Photo of the Day – 2010 Mini Cooper S

The modern embodiment of a 60’s icon, the BMW produced Mini Cooper S is a competent and affordable sportscar for the urban masses.

Responsive and Effecient The Cooper S Is the Modern Embodiment Of A Cultural Icon (Click to Enlarge)

Introduced in 2002 as a completely new design, the BMW MINI Cooper is a throwback to its ancestor of the same name, mimicking its appearance and performance. Whilst the car has been criticized for its poor space-efficiency compared with the original Mini (despite its significantly larger size), its faithfulness to the original’s razor sharp handling characteristics and its unique styling has seen the BMW MINI become a sales success in Europe and (since its introduction in 2002) in the U.S.

BMW has received a significant backlog of orders throughout the life of the car and the Cowley factory is working at its full capacity of around 100,000 cars per year; all of this with little conventional advertising.

Cosmetically, there is little that has changed about this new BMW MINI Cooper since it was introduced in 2002. Certain features and optional stylings have been offered, however, and this is true for 2006 as well. This year, the BMW Cooper is available in a special edition John Cooper Works GP version, boosting the engine output to 214hp and adding such items as a limited slip differential and electronic stability control.

The 2007 model is three inches longer than the 2006 model. However, the 2007 has 2 inches less rear leg room (29 vs 31 in) and one square foot less luggage space when the rear seats are folded down (24 vs 25 sq ft).

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The 2007 “S” model with the turbocharger has 4 more horsepower and 15 more foot pounds of torque than the 2006 “S” model with a supercharger. The 2007 “S” model gets 16% better city gas mileage (29 vs 25 MPG). Those factoids appear to support the contention that switching from supercharger to turbocharger was done to improve engine efficiency. However, MINI “maniacs” will miss the delightful scream of the supercharger and have to endure the hesitation provided by turbo lag.