MINI Cooper S Test Drive Review
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MINI Cooper S Review

Car tested: 2012 MINI Cooper S

Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 36,51,210/-

MINI was first introduced by BMC (British Motor Corporation) in 1959 as a small economy car. It was also voted as the second most influential car of the 20th century (the first being the Ford Model T). In 1994, BMW acquired Rover (which owned MINI) and the German automaker split the MINI brand into its own entity in 2000. The MINI Cooper is in its second generation today and was launched in 2007. The Cooper S is the sportier version of the MINI Cooper and the name plate was first seen in the classic MINI way back in 1963. It won the Monte Carlo rally three times, which made it the ultimate performance machine in those days. But does the latest MINI Cooper S offer similar performance levels? We take the MINI Cooper S out on Indian roads to find out what this icon is all about?

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Exteriors – The MkII MINI Cooper looks identical to the MKI model even though it was developed at BMW’s headquarters in Munich. BMW has made the MINI Cooper meet the latest safety norms (helping it get Euro NCAP 5 Star Rating), which involved changing every panel. However the styling was maintained to keep the iconic retro looks alive. The Cooper S gets go-fast bits like large air intakes, side sills, twin exhausts, rear spoiler, S badges and lots of chrome all around.

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If looks could kill, the Cooper S would be convicted.

Our test car came shod with black coloured alloy wheels shod on 205/45/ R17 tyres. The paint job is Rooster Red, with racing strips on the hood. The round headlamps (bordered with chrome) give the MINI a very retro-modern appeal and the Cooper features the typical MINI hexagonal radiator grille which is surrounded by chrome. The front bumper has a honeycomb grille which has two air intakes (again with chrome surrounds) to cool the brakes. The charismatic short overhands and large wheels give the MINI Cooper huge presence.

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The MINI Cooper has a large glass area and the doors are slightly longer than what is seen normally. The flared wheel arches can’t be missed and are finished in black. The use of black and red give the MINI a very rally style appearance. The roof is finished in black and so are all the pillars. The retro tail lights get a dose of chrome, while an additional pair of LED brake lights have been added to the bumper of the Cooper S. These additional brake lights are also surrounded by chrome and are placed on the rear bumper which gets a honeycomb mesh air dam. A chrome strip runs right above the number plate, which houses an electromagnetic tail gate opener.

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The MINI Cooper attracts attention like no other vehicle on the road. The styling is iconic and the vehicle is undoubtedly a style statement. Everyone turns to see the car and as there are very few on the roads, the curiosity of the people around you is amplified several notches higher. If you want to turn heads, then the MINI Cooper is definitely the car to be in.

Head over to the next page to read about the interiors of the MINI Cooper S.