WhatCar? magazine had the chance to drive the face-lifted version of MINI Cooper D, before the global launch that takes place this weekend. Besides the visual face-lift, MINI Cooper D has also received a new 1.6 liter engine, derived from the unit found in the BMW 1 Series.
The potential of the new turbo-diesel concept in the MINI Cooper D is particularly impressive. Maximum output of 82 kW/112 hp at 4,000 rpm and peak torque of 270 Nm (199 lb-ft) between 1,750 and 2,250 rpm are a recipe for instantaneous responses and impressive power development. The dash from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) takes a mere 9.7 seconds on the way to a top speed of 197 km/h (122 mph). The new MINI Cooper D boasts average fuel consumption in the EU5 test cycle of 3.8 litres per 100 km (74.3 mpg imp) and achieves a new best CO2 emissions mark of 99 g per km.
MINI Cooper D is fitted with a diesel particulate filter and oxidation catalytic converter. These are accommodated within the same housing, are maintenance-free, go about their business so unobtrusively that the driver would not know they were there, and do not require any additional assistance to do their jobs. Like all MINI models, the new turbo-diesel variant also meets the EU5 emissions standard.
Let’s see their impressions:
As part of the ongoing changes to the Mini range, there’s now a new diesel engine in Cooper versions of the hatchback, Clubman and convertible.
Derived from the unit in parent company BMW’s 1 Series, the turbocharged direct-injection 1.6-litre engine has more power and torque than the unit replaces, but is also more economical and has lower emissions.
At low speeds, there’s no hiding the tell-tale sounds of a diesel engine, but once you pick up the pace, things quieten down nicely. The unit combines well with the standard stop-start system, too, although again there’s no disguising the engine’s cough and splutter as it kicks back into life.
Petrol vs diesel
Generally, performance is strong, and the strong pull in the mid-range (much more than in the old engine) means you don’t need to rev the unit as hard as you do with the petrol alternative.
That means the two engines have very different characters. The petrol model is the more exciting and sporty because it needs to be worked hard, whereas you can be a little lazier with the diesel, relying on its mid-range pull to haul you along at a perfectly acceptable rate.
The only problem comes if you let the revs drop much below 1750rpm. Amble round a tight turn in town in second gear, for example, and there’s a distinct lull in proceedings until the turbocharger kicks the engine into life.