First drive: Mini Cooper S
Will the Mini have the 'Italian Job' panache on Indian roads? Manish Sarser gives you a sneak peek...
You see it sitting gleaming in red with those traditional go-faster stripes on the hood. The first thing that comes to your mind is the unquestionable desire to want one. Yes, we’re talking about the Mini Cooper – the legendary British motoring icon. It looks undeniably fashionable and turns heads wherever it goes.
But that's not the only reason we’re in such high spirits — Our Cooper comes with the S badge on the bootlid, which means that the 1.6-litre motor comes with a supercharger and puts out 184bhp and 240Nm of twist. Got your attention yet?
The Mini may have been a British motoring icon, but don’t be surprised to find a German flag somewhere under there. BMW bought over Mini sometime ago, which means that there’s been lot more sense knocked into an already sorted car. The power train is in BMW’s world ‘a satanic front-wheel drive’. But yet, this is one of the pointiest front wheel drives we’ve driven. You know when they say the Mini handles like a go-kart, they aren’t kidding. In fact, this is a damn good go-kart.
Placing the wheels in the corners pays dividends, and every time you flick the wheel, the Cooper reacts like a fly changing directions to avoid the swatter. It is an absolute riot! It loves getting its tail out and it’s so easy to catch, you’d think you’re a ‘driving god’ready to take on Michael Schumacher. The engine is super eager to shift scenery with plenty of shove available at the slightest tap of the throttle. This comes coupled to nice throaty roar out of the tail-pipe. Wish it was louder though.
On the inside, the fun theme continues. The plate-sized speedometer looks fantastic and it houses Mini’s own little iDrive system. We absolutely love the aircraft style flip switches, and honestly, we played with them for hours. It’s the little things where the Mini Cooper really scores.
Everywhere we went, people gawked and pointed. Every drive felt like the chase in The Italian Job. The energetic motor and pointy handling ensure there’s a smile on your face every time you push the loud pedal or flick that wheel. For the full road-test and scores check out our upcoming June issue.
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