AutoExpress Tests the R56 Prototype

Perhaps unsurprisingly, it seems just about every publication out there has an “exclusive” preview of the R56 this week. Here’s an excerpt from the AutoExpress test:

Despite the body-coloured tape, in the flesh the nose appears more rounded, and while the clamshell bonnet remains, the headlights and black plastic wheelarches aren’t integrated, helping to reduce repair costs. But the most notable feature is the bonnet scoop – it’s just for show now that the supercharged unit has been replaced. So why the switch to turbo power? Well, advances in technology make it a much more efficient and economical solution, but it also gives better power delivery, according to drivetrain project manager Erich Sonntag.

“With a turbo, we were able to get more consistent performance across the rev range and, with less inertia, better low-down response, too,” he explained. As a result, the 1.6-litre four-cylinder unit (which will also appear in Peugeot’s 207 by the end of the year) develops 175bhp and 240Nm of torque from only 1,600rpm, compared with the current 170bhp car’s 220Nm at 4,000rpm.

[ MINI’s full of surprises ] AutoExpress
  • Alan Ashcroft

    10Kg heavier? How?

    Electric power steering making it less responsive? Won’t that kill one of the best things about MINI? And no matter what I see, I hate the dashboard.

  • Craig

    How can you hate the dashboard? It’s covered in a big sheet of grey foam so you can’t see it. Unless you are saying you hate the grey foam covering the dash. Then I would have to agree with you.

  • Alan Ashcroft

    Okay, correction… I hate the silver coloured bits like the aircon etc. Makes it look like a cheap plastic model kit. 🙂 I hope it looks a lot better when we see the real thing, but in the meantime I am very glad I got my 06 MCS….