Driven: New MINI Coupé

The new MINI Coupé’s mission is a simple one: to maximise the thrill of being behind the wheel. Which I must say, I’m all for because the last offering, the Countryman, was about as fun to drive as a herd of sheep. With the new Coupé, MINI is definitely back on track and doing what they do best – great, pocket-sized desirability with a hint of swagger.

The new range went on sale earlier this month and MINI are typically keen to point out that Coupé customers can expect a decent standard of equipment like DAB digital radio, park distance control and the usual level of personal customisation.

The entry-level Cooper model starts with a simple, yet potent, 1.6-litre engine. Next is the Cooper S, which uses the same engine, combined with a twin-scroll turbo that produces a sprightly 184bhp under the bonnet. The Diesel S is the cost effective option, which utilises a 2.0-litre unit to propel the Coupé from zero-60mph in 7.9 seconds but comes with an official figure of 65.7mpg. This, in turn, keep’s the tax and car insurance costs in check.

The model I drove, the John Cooper Works is in a different level altogether though. It churns out a monstrous 208bhp (in a car the size of a shoe remember), which results in a blistering 0-60mph time of just 6.4 seconds.

The MINI Coupé also features a little bit of innovation too. It’s the first modern MINI to adopt the traditional ‘three-box’ body structure, splitting the car into distinct segments – the engine compartment, cabin and boot. While the length and width are similar to the standard MINI Hatch, the Coupé’s height is accordingly lower, confirming the sporty credentials.

Prices start from £16,640 for the Cooper and finish at £23,795 for the range-topping John Cooper Works model.

Written by Chris Walsh. Chris has been lucky enough to write about the things he loves for the last five years.  Even though he has tested hundreds of cars in his adulthood, he is still driven by a boyish excitement that never seems to retire.

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