The MF Mailbox: The 140hp Cooper?

Another from the MotoringFile mailbox that I thought a few might be interested in. We’ve gotten a few of these questions over the months about the potential for a new mid-range Cooper with the introduction of the next generation MINI. For those that don’t know, the new 4 cylinder family of engines (designed by BMW, planned by PSA and built in the UK) destined for the R56 feature a mid-range naturally aspirated 140hp engine. It would seem quite a few have taken a special interest in this engine and are hoping to see MINI offer it in conjunction with the new 115hp and 170hp powerplants also scheduled. Here’s the question (from Craig):

My concern is whether they are planning on incuding the 143hp engine in the MINI COOPER for 2007. I have put off ordering my next MINI because I wanted more power and like the style of the MINI COOPER a bit better than the “S”. Although if this is not to be the case for 2007, I am leaning more and more with each passing day on a 2006 MCS.

I wish we had a definitive answer on this. At this moment I’ve heard MINI will not be offering this engine in it’s initial R56 MINI line-up. From all accounts MINI will be using the 115hp and 170hp engines at the launch of the next generation MINI. While use of the mid-range engine was speculated (and strongly rumored from several sources) when information was initially released, we haven’t heard even rumors of MINI using this powerplant since that time.

  • Bob

    Do you think 115hp is sufficient on such a small car?

  • frank

    Bad move IMHO. The Cooper needs more power/torque and at 140HP it will hit the sweet spot in performance. There is no excuse to up the power in the next gen Cooper.

  • Mad brummie

    the problem with the 143 is that it might be too close to the S, maybe we’re gonna see the Cooper have a JCW variant with 143bhp

  • unless they make the cooper more tuner friendly i don’t think there will be any problem with MINI offering a cooper at 143bhp. it would effectively be maxed out IMHO while, at 170bhp, a base cooper S is really just a starting point for the racers/tuners.

  • I’ve always thought 115 BHP is a bit low for a car bearing the Cooper name (which was traditionally associated with performance – now it’s just he next step up from the bear minimum). 140 or so BHP would drop the Cooper in a range where you can honestly say it does offer more performance than the average comparably sized car. Also, I think the gap between the Cooper and the Cooper S is currently too wide.

    If I can just daydream a little, I would like the Seven name return in the standard line-up (and not just as a special edition as we are seeing it currently);

    Mini One: 95 BHP Mini Seven: 115 BHP, plus some extras as we are seeing in current Seven SE Mini Cooper: 140 BHP Mini Cooper S: 170 BHP

  • O(=^=)O Capn

    The thing that makes me scratch my head is that PSA is using a 140bhp turbo charged and the cooper is a 170bhp turbo charged with the base being 115bhp, as mentioned here, Frankly since the new engine will have an Al- block; How are they going to handle the heat, and from keeping it becoming an expensive bottle rocket as it is turbo charged? I like the cast block now, even if I don’t like the chysler, much less brazilian chrysler. What will be the differences between the PSA version at 140bhp and our 170? Isn’t it just the Turbo?

    Best Site on the web!! Hands down!

  • Gregg

    Just read at that the ’06 Honda Civic was going to be upgraded to 140 hp in the standard version (200 or thereabouts in the Si). Sure would be nice to, at least, have similar specs to the bog standard Civic, doncha think?

  • Craig

    Thanks for the response to my question. I figure the best thing I can do is read all I can, where I can and see if the 143bhp does become reality. My other choice of a 2006 MCS is one great option to fall back to. Either way you’ll never catch me saying ANYTHING negative about my 2003 MC/PS/B. After 2 1/2 years of ownership, even with the 115bhp and with some improvements made, every time I drive her a smile comes to my face, instantly. Thanks Gabe for great site that is #1 for news in the world of MINI.

  • Mike

    Could it be that this 140hp Engine will power a completely new and different Mini? ie. The new wagon with suicide doors, or something to that effect.

  • dgszweda


    The engines that are being made by PSA in conjunction with BMW will not just be for Minis. The 140bhp is currently slated for Peugot. I for one wouldn’t mind seeing the 140, it is just too close to the 170 of the S. What they should do is provide the 140 for the Cooper and put a 200hp in the S.

  • Again, I can’t see more than 3 models of the Cooper/One, nor a major bump in the power for the Cooper. If anything, If gas actually does keep going up past the adjusted for inflation highs, I think we might be seeing a US version of the One.

  • gokartride

    Franky, I’ve always been very happy w/ my Cooper’s performance.

  • snuffy

    With cars like the Citreon C2 VTS 1.6 kicking out 125 bhp for about £2000 less than a well specced Cooper in the UK, MINI are shooting themselves in the foot. We already know that the new MINI will be more expensive than the current one…

    The new Civic Type R or even the new Vauxhall Astra VXR look like more fun :/

  • groland

    If JCW offers a Cooper that puts out 140(or 143)hp it would probably cost at least $3000, about the difference between the Coop and the S.

  • Spookyfish

    Exactly, other small cars are putting our at least 115bhp. Not to mention all the new diesel engines currently available: 140bhp VAG, Toyota has a 177bhp diesel.

    MINI will (have to) take the bhp-inflation into account if they want to last the car a few years.

    When I got my Cooper in 2004 I thought my car was fast, now a year and a half later I can only crawl past a 2.0 TDI.

  • So far i heard is there coming a ‘normal’ Cooper with 115bhp, and a Cooper turbo with 143bhp. ( in line with that, could it be possible that there is also a ‘Cooper S’ with 170bhp, and a turbo Cooper S with maybe 200 bhp ??) Don’t now sure, only rumors…..

  • Mark Smith

    Well here’s some truth for you HP numbers people. The 140 HP version of this engine is turbo charged. I have read solid info on this. Be ready to buy your JCW’d out 2006’s because they are not going to be running production for the full modle year because of retooling needed for the next gen. vehicle and also the setup of the new engine plant to supply the MINI’s. These little price increases and things you all see and complain about are pennies on the dollar compared to the small small added profit that they really see from them and are nothing but a steal for anyone looking at a 2006. You have to be crazy to not see all of the value this car has given and continues to give for 2006 MY.

  • The 140 HP version of this engine is turbo charged.

    Mark – you can read a detailed asessment of this engine here

  • Timothy Sipples

    The 115 hp level is perfectly fine, but it’s the fuel economy that is at odds with that output. Hopefully MINI can improve fuel economy with the new engine. The performance crowd will go for the S anyway.

  • ZAKdog

    With gas prices going north and me getting only 20 mpg around town I am seriously considering a Cooper. Granted I have eeked out 4 mpg more driving like an old lady…but I could probably do better driving like I do now in a Cooper and still beat the mpg in the MCS…no?

    I love the performance but I just paid $2.80 for 93 octane…ouch. The 140bhp would be a nice compromise and I also agree, make the MCS 200 as a standard.

  • rich

    bottom line is the cooper should be the gas efficent car with little hp, and the cooper s is for performance and balls to the wall speed. never mind the gas milage if you wanna go fast. remember you cant have your cake and eat it too…