair of fog lamps, and the bulbous hood includes an air intake on models equipped with turbocharged engines. The standard six-speed manual gearbox sets a new benchmark in the segment with its short-shift travel and precise action. At the tippy-top of the ladder sits the model seen in our photographs, which boosts horsepower to 208 and torque to 192 lb-ft with overboost up to 207 lb-ft. Familiar powertrain lineups deliver similar straight-line performance, with the turbocharged Cooper S and John Cooper Works models providing throttle-induced exhilaration that goes well beyond a baseline Cooper variant. Does the Mini Coupe have a reason for being? Struggling To Find A Reason For Being The six basic building blocks of life are sulfur, phosphorus, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon and.
It may have an English bulldog stance, but the handling eagerness is all Jack Russell terrier. Say thank you to the monochromatic color schemes for that. The engine, according to Mini, can briefly raise boost-pressure when accelerating to achieve 207 pounds-feet of torque from 2,000 to 5,100 rpm. According to the Mini website, there exist some 10 million combinations in building a 2012 Mini Cooper; we won't, of course, list all of them here. It isn't its speed, everyday usability, or fashionable design that makes it so.
Instead of using four-way directional movement, the joystick spins to move up and down the menu structure, and a press down on the stick selects an item. There's only room for you, your companion and a weekend's worth of gear. It is powered by a 1. The windshield is much more steeply raked — and the roofline about an inch lower. You will have room left over in your garage, too. Which is a decently usable, if not over-large, space.
Having received a slight bump in power in 2011, both Mini Cooper and Mini Cooper S powertrains remain unchanged for 2012. The Coupe has a much more steeply raked windshield, which puts the point where the glass and roof meet much closer to your forehead. Designed to be the ultimate expression of go-kart handling, the car's suspension system provides a fun-filled, sharp and agile driving experience. You've got the giant speedometer in the center of the dash that encircles a 6. However, I liked that the controller allowed me to quickly make accurate inputs while the vehicle was in motion without staring slavishly at the screen. Many of these options are standard equipment on the pricier Cooper S and John Cooper Works models. The car is also about an inch shorter in height than the standard hatchback, so the roof is nearer to your noggin.
Each model gets progressively sportier suspension settings and interior and exterior decorations, as well, including progressively larger and more ornate alloy wheels ranging from 15- to 17-inches. That said, there's plenty of power to keep a smile on your face while blasting down your favorite back road or trying to weave past slower-moving traffic on your morning commute. There are, however, divots in the underside of the roof that create extra headroom for the tall and those donning helmets. It has a pleasantly spacious — even practical — interior for such a small-on-the-outside car. Additionally, I liked that the Mini interface doesn't prevent users from inputting destinations while moving, but I also acknowledge that this power comes with the responsibility of actually paying attention to the road while you drive rather than searching for the nearest Taco Bell. A ready-to-drive weight of 44. About that: Buy a Mini coupe, people are going to gawp.
Or is its existence owed simply to the fact that it could be made, so it was? Show full review Vehicle Overview The Cooper lineup includes a hardtop, coupe and convertible model. The dash and door panels look very cool with many shapes, colors and textures, and get bonus fashion points for their use of chrome toggle switches in lieu of boring plastic buttons, but it's just as much an ergonomic disaster as any other modern Mini. In a lot of ways, the Coupé looks like the car the R56 and R55 evolved from, rather than the other way around. Yes, it does feel a lot like a miniature , but it's priced more like a full-size Porsche. For those more socially proactive, the Clubman - with its longer wheelbase and third door - makes a more credible argument for carrying passengers or things. The 2012 Mini Cooper - in any of its iterations - is one of the most entertaining ways of saving gas on the American automotive market.