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Mini Hatch

R56 Hatch

1 Feb 2007

IF you think the new R56 version is a tidy-up of the original R50 model introduced here in March 2002, take a closer look.

The car is 59mm longer and sits fractionally lower, with a slight reduction in girth. Wheelbase and track measurements are the same as the original.

The all-aluminium engines produce 88kW at 6000rpm and 160Nm at 4250rpm in the base Mini and 128kW at 5500rpm and 240Nm between 1600rpm and 5000rpm in the Cooper S, rising to 260Nm from 1700rpm in overboost model.

The pair also feature new six-speed gearboxes – a Getrag manual and six-speed Aisin automatic with paddle shifters. The new Mini has moved closer to BMW than the Rover-influenced original.

From September 2008 the Mini was joined by John Cooper Works model. The JCW has never really lived up to its potential until now.

After digging deep into its pockets, Mini has bought-out the semi-independent tuning arm and brought it in-house.

That means instead of simply offering tuning kits to be fitted at dealers, it has introduced a new permanent model line that includes engine, brake and suspension upgrades.

Mini is offering JCW versions of the standard car and the longer Clubman.

The lightweight front-wheel drives now run a warmer version of the turbo 1.6-litre engine from the Cooper S.

A range of mechanical trickery has lifted power to 155kW and raised torque to 260Nm.

That results in rather impressive 0-100km/h time of 6.5 seconds for the Mini and 6.8 seconds for the Mini Clubman.

Both cars come with all the comfort features that come standard in a Cooper S Chilli.

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