BREAKING

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The New Mini Cooper S: Transformed and Ready to Roll Out to Impress You


Wazzup Pilipinas!

John Cooper, famous Mini fiddler and F1 designer, may now have enough reasons to make him turn in his grave to try out the car that now wears his name.

The undeniable exuberant charm and retro coolness of the Mini have taken this car brand to great heights. Now, a look at the new Mini Cooper S and it becomes really clear that the Mini is no longer a "mini." You’d never get the impression that the Mini is a big car as long as it’s not parked next to one of its predecessors. But "big" here does not only mean the outside physical look, you have to step inside into the driver's seat to really know what "big" means. This third-generation model pushes the envelope on “premium” way, way farther.

The yellow paint job and black racing stripes paired with bug-eye headlamps gives the 2014 Mini Cooper S a distinct style. The car looks great from man angles. The classical cute, stocky, upright and similarity to the rough-and-ready look of an English Bulldog was said to be intentionally kept and will never change in every redesign.

Thanks to the more aggressive bumpers on both ends and a mesh radiator grille, the Mini Cooper S adopts a sportier appearance than the Mini Cooper. The designers have bestowed the car with even chunkier exterior styling, headlights that are gaping cannons of halogen (or optional LEDs), and huge logos.


 
At 151.1 inches, the new Mini “hardtop” is 4.5 inches longer than the model it replaces. On the inside, it feels rather huge for a car in this class. I found the seats comfortable for a full-day drive and may want to take it to the province if it will be only for me and my wife. The Mini’s interior is much more spacious than even the second-gen car’s was, owing to the 1.1 inches added to the wheelbase, and better packaging inside. The front track is 1.7 inches wider than it was last year, the rear 1.3 inches wider, and trunk space is up three cubic feet - the boot or luggage space behind the seats represents a 25-percent improvement.  There’s greater shoulder room, better underthigh support from the seats and more knee-room in a wider driver’s footwell. It definitely has greater volume and higher head height than its predecessor. Overall, this new cabin is a revelation of efficiency and you feel much more comfortable here than in any previous Mini.



Keyless entry and engine starting is now standard equipment, as is the engine stop-start function when equipped with the automatic, and eight airbags - comes standard with front and side airbags, side curtain airbags, including knee airbags for the driver and front passenger.



The options sheet include full-LED headlights, a head-up display, a giant navigation and infotainment screen, automatic parallel parking, video-based adaptive cruise control, automatically dimming high-beams, and collision warning with automatic braking which slows but does not fully stops the car. There's a;so the three-point seatbelts on all seats and electronic stability control.


The mock carbon fibre and chrome elegant interior design and quality seem to be a dramatic improvement from the outgoing car’s sometimes squeaky, bulbous cabin. It's the inside details and customization options that really sold the car.





In a bid to make the Cooper more ergonomic, the buttons and switches are better laid out. They moved the speedometer from the center of the dashboard to behind and above the steering wheel along with a revcounter and fuel gauge on either side. The speedometer is equipped with an integrated thin-film transistor screen that can be configured to provide a wide array of information about the car, and it is flanked by a small tachometer.

There a host of aircraft-inspired toggle switches on the dash enable the driver to turn on or off the parking sensors, the start/stop system, the traction control and the heads-up display (if equipped). A large, clearly visible toggle switch is used to start and stop the engine. The window switches were moved from the center console to the doors.

   
The Cooper S's big petrol motor is mated to a newly developed six-speed manual gearbox. You also have the option of a six-speed automatic transmission which comes in a fettled ‘sports’ guise, including shorter shift times and a paddle-shift manual mode. There's a new sensor that automatically matches engine speeds when changing up and down.



The real estate freed up by the speedometer has been replaced by a high-definition color touch screen that runs the automaker's infotainment system. Called MINI Connected, the software groups the car's entertainment, navigation and connectivity functions into a single unit controlled by the aforementioned touch screen or buttons located right below it. MINI Connected can run applications such as Pandora radio and it enables the driver to upload directions from a computer or a mobile device via Google Send-to-Car.


 


The Cooper S’s new 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, features TwinPower turbocharging, direct fuel injection and variable camshaft control on both the intake and exhaust sides, develops 189 bhp horsepower between 4700 to 6000 rpm  and 207 to 221 lb-ft. of torque from 1250rpm via an overboost function. Engines send power to the front wheels via six-speed manual transmission developed by Getrag. A six-speed automatic unit is offered at an extra cost.




The lower weight of the new Mini Coopers also improves the Hardtop's acceleration, fuel economy, and agility. The best way to try its performance is to drive it in a curved path so you can really feel how smooth the ride is.

Despite its "mini" name, the new Mini Cooper S delivers maximum roar - comfortable, sporty and showy in all the right measures but delivers an injection of personality that makes it more fun than the rest. I am impressed with the 16-inch alloy wheels, sport seats, black checkered trim on the dashboard, MINI's Performance Control system and front fog lights.The 2014 Mini Cooper S is still most definitely a small car but I would love to see its design engineers eke more interior space from the smaller exterior dimensions. Stop giving it a bigger footprint before it becomes too inappropriate to be called a "mini."

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