One of the first questions I asked the MINI engineers present at the recent F56 MINI launch was about weight. The European F56 has lost weight compared with the R56, where the US-spec cars gained 60 and 90 lbs between the Cooper and Cooper S. While there’s much more standard equipment on the US cars as compared to the R56, they said that much of that new weight was from three US market changes to the F56:
- Two additional airbags at knee-level
- Massively reinforced B-pillars, designed for the NHTSA’s new rollover standards
- A larger, more substantial A-pillar airbag system.
So all in all, those seem like 60-90 lbs well spent.