A 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine is available in three strengths; six-speed manual transmission and optional six-speed-automatic choices; New turbo powertrains should arrive in about a year.
It seemingly didn’t take the BMW’s Mini division too much fiddling to turn the Mini Cooper hatch and convertible into a cute little roadster and helmet-topped coupe. The platforms and powertrains remain unchanged, leaving only bodywork alterations that included designing proper trunk lids where the rear seats used to be, slightly lowering the windshields and firming up the suspensions. On the practical side, there’s enough enclosed space in each version to store a few decent-sized travel bags or a set or two of golf clubs regardless of whether the top is up, down or in a fixed position. The Roadster’s windshield frame has been significantly reinforced and functions in concert with the twin padded steel roll bars to provide a measure of protection should a worst-case tip-over event occur. Both body styles feature active rear spoilers (with manual override controls) that automatically extend whenever speed exceeds 50 mph. It adds up to 88 pounds of downforce. An available sport-suspension package with extra-stiff shocks and thicker anti-sway bars is optional for those who also enjoy shaking their fillings loose on rough roads. Base models continue with a 121-horsepower 1.6-liter four-cylinder, while the S comes with a 181-horse turbocharged version. At the top is the JCW (John Cooper Works) edition that pumps out 208 horsepower from its turbo motor. The JCW also adds a body kit, Brembo-brand brakes, distinctive alloy wheels and a fancier interior. Transmission choices for all models consist of a six-speed manual or optional six-speed automatic with paddle-shift controls. With the original Mini coupe/hatch receiving new turbocharged three- and four-cylinder powerplants in 2014, both of these offshoots will likely follow suit by the 2016 model year.