Sam Philip05 June 2009

Mini Cooper hits 226bhp

German tuning firm bumps up Mini cabrio’s power. The estate agents are jealous

AC Schnitzer Mini Cooper S Convertible

Some cars - like, say, the Rolls-Royce Phantom - simply shouldn't be modified. Ever. While some - like, say, the Mini Cooper S Convertible - are ripe for it.

Enter AC Schnitzer - the German tuning firm best known for doing odd things to big BMWs and their dizzying array of spanners and hammers.

Herr Schnitzer has bumped up power in the Cooper S's 1.6-litre turbocharged engine from 175bhp to a meaty 226bhp: that's more, even, than the 208bhp JCW Convertible.

If you're thinking ‘death by torque steer', it's a fair worry: even the standard Cooper S cabrio is a squirmy little thing. But the ever-vigilant Herr Schnitzer has fitted the Cooper with a limited slip differential, along with an adjustable suspension set-up and, of course, a big ol' sports exhaust.

There's also the option of an optimistically named ‘aero package', and more decals and visual gubbins than you can shake a jealous estate agent at.

For all that, though, we rather like the AC Schnitzer Mini. Should make a good rival for the Alfa MiTo GTA...

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