Just like in the Mini Cooper S Cabrio, the puny engine under our test car's hood manages to get out-displaced by most of your average grocery-getters. Only 1.6 liters, right? The real impressive numbers come when we check the power figures. With a horsepower and torque ratio per liter that beats some real sports cars out there, this is where the magic happens.
Apart from the impressive performance figures, the tiny four-cylinder can also brag with the amount of modern technology features. Stuff like stratified direct injection, the start/stop system, the fully variable valve timing or the twin-scroll turbocharger with an over-boost function are quite yummy from an engineering point of view.
Its probably most-impressive feature is the gigantic rev band where the engine's maximum torque figures are available. You probably know this by now, since it's not exactly news, but this little engine is the fruit of the work done by BMW together with the PSA Group.
It can be found with various power levels on a number of cars, but we guess everyone agrees its best work is done under the hood of the Cooper S. That, if we don't take into account the John Cooper Works versions, which are even more impressive when it comes to the power levels.
The six speed manual transmission is also almost flawless, being transplanted from the car's bigger brothers from the BMW stable. The only quarrel we had with it was its tendency to a be a tad imprecise when shifting from second to third, but that could be just as well be blamed on the fact that this was a press car driven by many after all.Continue reading