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Winding Road Drives A 2012 MINI Cooper S Coupe


Winding Road discusses the 2012 MINI Cooper S Coupe after a drive in Tennessee. It then compares it to the Mazda Miata and Audi TT. It says,
VS: Mazda MX-5 Miata

While the Mini Cooper S and MX-5 have been natural enemies at the local autocross, no Mini has ever represented as much of a direct challenge to the MX-5 as the Coupe. The Mazda, in top-line Grand Touring form, is only 168 pounds lighter than the Mini, but is down 14 horsepower and more importantly, 37 pound-feet of torque (52 pound-feet when the Mini is on overboost). So the Mini wins the straight-line contest fairly easily.

While it’s a safe bet that the MX-5 could outmaneuver a Mini hatch, the revised Coupe might be a different story. The MX-5 is the more communicative car here, but it’s by a fairly slim margin.

Finally, the MX-5 has always suffered on the utility front, and it’s no different here. The Mini simply has more places to put your stuff in the cabin, and it has a trunk that is actually usable all the time.

VS: Audi TT

Yes, the Coupe is a bit of a niche product, so to find another competitor, we need to move up to the considerably more expensive TT. The Audi boasts more power (211 versus 181) than the Mini, but the big difference comes in the torque department, as the Audi produces a whopping great 258 pound-feet of torque. Even on overboost, the Mini is still 66 pound-feet shy of the Audi.

The Audi is quite a bit heavier than the Mini though, tipping the scales at 3153 pounds. So while its 5.3-second 0-60 time might best even the JCW, the Cooper S would likely make up quite a bit of ground in the turns.