MINI offers the most attractive and diverse model range available worldwide to motorists who seek driving fun, innovative technology and quality at the highest level also in the small car §egmènt. As the world's first and to date only producer of independently developed premium small cars, the British traditional brand is also attracting a steadily growing number of particularly discerning customers on the Chinese automotive market. From 23rd to 28th April 2011, MINI will present to those visiting the Auto Shanghai 2011 not only its further extended product range but also the most exclusive opportunity so far to experience typical MINI driving fun and a spectacular vision for the future of urban mobility. An exceptionally resolute manifestation of premium character is embodied by the MINI INSPIRED BY GOODWOOD, which will be making its world debut at the Auto Shanghai 2011. With the MINI Concept Rocketman, the brand-typical principle of creative use of space in urban road traffic conditions is reinterpreted.
With the market launch of the MINI Countryman and the new MINI family, Chinese car buyers now have ten different models to choose from. The first MINI wîth four doors and a large tailgate will be available in China in the guise of the MINI Cooper Countryman and the MINI Cooper Countryman S. There is also a choice of two engine variants for the MINI Convertible. Both the MINI and the MINI Clubman are available wîth three engine variants – MINI One, MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S.
Like the choice of engines, the diversity of the range of exterior colours and the interior design features as well as the wide choice of accessories enable each MINI customer to choose a car that suits his or her very own personal style. The personalisation options are an essential element of the MINI brand's premium character. Driving fun, which is guaranteed by sophisticated technology, is complemented by the excitement of owning an automobile that has been produced exactly according to one's own personal wishes. At the Auto Shanghai 2011, MINI will be demonstrating new possibilities for targeted individualisation. The new product range MINI Yours comprises exclusive options for the exterior and interior design. A further highlight accompanying the launch of MINI Yours is, in addition to the world premiere of the MINI INSPIRED BY GOODWOOD, the Asian premiere of the MINI Clubman Hampton, which embodies the concept realised by MINI Yours in yet a further particularly concentrated form.
MINI INSPIRED BY GOODWOOD: highest exclusivity in the small car §egmènt.
The MINI INSPIRED BY GOODWOOD is characterised by top-grade materials, the highest level of workmanship and stylish supremacy. Its exclusive character is the result of an exceptional collaboration. The special edition of the three-door MINI was built under the guidance of the Rolls-Royce Motor Cars designer team and transfers the unmistakable style of the British luxury car manufacturer to the equally unique original within the premium small car §egmènt. The exterior and interior design features, which were conceived at the Rolls-Royce Design division in the southern English town of Goodwood, provide the model from the MINI Yours range wîth a fascinating charisma and an incomparably high-quality ambience.
Inside the MINI INSPIRED BY GOODWOOD, a harmonious colour concept, selected materials and a production quality characterised by precise craftsmanship guarantee the highest degree of well-being and comfort. The dashboard, including the surrounds of the central instrument and the air vents, the centre console, carpet surfaces, the Lounge leather seats, the roof lining as well as the door, side and body pillar cladding boast the exclusive Rolls-Royce colour Cornsilk. The dashboard and doorhandle surfaces, which are manufactured in Goodwood and finished in Walnut Burr, a wood quality also exclusive to Rolls-Royce, the black nappa leather dashboard top, Tipped Leather Cornsilk door linings as well as Piano Black surface finishes for the buttons on the multifunction §teering wheel and the controls below the central instrument all provide additional quality-enhancing accents. In addition, the car boasts Cashmere roof linings, sun visors and rear storage tray as well as foot mats boasting a deep-pile lambswool quality also featured in current Rolls-Royce models. The most striking features of the exterior design are the body finish in the exclusive Rolls-Royce colour Diamond Black metallic and 17-inch light alloy wheels sporting a multi-spoke design.
The MINI INSPIRED BY GOODWOOD is powered by a l.6-litre 135 kW/184 bhp four-cylinder engine wîth Twin Scroll turbocharger, direct petrol injection and variable valve control. The power unit, which is featured for the first time in the new MINI Cooper S, impresses wîth spontaneous power delivery. At the sam time it is also the most efficient engine in its displacement class. Moreover, the MINI INSPIRED BY GOODWOOD's range of high-quality equipment offered as standard also includes Xenon Adaptive Headlights, Park Distance Control, automatic air conditioning, an onboard computer and the audio system Radio MINI Visual Boost, which includes the Harman Kardon hi-fi speaker system.
Traditional principle, innovative technology: The MINI Rocketman Concept.
The fascinating concept car being presented by MINI at the Auto Shanghai 2011, demonstrates how the brand's fundamental principle of creative use of space can be redefined by the use of innovative technology in the areas of body construction, interior design and Infotainment. The MINI Rocketman Concept, which will be making its debut in Asia, is being presented as a 3+1-seater wîth a unique spatial concept, 3 doors and a length of just over 3 metres. Its characteristics are oriented towards the multi-faceted demands of a modern target group, the mobility requirements of which are characterised by driving fun, flexible use of space and comprehensive networking wîth the personal living environment.
The innovatively designed interior of the MINI Rocketman Concept offers the driver, front seat passenger and further occupants a generous amount of space, also providing, if needed, a fourth individual seat at the rear. Furthermore, the newly conceived bodywork concept ensures comfortable entry and wide-ranging possibilities for loading. Thanks to sidesills integrated into the doors, the passenger entry area reaches far into the interior. The two-part tailgate consists of one section which is attached to the roof and opens extremely high and a lower section which extends out of the body in the form of a drawer.
The MINI Rocketman Concept body is shaped by an avant-garde interpretation of time-honoured brand features. A carbon spaceframe construction, whose striking surface structure is visible from the outside both on the radiator grille and in the interior, forms the basis for a weight-minimising construction. Inside the car, leather covers and high-gloss painted surfaces combine wîth armrests and trim strips made from a special paper that has been pressed and folded into the desired structure. The control concept for the MINI Rocketman Concept also highlights new approaches. The customary Centre Speedo houses a projection surface boasting 3D graphics presentation capability. The display is operated using both the §teering wheel buttons and the integrated trackball. Furthermore, the MINI Rocketman Concept features a removable control element for all comfort and connectivity functions.
MINI Yours: the exclusive route to personalisation.
With the MINI, the MINI Clubman, the MINI Convertible and the MINI Countryman, the brand's model diversity has also reached a new peak on the Chinese automotive market. Simultaneously, the possibilities to configure the vehicle according to personal taste are being continually increased. MINI is using its presence at the Auto Shanghai 2011 as a starting signal for a particularly attractive range of special equipment. The MINI Yours product portfolio being presented in Asia for the first time creates unparalleled possibilities to configure a MINI both according to personal preference and in the unmistakable style of the brand. These exterior and interior design options faithfully reflect the heritage of the brand and highlight the designers' appreciation of premium quality and eye for creative ideas.
Among the features of MINI Yours are unusual paint finishes, upholstery variants and interior colours, stylishly compiled equipment packages and particularly attractive limited-edition models. In addition to the MINI INSPIRED BY GOODWOOD, the Asian premiere of MINI Yours will also feature the presentation of an exclusive edition of the MINI Clubman based on the MINI. The MINI Clubman Hampton stands out wîth its innovative colour and materials concept and top-quality specification, underscoring the character of MINI Yours in an additional, concisely harmonised configuration.
The special features of the MINI Clubman Hampton include the newly developed Reef Blue paint finish, exclusive light-alloy wheels and specifically designed seats in Lounge Leather upholstery. Inspired by a southwest London suburb, the MINI Clubman Hampton picks up on the tradition established by the success of earlier special-edition models like the MINI Park Lane, MINI Checkmate and MINI Convertible Sidewalk.
At a glance.
•World premiere: the MINI INSPIRED BY GOODWOOD. With the MINI INSPIRED BY GOODWOOD, which will be making its world debut at the Auto Shanghai 2011, the principle of an unmistakable, exclusive and premium-quality small car is realised in a particularly concentrated form. The special edition fascinates wîth an exceptionally impressive exterior and interior design, which was conceived at the development centre of the British traditional brand Rolls-Royce in Goodwood. The MINI INSPIRED BY GOODWOOD, which was produced in a limited edition of 1,000 units, combines typical MINI driving fun wîth discerning craftsmanship, selected materials and a styling marked by typical British understatement of the world's leading producer of luxury automobiles.
•Asian premiere: the MINI Rocketman Concept. Compact on the outside, but big on the inside, the 'creative use of space' principle so beloved of the MINI brand enters a new dimension wîth the MINI Rocketman Concept. As a 3+1-seater wîth a vehicle length of little more than three metres (approx. 10 ft.), the concept car being presented to the general public for the first time at the Auto Shanghai 2011 offers new and innovative ways of generating maximum interior versatility within the smallest possible exterior dimensions – and offering unbeatable driving fun in the process. The MINI Rocketman Concept once again brings the traditional principles of the classic MINI onto the road through the introduction of innovative ideas. The MINI Rocketman Concept captures the imagination as a vision of urban mobility in the future through features such as its innovative seating and door concept, groundbreaking technologies for connecting its occupants wîth the outside world, and the lightweight structure of its body. Thanks to a new interpretation of the characteristic MINI design vocabulary, both the brand affiliation as well as the vehicle's degree of innovation are immediately recognisable in the design of the concept car.
•Asian premiere MINI Yours and Chinese premiere of the MINI Clubman Hampton: Individuality is all part of the MINI character – and now the brand has introduced a highly exclusive new way of turning your car into a personally configured one-off. The factory-fit options from the MINI Yours product range combine quality and style wîth familiar MINI flair, helping to give the car a particularly expressive presence. Scheduled for launch in spring 2011, the MINI Yours range includes wonderfully expressive exterior paint finishes, upholstery variants and interior colours, as well as studiously configured equipment packages. Added to which, a limited-edition version of the MINI Clubman will be presented to mark the premiere of MINI Yours. The MINI Clubman Hampton embodies the unmistakable style of MINI Yours through carefully selected and precisely coordinated design features.
Source - MINI
Now the long period of waiting is finally coming to an end: A very special version of the MINI is making its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show, injecting a fresh breeze into the world of motoring – the new MINI Convertible. Introducing this versatile four-seater, MINI is combining the distinctive pleasure of driving an open car wîth the unique enjoyment you can only feel at the wheel of a genuine MINI. Combining supreme fun wîth practical value.
The MINI Convertible is a fully-fledged four-seater clearly standing out from the start as a genuine MINI regardless of whether the roof is up or down. For the design features and proportions so characteristic of the MINI have been consistently carried over to the MINI Convertible: The steeply raked windscreen and the optimum seating position enjoyed by the driver ensure an unforgettable open-air experience also when driving wîth the roof down. So the new model version leaves no doubt that motoring pleasure is an outstanding factor on all four seats of this uniquely popular cult car.
Clearly, the MINI Convertible boasts a clever all-round concept wîth supreme function and optimum use of space available.
Striking profile.With its roof down, this classy convertible really looks at its best. The waistline gradually rising to the rear gives the car a strong and distinctive profile further accentuated by the chrome strip continuing along the complete window line. The steeply raked windscreen, complete absence of a B-pillar, the rollbars made of extra-strong aluminum pipes behind the rear-seat backrest, as well as the compact, folding roof all bear testimony to the unique style of a classic convertible.
The new MINI Convertible is entering the market initially in the guise of the 66 kW/90 bhp MINI One and the 85 kW/115 bhp MINI Cooper. The top-of-the-range MINI Cooper S Convertible will be following later.
In standard trim the MINI Convertible comes on 15-inch steel or, respectively, light-alloy rims (MINI One/MINI Cooper) running on 175/65 R15 tyres. As an option, both models are available wîth attractive 16- and 17-inch light-alloy wheels, wîth the 17-inch five-star Bullet light-alloy wheels developed exclusively for the new open-air version.
A convertible wîth a sliding roof all in one.
The roof available in three colours opens up fully automatically within just 15 seconds: Pressing a button, you first open the integrated sliding roof, then the complete soft roof as such. With the soft roof folding to the rear, the roof columns are automatically retracted and the rear side windows move down at the same time. The intelligent Z-folding mechanism allows the complete roof to fold up in compact arrangement behind the rear seats, wîth no need for a tonneau cover.
The sliding roof integrated in the soft top can be opened infinitely up to 40 cm or 15¾´´ while driving, up to a speed of 120 km/h or 75 mph. Clearly, a feature quite unprecedented in the convertible market.
Optimum utilisation of space available.
Folding out to the back, the rear lid is held in position when open by two steel cables wîth a spring-mounted retractor system. This allows use of the rear lid wîth its hinges facing to the outside as a practical loading panel able to carry a weight of up to 80 kg or 176 lb.
The MINI Convertible is able to carry a maximum of 400 kg or 882 lb, and the luggage compartment accommodates 165 litres wîth the roof closed. And even wîth the roof down, driving in the open air, luggage compartment capacity remains a substantial 120 litres.
The Easy Load system offers generous through-loading capacity: With the roof closed, all you do is turn two levers in the luggage compartment to fold up the bottom section of the cover fastened on a tightening bracket and attach it in position. Then, wîth the rear lid open, you have very convenient access to the luggage compartment through a large opening able to accommodate even bulky objects. And in conjunction wîth the rear seat backrests folding forward and fastened securely in position, luggage compartment capacity can be increased to no less than 605 litres.
Boasting features such as its highly functional roof, the variable luggage compartment even wîth the roof open, an ultra-strong and stiff bodyshell, as well as the chassis wîth its multi-arm rear axle, the MINI Convertible sets the standard in its market §egmènt in many other other respects too.
That go-kart feeling so typical of the MINI.
Combining a very stiff bodyshell wîth superior chassis and suspension features, the open-air models, like their fixed-roof counterparts, once again offer a unique symbiosis of superior agility and handling. The drive concept as such, the long wheelbase, a low centre of gravity, wide track, the multi-arm rear axle and the direct, electrohydraulic power §teering all go together to provide the foundation for the excellent driving behaviour and go-kart feeling so typical of the MINI Convertible.
Sporting performance wherever you go.
Engine : 1.6 L., 4-cylinder Power: 184 hp
Both versions of the MINI Convertible feature a 1.6-litre four-cylinder power unit developing maximum output of 66 kW/90 bhp in the MINI One and 85 kW/115 bhp in the MINI Cooper. Maximum torque of 140 Nm/103 lb-ft and, respectively, 150 Nm/111 lb-ft comes at just 3000 and, respectively, 4,500 rpm. A smooth-shifting five-speed manual gearbox is standard on both models. Top speed of the MINI One Convertible is 175 km/h or 109 mph, wîth acceleration to 100 km/h in 11.8 seconds. Fuel consumption in the composite EÚ cycle is 7.2 litres premium/100 km, equivalent to 39.2 mpg Imp.
Maximum output of 85 kW/115 bhp gives the MINI Cooper Convertible a top speed of 193 km/h or 120 mph. Acceleration to 100 km/h from a standstill comes in just 9.8 seconds, fuel consumption in the EÚ cycle is 7.3 litres/100 km, equal to 38.7 mpg Imp.
High standard of safety.
Benefitting from its stiff body structure and restraint system comprising, inter alia, two 'intelligent' frontal airbags and two seat-integrated head/thorax side airbags as standard, the MINI Convertible naturally complies wîth the world's strictest crash standards required by law. A wide range of constructional improvements and features ensures a particularly high standard of torsional stiffness preventing the door-sills from bending in in the event of a head-on collision and offering the occupants optimum protection in an impact from the side.
Should the MINI Convertible ever be involved in a rollover, the A-pillars encompassing a tube made of ultra-strong steel guarantee a strong load-bearing function. And at the rear double rollbars made of high-strength aluminium tubes, complete wîth integrated headrests, afford superior passenger safety.
A high standard of active safety is ensured, inter alia, by four disc brakes, four-sensor ABS, Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), as well as Cornering Brake Control (CBC). Available as an option, Automatic Stability and Traction Control (ASC+T) as well as Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) help to provide superior driving and tracking stability in an extreme situation.
MINI in colour.
The MINI Convertible is available in 10 exterior colours, two of which are reserved exclusively to this open-air model: Hot Orange and, to provide a particular effect, Cool Blue. And while the MINI One Convertible comes only wîth a black roof, the roof of the open-air MINI Cooper is available in Black, Blue, and Green. The exterior mirror housings, in turn, are again finished in Black on the 'basic' model and come in body colour on the MINI Cooper Convertible.
High-quality textile materials and surfaces give the interior special harmony and balance. The dashboard and door linings are available in Silver and Anthracite and also come as a further choice in wood and aluminium trim.
The seat upholstery is available in 3 different types of cloth, 3 combinations of cloth and leather, and wîth three different choices of all-leather upholstery.
The wide range of standard equipment featured from the start on the new Convertible comprises, inter alia, an electrically operated roof complete wîth sliding roof function, a heated glass rear window, two frontal and two head/thorax side airbags, four-sensor ABS, Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), Cornering Brake Control (CBC), BMW's Tyre Defect Indicator (TDI), electrically operated rear-view mirrors and window lifts, power §teering, Park Distance Control (PDC), a rev counter, height adjustment on the both driver's seat and §teering column, as well as central locking wîth remote control plus comfort opening.
To fulfill all kinds of individual and personal wishes, the MINI Convertible comes wîth an equally wide range of special equipment comprising features such as xenon headlights, a TV navigation system wîth a 16:9 colour display, high-quality HiFi audio systems, a heated rear window, automatic air conditioning, a wind deflector, a wide range of light-alloy wheels, a multifunction §teering wheel, a rain sensor, and the interior mirror complete wîth anti-dazzle function.
Successful and popular.
Apart from the MINI Convertible making its debut in Geneva, the four existing fixed-roof models already very successful in the market are naturally also to be admired at the Show: the MINI One, MINI One D, MINI Cooper, and MINI Cooper S. And 'popular' is indeed the right word to describe these successful models already delivered to more than 176,000 thrilled customers the world over.Source - MINI
The British Motor Corporation came into existence in 1952 by the merging of two manufacturers, Nuffield Motors and Austin. Nuffield was known for its Morris line of vehicles, while Austin had its 'Seven' model line. The transition for the two manufacturers was difficult and had been forced out of necessity. After World War II, many vehicle manufacturers could not stay in business due to destroyed factories, recovering economies, strained resources, and lack of funds. Combining the two companies was a means to stay in business.
A fuel shortage was occurring. German engineers quickly adapted and began producing fuel-efficient vehicles. Examples include the Volkswagen Beetle. Leonard Lord, Chairman of BMC and former head of Austin, commissioned Sir Alec Issigonis to design a vehicle to compete with the German-made vehicles.
Alec Issigonis was a graduate of Battersea Technical College. After graduation he worked as a draftsman for a plethora of engineering projects. Later, he joined Morris Motors where he was tasked with creating and fitting suspensions to the Morris vehicles.
Issigonis was outfitted with requirements to create a fuel-efficient, affordable, safe vehicle capable of carrying four individuals including luggage. To save on development costs, it was requested that an existing BMC engine be used. What he created was a vehicle that sat atop of 10 inch wheels. By using smaller wheels there was little need for wheel wells.
The car was expected to carry four individuals; the combined weight of the passengers being greater than the entire vehicle. A suspension was needed that could accept this pay-load. With his prior experience creating and working with suspensions, Issigonis designed a rubber cone suspension.
A 950 cc, four cylinder, BMC engine was selected. It was mounted in the front and expected to power the front wheels, a system that was revolutionary at the time. Instead of mounting the engine longitudinally, it was place transversely. The transmission was place under the engine due to space constraints.
When Issigonis presented his designs and recommendations to Lord in 1958, changes were requested. Instead of the 950 cc engine, a 34 horsepower, 848 cc engine would be used, making the vehicle slower but more importantly, more safe. The other request was to make the vehicle two inches wider.
There were two versions of the car when it was first introduced on August 26, 1959. The only difference between the 1959 Austin and Morris versions was their badges.
John Cooper had designed vehicles that successfully won the Formula One championships in 1959 and 1960.
He proposed a marriage between his 1000 cc Formula Junior engine with the Mini. Lord approved the idea and in 1961 the Mini Cooper was born. It was fitted with a 997 cc engine producing 55 horsepower. Later, the Cooper S came into being with the advent of the 970 cc and the 1275 cc engine - the latter capable of 76 horsepower.
From 1964 through 1967 the little car dominated the Monte Carlo Rally. The car easily achieved these victories using a 91 horsepower engine.
Minis became more than just a practical car, they became a fashion statement. This, combined with their practicality, fuel efficiency, and success on the race track, created an overwhelming demand for the little car.
In the 1980's, the Mini was starting to loose momentum. Rover tried to revitalize the Mini brand by creating special editions. In all, there were more than 40 different editions created between 1980 and 2000.
A merger with British Motor Corporation and another company produced the Britsh Leyland Company. Later, it became Rover Group. Currently, it is owned by BMW.
In 2001, BMW introduced the MINI. The MINI currently has three Cooper models. Their main differences being the size of the engine and the horsepower rating. A convertible has also been included to the line-up. By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2007
Three generations of driving fun: The MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S through the years.
For three generations and over 50 years, the Cooper name has identified a MINI offering even more in the way of driving fun. The idea, hatched by brilliant Formula One designer John Cooper, to fuel the agile small car wîth an extra hit of performance and turn it into a sporting machine for the road and track has lost none of its appeal. But the Cooper has never been about horsepower, as a comparison between the classic Mini and its two successors resoundingly proves. The key here is the basic principle of the creative use of space, combined wîth the inimitable go-kart feeling that runs like a thread through the three generations of the legendary small car. These famous handling traits are enjoyed by drivers on bendy country roads and city streets around the world, wîth the classic Mini and 21st-century MINI still regularly crossing each other's path.
The small British car positively craves twists and turns demanding quick and precise changes in direction; this is where it feels most at home. The classic Mini was tailor-made for tackling hairpins and corner-strewn roads, and it still looks the part today – aided by the healthy 46 kW/63 hp available in a Mini Cooper towards the end of its production run. The classic Cooper was built up to autumn 2000, by which time its successor was already twitching in the starting blocks. In contrast to the original Mini, the new model was available in Cooper guise from the outset. And wîth 85 kW/115 hp under the bonnet, it would do its nameplate proud. From the word go, the car's powerplant and chassis formed a harmonious alliance to deliver unbeatable driving fun. As John Cooper realised, sometimes you actually can't have too much of a good thing. 50 years ago he unveiled the 70 hp Mini Cooper S. And today, its youngest descendant places 135 kW/184 hp at the disposal of its driver. As if that wasn't enough, the turbocharged engine powering the latest MINI Cooper S also sets the benchmark for efficiency in its output class.
When Alec Issigonis set out to develop a new small car for the British Motor Corporation in the mid-1950s, his priorities were space and price. Indeed, at a touch over three metres in length, the classic Mini offered astonishingly generous accommodation for passengers and their gear alike. Issigonis settled on a front transverse installation for the four-cylinder engine, under which lay the gearbox, plumb between the wheels. The positioning of those wheels at the far corners of the car and the Mini's short overhangs did the rest. The Mini was small on the outside but roomy on the inside, not to mention – at around 600 kilograms – extremely light. The principles underpinning its design remain the template for small and compact cars in the modern era.
However, it was left to another key figure in the brand's history to uncover the vast well of sporting talent under that diminutive shell. John Cooper, a friend and business partner of Mini creator Issigonis and winner of two Formula One constructors' world titles, was quick to spot the car's dynamic potential, and in 1961 the first Mini Cooper hit the roads. Production of the Cooper was temporarily suspended in the 1970s, but by that time the Mini Cooper badge had long since become the signature of a sporty and agile small car.
As well as the intervention of John Cooper, the launch of this famous sporting career also relied on the brilliance of the classic Mini's chassis. Issigonis had broken new ground wîth the §teering and suspension of his new creation, and in so doing laid the foundations for the go-kart feeling appreciated by drivers to this day. Homokinetic joints reduced torque steer, a subframe (to which the rear wheels were fixed) improved directional stability, and rubber springs and small telescopic dampers ensured accurate responses and progressive spring action. The wealth of ideas packed into this small car still impresses. And the result of those ideas – the classic Mini's much-celebrated handling – explains why the car continues to enjoy such a loyal community of fans. When the successor to the original car came along in 2001, it was clear that highly advanced chassis technology would be needed in order to set the pace in driving fun all over again. The MINI Cooper rose to the challenge in some style, thanks to MacPherson spring struts at the front axle, axle shafts equal in length, a multi-link rear axle unique in the small car §egmènt, disc brakes on all four wheels, and DSC (Dynamic Stability Control).
The latest-generation MINI Cooper S also features Electric Power Steering wîth Servotronic function and a DSC system including DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) and an electronic locking function for the front axle differential. Known as Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC), this system gives the MINI a crucial edge through the tight bends of Alpine passes, for example, by braking a spinning wheel as required to enhance drive out of corners as well as the car's §teering properties. Added to which, pressing the standard Sport Button in the MINI Cooper S makes the §teering even more direct and stirs up a particularly sporty soundtrack from the engine. All of this was unimaginable 50 years ago, of course, but you get the impression John Cooper would have wholeheartedly approved.