Road & Track test drives and compares the 2015 Volkswagen GTI vs 2015 Mini Cooper S.
The new F56 Cooper S is powered by a 2.0 liter four-cylinder petrol engine with MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology. The power output is 141 kW/192 bhp at 4,700 – 6,000 rpm and 206 lb-ft (280 Nm) of torque at 1,250 – 4,750 rpm (300 Nm with overboost). Acceleration from 0–100 km/h comes in 6.8 seconds manual (automatic: 6.7 seconds).
Top speed is limited to 146 mph (235 km/h).
The 2015 Volkswagen GTI uses a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder producing 220 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. It runs to 100 km/h in 5.9 seconds. Top speed stops at 124 mph.
Here is an excerpt from the review:
Throw a few curves into the mix, and it’s the same story: cohesive unity versus the fleeting brilliance of individual components. The Mini shines in places, its short wheelbase granting it the agility you expect from a Cooper S, the wider track making it feel as firmly planted as trees. We liked its steering, the way it dives into turns, the reassuring feel of the brake pedal.
And it has plenty of torque to corrupt those front wheels, too—or it would if not for Mini’s electronic differential lock. It’s a brake-based system akin to that on a base GTI, nipping the rotor of a spinning inside wheel to help turn the car and redistribute torque across the axle (although VW’s system goes one further and also brakes the inside rear wheel). Get right-foot-heavy into a corner and the Cooper subtly dials out your excess, the gently blinking stability-control light letting you know the car is making you look good, not the other way around.
In the Golf, same curve, same speed, same amount of gas, there’s a lot less fuss. If the Mini makes you look like a hero, hurling the GTI through bends is a medal of valor presentation ceremony on wheels. Both cars use struts up front and a multilink rear axle. Both send their power solely to the front wheels, but our test Mini’s all-season rubber can’t match the stick of our test GTI’s summer tires.