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JBsC5
11-20-2002, 09:20 AM
200bhp Punch For Ultimate MINI


ot hatch fans have never had it so good! With the Ford Focus RS, SEAT Leon Cupra R and Honda Civic Type R already available, plus Vauxhall's Astra GSi on its way, there's almost too much choice. But deciding what to buy is about to become a lot harder - with the arrival of the 200bhp MINI Cooper S Works. And Auto Express can exclusively reveal that the new model will be available from January, priced 18,000.

Developed by legendary British tuning specialist John Cooper Works, the car follows on from its hot version of the MINI Cooper, which we drove in issue 681. The newcomer's appeal is simple - take a standard 14,500 Cooper S and add a performance upgrade kit to increase the 163bhp to a more potent 200bhp. As with the Cooper Works, customers will be able to specify the package with their new motor or have it fitted at a later date. Either way, the extra 37hbp will cost around 3,500 - but it promises to be money well spent, as the power hike will slash the car's 0-60mph sprint time from 7.4 to only six seconds.

The legendary company is not your average tuner, either, as it has an even longer heritage than the MINI brand. Based in West Sussex, it has been involved in racing since 1940, and its modifications transformed the original Mini from city runabout into a giant-killing race winner in the Sixties. BMW has also involved the firm closely with the development of the current MINI range, and gives its blessing to the Works tuning packages.

As a result, the modifications are extensive, but very professionally installed. Great care has been taken by John Cooper Works to create the optimum blend of performance increase without compromising reliability. A spokesman for the company told us: "We use proper mechanical modifications to generate the improved performance, and don't simply 'chip' the car. The changes will be similar to those seen on

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the current MINI Cooper Works, although this model will be more expensive as the power hike is greater."

The alterations will include fitting a new head to the Brazilian-made 1.6-litre powerplant from the standard Cooper S. This will be gas-flowed and the car's supercharger features modified turbine blades to improve boost.

An induction kit and a freer-flowing, large-bore sports exhaust will be added, while the engine management system will be reprogrammed. The spokesman revealed that the Cooper S Works kit will increase output right across the rev range. "More power will be available from the word go," he explained.

The modifications to the engine boost maximum torque from 210Nm to a very impressive 253Nm. Visually, the customer can decide on the extent of the styling changes, but most buyers are expected to opt for the Works bodykit, which is closely based on the MINI's Aero pack, already available as an option on the standard Cooper S.

Another downside of modifications is that the standard manufacturer warranty is normally invalidated - but not so with this new model, as the upgrade kit will be approved by BMW.

Steve
11-20-2002, 01:19 PM
One word springs to mind. "Yummy"! The wife was already thinking in terms of a Cooper 'S' anyway, but this sounds like something I shall have to work on. images/icons/grin.gif

JBsC5
11-21-2002, 09:10 AM
200hp would be worth waiting for if you can hold out..

I bet the 163hp version with a pully change and an intake is right up there though..

I'd like one in silver with the 17 inch rims...

Every person I see driving one is always smiling from ear to ear..

Great car!