MotorWeek Road Tests the R56

Some of you might have caught this on your local PBS stations airing of the show. For those of you that didn’t, here is the written review.

When BMW took the wraps off the second generation MINI Cooper, the press and public alike sounded a sigh of relief. Though slightly larger, designers concentrated on improving rather than changing this modern icon. The old world MINI look remains pleasantly intact. In fact it’s about as close to natural evolution as a car can get.

The MINI Cooper is every bit a coming-of-age cultural phenom as say, Volkswagen’s Beetle. A British-borne classic of the 60’s, the sporty Cooper and Cooper S started out as successful rally cars racers and grew to become worldwide motoring icons.

One of the first reviews that I have seen that compares power output of the turbo charged engine to that of the R53.

The Cooper S is now turbocharged, instead of supercharged, for better efficiency. This 1.6-liter, with common rail direct injection yields 172 horsepower, up 4, with 177 pound-feet of torque, a nice gain of 22.

The turbo is not as responsive off the line as the supercharged engine, but mid-range passing power is smoother and more eager. Still the factory 0-60 time is little changed at 6.7 seconds.

And yet another review that didn’t seem to mind the interior.

[ Road Test ] MotorWeek