Sixties Mini Cooper vs Col de Turini
The Cooper is 50. Can the old-timer teach the Countryman a lesson on the rally that made it famous?
Posted: 25 Feb 2011
In truth, it's not really fair to compare the two cars head-to-head. Our Countryman is an out-and-out road car, the old Cooper is an authentic Sixties rally car: an all-terrain racer preserved in its prime, headlights and studded tyres and all. But it's astonishing how far the brand has evolved, even distended, in the last half-century. The Countryman is a full 106cm longer than the Cooper and - here's the killer stat - nearly three times the weight. The race-grade engine in the old car makes around 95bhp which, with the Cooper tipping the scales just under 600kg, means a power-to-weight ratio of 160bhp-per-tonne. The Countryman, weighing in at just under a tonne-and-a-half, its 1.6-litre petrol engine producing 184bhp, manages a more modest 124bhp-per-tonne. Progress, eh?