PURE DRIVING FUN, MORE EXTREME THAN EVER: THE NEW MINI JOHN COOPER WORKS HARDTOP
• The new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop will make its World Premiere at the North American International Auto Show in JanuaryWoodcliff Lake, NJ – December 10, 2014
…MINI has carried a passion for motorsport for 55 years and this is more evident than ever before wîth the launch of the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop. The exceptional performance of the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop is a result of the most powerful engine ever installed in one of the brand's production models, suspension technology refined wîth racing expertise and model-specific design features which not only optimize the car's aerodynamic features but also underscore its exclusive charisma. With its irresistible temperament and high performance capabilities, it not only outperforms the sportiest variants of the new MINI but also the predecessor John Cooper Works variants.
The power for the new John Cooper Works Hardtop is delivered by a 2.0- liter 4-cylinder engine that was developed based on the latest generation of power units wîth MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology. It generates a maximum output of 228 bhp and a maximum torque of 236 ft-lbs., accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 5.9 econds (Manual: 6.1 seconds). This is an increase in sprint capability of 0.3 seconds or 5 percent as compared to the previous generation John Cooper Works Hardtop. Elasticity has even been improved by 10 percent. With a figure of 5.6 seconds for acceleration from 50 to 75 mph, the new MINI John Cooper Works even leaves top-class sports cars in its dust.
Technology for the engine, suspension, body and interior have been derived directly from motor racing and define the exclusive, performance-oriented character of the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop. Combined wîth the further refined product substance of the new MINI, the MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop has been created for fans who appreciate authentic race feeling, premium quality and a high level of everyday practicality. The extremely powerful engine, sports exhaust system and sports suspension wîth exclusive 17-inch John Cooper Works light alloy wheels combine for a high performance motoring experience that MINI owners expect from the John Cooper Works variants. A sports brake system developed in collaboration wîth specialist manufacturer Brembo, as well as the John Cooper Works aerodynamics kit including a model-specific rear spoiler and newly developed John Cooper Works sports seats comprising integrated headrest all go together to complete a precisely harmonized overall package.
This gives the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop performance qualities including not just high-speed acceleration capacity but also exceptional agility, a high degree of §teering precision and precise handling on the road as well as excellent deceleration figures. This set of characteristics reflects the brand's rich motor racing experience and bears witness to the tradition-steeped link between MINI and John Cooper Works. Ever since legendary designer John Cooper discovered the racing talent the classic Mini presented in the early 1960's, his name has stood for maximum driving fun and success on the race track wîth the small British car.The engine: state-of-the-art basis optimized wîth racing expertise for top performance.
Únder the bonnet of the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop is by far the sportiest version of the latest MINI engine generation. The 4-cylinder engine traditionally mounted transversely at the front benefits from advancements in the areas of power delivery, smoothness and efficiency derived from MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology, combining these wîth performance characteristics which are unmistakably geared towards motor racing. It draws its power from a capacity of 2.0 liters - an increase of 25 percent over the engine in the predecessor model. The increase in output amounts to 10 percent, while the maximum torque is 14 percent higher than before.
The new engine was created on the basis of the 4-cylinder that was completely newly developed for the latest generation of the MINI Cooper S. It has turbocharging integrated in the exhaust manifold, direct injection wîth injectors arranged centrally between the valves, fully variable valve control in the form of VALVETRONIC as patented by the BMW Group and variable camshaft control on the intake and exhaust side (double VANOS). As a result, the engine of the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop guarantees efficient and reliable driving fun in day-to-day use as well as sporty power delivery for inspirational performance on the race track.
The turbocharging system integrated in the cast steel manifold makes for short ducting of the exhaust gas flow, thereby enabling an early and powerful response. What is more, the turbocharger developed specially for the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop is made of temperature-resilient material. It generates increased charge-air pressure for even, sporty power delivery across a wide engine speed range. The specific pistons are precisely harmonized wîth this, enabling compression reduction that is adapted to the high level of charge-air pressure. This design produces performance characteristics typical of a sports car: power delivery which sets in early on and is maintained continuously right through to a high load range. The engine of the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop responds spontaneously to the smallest movements of the accelerator pedal. It develops its maximum torque of 236 ft-lbs. at just 1, 250 rpm and puts this on stream over a range going up to 4, 800 rpm. At 5, 200 rpm the engine supplies its peak output of 228 bhp which is then maintained at a constant level up to 6, 000 rpm.
The output bonus in the new John Cooper Works Hardtop is now higher than before wîth 39 percent more horsepower than the MINI Cooper S and is also exceptional in terms of its pulling power. Its thrust not only enables extremely spirited acceleration from standing but also highly dynamic interim sprints. The new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop completes the standard sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds (Manual: 6.1 seconds), it takes just 5.6 seconds to accelerate from 50 to 75 mph and its maximum speed 153 mph.
Geared towards top performance in every way, the engine technology in the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop is rounded off wîth a specific sports exhaust system. With its low level of exhaust back pressure it promotes spontaneous power delivery in the engine as well as generating the sound typical of the John Cooper Works models that underscores the engine's performance character wîth a highly emotional acoustic pattern across all load ranges.
Top performance delivered in dynamic style: 6-speed manual transmission wîth engine speed adaptation, 6-speed Steptronic sports transmission wîth shift paddles at the §teering wheel.
Power delivery to the front wheels is affected as standard via a 6-speed manual transmission which has been adapted in detail to the engine's performance characteristics. The transmission itself, also newly developed for the latest model generation, is characterized by low weight, short shift travel and optimized acoustic and vibrational characteristics, as well as providing an innovation which comes into play impressively when the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop is driven in sporty style. A gear sensor allows active engine speed adaptation, or rev-matching. When changing gear, the engine speed can be automatically adapted to the rotational speed of the input shaft for the gear selected. This ensures jerk-free clutch engagement, thereby enhancing comfort when shifting down a gear.
A 6-speed Steptronic sports transmission is also optionally available for the MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop. This automatic transmission combines high efficiency and a high level of shift comfort wîth increased shift dynamics and fast gear shifts. In manual mode, it is possible to change gear using shift paddles at the §teering wheel. In combination wîth the automatic transmission, the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop also features the automatic engine start/stop function, preventing unnecessary fuel consumption caused by idling at junctions or in congested traffic.
Efficiency-optimized drive systems thanks to MINIMALISM technology.
The MINIMALISM technology also extensively applied in the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop comprises not just efficiency-optimized drive systems and the automatic engine start/stop function but also shift point display, brake energy regeneration, needs-based control of the fuel pump, coolant pump and other ancillary units, electromechanical power §teering and a map-controlled oil pump. In addition, intelligent lightweight construction and optimized aerodynamic properties help ensure significantly increased driving fun.
For precisely controllable go-kart feeling: high-end suspension technology, Brembo brake system, exclusive light alloy wheels.
Together wîth the hallmark brand concept comprising front-wheel drive, a low center of gravity, short overhangs, wide track and rigid body structure, the suspension technology has undergone extensive further development for the latest generation of the MINI so as to provide the perfect basis for thrilling race feeling. The new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop is fitted as standard wîth a sports suspension and benefits from the well-established design principle of a single-joint spring strut axle at front and a multilink rear axle which is unique within the competitive environment, as well as optimized details geared towards high engine and driving performance figures. A standard suspension is also available as a no-cost option.
In order to reduce weight and increase component rigidity, the front axle is fitted wîth aluminum swivel bearings as well as axle supports and wishbones made of high-strength steel. The model-specific axle kinematics supports an agile turn-in response as well as a precise §teering sensation largely free of drive torque. At the rear axle, too, a larger proportion of highly rigid steel types ensure increased stiffness combined wîth reduced weight. Tube-shaped stabilizers at the front and rear axle, an innovative axle bearing including a hydraulically damped engine mount and triple- path support bearings to decouple the dampers from the body additionally contribute to the fact that the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop retains precise handling as well as optimized ride comfort even in highly sporty situations.
Another standard feature of the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop is the high-performance sports brake system developed exclusively for this model. Designed in collaboration wîth the specialized manufacturer Brembo and precisely harmonized wîth the properties of the MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop, the fixed caliper disc brakes guarantee a high deceleration performance even when exposed to intensive stress on the race track. The brake calipers are finished in red and bear the manufacturer's logo. The standard 17-inch John Cooper Works light alloy wheels in Race Spoke design were created exclusively for the John Cooper Works Hardtop, and there are three more wheel design options including 17-inch Joh Cooper Works Track Spoke light alloy wheels in silver or black and 18-inch John Cooper Works Cup Spoke light alloy wheels wîth two-tone finish.
The standard Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) also comprises the functions Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC) - which acts as an electronic locking function for the front axle differential - and Performance Control, which supports agile turning when taking bends at speed. Self-§teering tendencies that can be caused by differing torque levels on the drive wheels are also prevented by means of the so-called Torque Steer Compensation function provided by the electromechanical power §teering. Standard features also include the speed-related §teering assistance system Servotronic. Dynamic Damper Control is optionally available for the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop. It allows selection of two set-ups for either particularly sporty or more comfort-oriented driving situations.
The passive safety of the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop is also enhanced by the extremely rigid passenger cell, highly resilient bracket structures and deformation zones in optimum design. These form part of the integrated MINI safety concept, as do the standard eight airbags, 3-point automatic belts on all seats and ISOFIX children's seat attachments at the rear.
Exterior design: precise cooling air and wind ducting.
Engine : 2.0 L., 4-cylinder
Power: 228 hp
Torque: 236 ft-lbs
6-speed Manual, 6-speed Automatic
The body design of the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop underscores the performance-oriented yet exclusive character of the top athlete in the small car §egmènt. The front section has large air inlets which indicate the high cooling requirements of the engine, its ancillary units and the brakes and thereby instantly revealing the car's outstanding performance qualities. The model-specific cooling concept of the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop also comprises additional air inlets in the outer areas of the front apron so as to ensure the ideal operating temperature is maintained even in race track conditions. These take up the space provided in the new MINI for fog lamps and guarantee an air supply to additional external cooling units that regulate the temperature level of the ancillary units and brakes.
The hexagonal radiator grill at the center of the front section has a characteristic honeycomb pattern and a cross member at the bottom edge finished in red. The John Cooper Works logo also appears here, as well as on the luggage compartment lid at the rear of the car. The likewise standard LED headlamps are surrounded by a daytime driving light ring also in LED technology, the lower section of which is white and acts as the direction indicator.
Precisely shaped air ducting elements in the lower section of the front apron help optimize the car's aerodynamic properties as do the side sills in model-specific design. All the other body elements relevant to airflow were subjected to intense testing in race track conditions in order to precisely harmonize them wîth the driving dynamics potential of the MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop and thereby ensure precise and safe handling at all times. This explains the distinctive shape of the rear spoiler fitted on the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop, applied to generate down thrust at high speeds. The rear apron wîth flaps and a diffuser element in the lower area likewise helps optimize aerodynamic balance.
Other exclusive features of the exterior include the side turn indicator surrounds known as side scuttles, which bear a red accentuation line and a John Cooper Works logo applied to a black background, and also the tailpipes of the sports exhaust system integrated centrally in the rear apron and identifiable by their large cross-section. The black wheel arch surrounds also exhibit model-specific contours. Eleven paint finishes are available to choose from for the body. The range also includes the MINI Yours paint finish Lapisluxury Blue metallic and the new variant Rebel Green metallic - the latter being available exclusively for the MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop. As an option at no extra cost, the roof and exterior mirror caps can be finished in white, black or - also exclusively for the MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop - Chili Red. The exclusive John Cooper Works black bonnets stripes wîth Chili Red lines are also an option that is reserved solely for the new top athlete.
Interior: sports car cockpit wîth new John Cooper Works sports seats for authentic race feeling.
Due to the increased dimensions as compared to the predecessor model, the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop offers optimized space on the four seats. The luggage compartment now has a capacity of 34 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded. The additional functions and the new display and operating concept are combined wîth specific design features in the style of John Cooper Works, thereby enhancing the intense performance experience this car offers.
Optimum lateral hold in highly dynamic driving situations is ensured by the newly developed John Cooper Works sports seats wîth integrated headrests and model-specific upholstery in Dinamica/fabric and the color Carbon Black. The new seats are also optionally available in a Dinamica/Carbon Black leather version. The exclusive standard fittings also include the newly designed John Cooper Works leather §teering wheel wîth multifunction buttons and the John Cooper Works entry sills, the John Cooper Works gear or selector lever, stainless steel pedals including driver footrest and anthracite roof liner.
Interior trim in Piano Black and red design accentuations not just on the seat surfaces but also on the §teering wheel rim, the gear or selector lever and the car key all contribute to underscoring the car's exclusive charisma. What is more, the new MINI John Cooper Works has model-specific cockpit displays in a style that is presented here for the first time. A dark dial for the speedometer and engine speed display optimize readability of the instruments arranged above the §teering wheel.
The standard fittings of the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop also include the MINI Driving Modes, which allow configuration of an individual set-up. Úsing a rotary switch at the base of the gear or selector lever, the driver can select not just the standard setting MID Mode but also the SPORT Mode and the GREEN Mode so as to activate a set-up that emphasizes sporty driving, a balanced, comfortable style or increased efficiency. The MINI Driving Modes are used to influence the characteristic curves of the accelerator, §teering and engine acoustics. Where the car is fitted wîth the relevant equipment features, the selected set-up also affects the shifting characteristics of the automatic transmission, the Dynamic Damper Control program map, the ambient lighting and the displays in the central instrument.Innovative driver assistance systems: MINI Head-Úp Display wîth model-specific display content.
The racing feel in the cockpit of the MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop can be further enhanced wîth optional sports instruments Cockpit Chrono package. The three displays designed in classic circular form provide information that is especially relevant when an ambitiously sporty style of driving is adopted. The sports instruments consist of displays for the oil and turbo boost pressure as well as a chronometer wîth stopwatch function.
What is more, the full extended range of driver assistance systems is also available for the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop. This comprises the Active Driving Assistant including camera-based active cruise control, collision and pedestrian warning wîth initial brake function, high beam assistant, and road sign detection, as well as Park Assistant Package, Park Distance Control, and rear-view camera. Meanwhile the likewise optional MINI Head-Úp Display which extends above the §teering column offers an augmented range of functions specific to this model. In addition to information on road speed, speed limits detected, current navigation directions and Check Control messages, feedback from the driver assistance systems and lists of telephone contacts and entertainment programs, it is also possible to display the currently selected gear and a multi-colored engine speed scale which is supplemented wîth a shift point signal depending on the driving mode selected, so as to enable for dynamic acceleration maneuvers.High-end special equipment features for greater driving fun, comfort, premium flair and individual style.
Due to its model-specific design and fittings, the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop already comes off the production line as a perfectly harmonized package offering extreme driving fun in the premium small car §egmènt. With the characteristic MINI diversity in terms of the range of special equipment features and accessories, the top athlete additionally offers extensive options for customization geared precisely towards the driver's own personal style. Dual-zone automatic climate control is included as standard equipment, as are automatic headlights, and rain-sensing automatic windshield wipers. Other available options include seat heating for driver and front passenger, a panorama glass roof, ambient lighting wîth continuously variable coloring, electrically heated and folding exterior mirrors and auto-dimming interior and exterior mirrors. For customization of the exterior and interior, options also include various graphics for the roof and exterior mirrors, bonnet stripes, seat upholsteries, interior surfaces and Color Lines.
The Radio MINI Boost including AÚX-IN socket and ÚSB interface are likewise standard features of the new MINI John Cooper Works. These can be supplemented wîth such items as the optional Harman/Kardon hi-fi speaker system. The option MINI Connected or MINI Connected XL is also available in conjunction wîth the Radio MINI Visual Boost and the MINI navigation system. It offers extensive integration of smartphones in the car, allowing the use of internet-based services in the areas of infotainment, communication and driver experience.
Numerous functions which can be integrated in the vehicle via apps in the areas of social media and infotainment are available for both the Apple iPhone and for select smartphones using the Android operating system. Operation is intuitive and reflects hallmark brand style in using the MINI Controller in the center console and a color display in the central instrument. MINI Wired Package includes an 8.8-inch screen and the MINI Touch Controller wîth touch-sensitive surface.About MINI in the ÚS
MINI is an independent brand of the BMW Group. In the Únited States, MINI ÚSA operates as a business unit of BMW of North America, LLC, located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey and includes the marketing and sales organizations for the MINI brand. The MINI ÚSA sales organization is represented in the Ú.S. through a network of 122 MINI passenger car dealers in 39 states. MINI ÚSA began selling vehicles in the Ú.S. in 2002 wîth the introduction of the MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S Hardtops. Since then, the MINI Brand in the Ú.S. has grown to encompass a model range of seven unique vehicles.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).
Source - BMW
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.