Appropriately sized proportions.
In sports mode the Mini Coupe S becomes an angry little bee, as was expected. The RPMs quickly jump around 2k instead of hovering around 1.4k and the gearbox is always eager to downshift to reach the higher power band. Herein the true potential of the 1.6-liter twin turbocharged engine is unleashed as it provides 181 hp @ 5,500rpm and 240 Nm @ 1,600-5,000rpm (260 Nm @ 1,700-4,500rpm during Overboost). 0 to 100kph in 6.8 seconds.
The puny 1.6-liter actually sounds like a diesel when it’s idling at 900rpm. On the highways, though, it sounds like a regular in-line 4 engine. When revving really high in Sports Mode (or even in regular gear) there’s a loud grunt as the RPMs keep on climbing, but the fun begins when the gears change and you hear the exhausts vibrate and blow over just behind your ears. It’s fun, but it’s also a bit noisy.
Speaking of highways, it was nice to see that as soon as HIDs from various cars hit the rearview and side mirrors, they would automatically dim. They would turn back to normal in a couple of seconds later on.
Since this is a Mini, exceptional handling is a given. The Continental run flat 17” tires stick to the road like magnets; the stiff suspension and lower center of gravity providing minimal body roll. The only thing is you have to be very careful as even minor corrections in steering on high speed turns and corners will take place instantaneously. Of course, the Dynamic Stability Control will hardly ever let you spin out of control.
Herein I’d like to mention the problem with the rearview that some people might have. First of all, there’s some severely limited rear view, and once the rear spoiler pops up, it literally cuts 1/4th of the view. Still, there’s no denying that active spoiler made me feel very excited every time it rose up after the car pushes past 80kph.