So here we have the third generation of the new Mini Cooper S or F56, as it is affectionately known in the department of BMW code names. It’s scary to think that this Germanic controlled version of a swinging 60’s icon has been with us for over a decade now with some success, and by some I mean 2.4 million units of success built on English soil at the Oxford plant.
A Modern Mini
First impressions leave no room for ambiguity, this is most certainly a modern mini. The wheels are firmly in each corner, and the familiar shapes and lines have been maintained, if not slightly updated to a more aggressive rather then cutesy offering. The Car as a whole is 98mm longer than its predecessor, the majority of that is for the front overhang (a design requirement to keep in line with pedestrian safety legislation). It boasts 12mm more head room and 19mm more leg room, still, that’s nothing for any one over 5’1 to get too excited about.
The update to the styling meant the cheeky charm of the old cars seem to be lost, and it really does feel as if it is entering into the awkward pre-pubescent adolescence. The car looks not quite as it was should, the front over hang is incongruous, and the bonnet pitch is quite flat and requires a little more time before effectively blossoming.
Inside, it’s true to form with a large central display taking focal point, with a very highly designed cabin made of premium quality plastics.
Form and Function
The Mini Cooper S F56 featured is fitted with a 2 litre turbo unit, pushing 192bhp and 206lbs/ft of torque, launching the car from a standstill to 60 in just under 7 seconds, and on to a top speed of 146mph. The car will retain a very healthy 48mpg on a combined cycle too, which makes decision to purchase one of the most fun hatches on the market even easier. However, with just how happy the engine is to rev, you would be very lucky to see such a figure.
The car will be offered with the popular trim packs of pepper, and chilli, which 90% of buyers opted for on the previous model, along with Mini’s very good TLC service pack (98% of cars were purchased with that in the previous gen!).
Mini Cooper F56 – Fun and Funk
The Mini is starting to grow up, its still fun and funky at heart, but now seems it has to bother itself with the more mundane aspects of life too. It can be frugal, as well as involving, and may be just big enough to make it a practical choice. Prices start at £18,650 OTR and the new car is ready to order now.