When Mini introduced the new Cooper 3-Door Hardtop last year, it only showed the electric E and SE models. Only now is the hatchback getting internal combustion engines. There are no diesels, instead, the smallest car the BMW Group makes due with a pair of gasoline powertrains.
The base model goes by the name Cooper C and gets a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine making 154 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque (230 Newton-meters). That gives it a 0 to 62 mph time of 7.7 seconds. Step up to the Cooper S and Mini rewards you with a larger turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder good for 201 hp and 221 lb-ft (300 Nm), cutting the sprint time to 6.6 seconds. Those who want more punch will have to wait for the next JCW model, although Mini will sell you a new JCW exterior trim at launch that has all the show but no extra go.
Depending on the Mini you go for, there are several 16- to 18-inch wheels to choose from, four roof colors, plus a three-color gradient roof finish for the Favoured model if the Multitone Roof option is selected. The interior gets the same 9.4-inch OLED infotainment from the electric models, and thankfully, Mini hasn't deleted all physical controls. There's a parking brake, gear selector, start/stop button, and a volume knob all located on a toggle bar below the circular display.
You can fit 7.4 cubic feet (210 liters) of luggage with the rear seats in place, or 28.2 cubic feet (800 liters) after folding the bench. Mini intends to launch a convertible version of the latest Cooper, along with a more practical five-door hatchback. These will be the last wave of ICE models before BMW Group abandons gas cars at the end of the decade.
The new Cooper C and Cooper S will be in Oxford, unlike the electric Cooper E and SE. Those two models are manufactured in China by Spotlight Automotive – a joint venture between Mini's parent company BMW Group and Great Wall Motor. We won't see the electric hatch built in the UK until 2026, together with the next Aceman small crossover.
The equivalent five-door model should arrive later this year.