Mini Cooper S goes Mandapam to Dhanushkodi

Once you get away from ever-expanding Chennai, the toll road from Tambaram all the way to Trichi is a super-speed expressway. Stretches of traffic alternate with empty roads, which the Cooper S revels in. Having distracted and confused fellow motorists by its disarmingly good looks and raspy exhaust note, it gives you enough time to slingshot ahead even as the rest get back to their senses.

The Swift-sized body can be chucked around with confidence thanks to a very obedient and talkative steering wheel, which never leaves the driver alone. During the roughly 550km journey, not once are we caught unawares on any corner, whether sweeping or hard. Well, once, but that was when we panic-braked. It felt as if the brake bias was off. The car struggled to stay in a straight line. The on-board computer confirmed our fears, warning that the rear brakes needed attention! As if the Mini’s inherent coolness is not impressive enough, it has to go and show off its geek powers as well.