Is Mini Cooper Dead?

By: Correy Putton

Mini debuted the all-new Cooper and Cooper S at the recently held 2007 North American International Auto Show. These models feature an entirely different body design, interior and engines.

Though at first glance, the overall design of the Mini Cooper is still identical to its predecessors, the automaker confirmed that each body panel is different. Under the hood of the vehicle is a set of new engines that include the 1.6-liter four-cylinder which is capable of producing 120 horsepower. The Mini Cooper S, on the other hand, features an intercooled and turbocharged version of the same 1.6-liter engine that generates 175 units of horsepower. The automaker also claims a 0-62 time in just 7.1 seconds, and a top speed of 140 miles per hour.

Each body panel has been redesigned by the automaker. However, the vehicles still bear that distinguished look of Mini vehicles. Mini's pool of designers made continuity and fluidity as their concept. Moreover, the concept also emphasized modern traditional designs and significant engineering features. The newly launched Minis are immediately recognizable both dynamically and visually.

The new vehicles retained some of its predecessors' like short body overhangs, the popular wheel-at-each-corner stance, high shoulder line rising towards the rear, hexagonal radiator grille, and the huge, round headlights. Subtle changes are also made to new to create a brand new aura. New Minis have become a bit bigger compared to the first generation. As a fact, the new MINI Cooper is 60mm longer than its predecessor while the new MINI Cooper S is longer by 61mm. To maintain proportions, Mini also increased the size of the rear portion by giving the vehicle more rounded contours.

The headlights of the vehicle are now stationary to the body. They are turned protruding to some extent to the outside to keep the geometry of the car from the front. The indicators are housed within the main headlight units. Also, the radiator grille is now composed of a closed, self-contained element inspired by the air intake scoop on the classic Mini.

The Mini Cooper S has a more prominent front end because of the featured bonnet that curves up by about approximately 20mm more to provide extra space for the turbocharged engine under the hood. The feature is also resorted to comply with the pedestrian impact regulations. The new Cooper S rises gently to the rear to accentuate the stance of the vehicle. Its shoulder line is made 18mm higher than the previous model. With regards the rear lights, they are made larger and now come with external surrounds.

Both the Mini Cooper and the Mini Cooper S feature vertical airflow edges on the C-pillars and individual spoilers at the rear end of the roof enhance the level of aerodynamics to an even higher standard than before. In addition, 0.33 is the current drag coefficient of the Mini Cooper.

Critics in the industry are saying that the Mini Cooper is dead because of the redesign. They added that from the moment the new Minis are displayed in the recent auto show they are pronounced DEAD. However, are they really dead and insensible? Enthusiasts say it is the other way around.

Now, Minis are open to a wide range of customization. It is given broad variety of paintwork and body colors, 7 of which are brand new.

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