Much has been made of the fact that the hood scoop on the Cooper S is not connected to anything internally. Yes it’s true that it’s on the car for no specific engineering reasoning. This has bothered quite a few hardcore MINI enthusiasts as the previous Cooper S scoop was an integral part of the supercharged powerplant.

The question remains, why did MINI bother with a non-functioning scoop? Previously it was assumed it simply had to do with marketing. The previous Cooper S was easily differentiated from the other models by the scoop. So it would make sense MINI would want this design feature to remain consistent.

MotoringFile has learned that there may have been some legitimate engineering reasons as to why the scoop was originally intended for the R56 Cooper S. Apparently MINI initially had plans to use the scoop for additional engine cooling. However we’re told that the functionality was eliminated due to having to comply with the new European pedestrian impact standards. The problem is that, with the new regulations in place, you must have very little in between the bonnet and engine block. Luckily we’re told that the engine doesn’t really need any further cooling other than what the intercooler provides.

Unfortunately that also rules out any use of the scoop in the upcoming JCW model due out sometime in 2008.