MINI Hardtop models are defined by their engines: base Cooper, Cooper S, and John Cooper Works. Named for the man who sent the original MINI into motorsports, the John Cooper Works edition is the hottest performer—not only more powerful, but tuned to derive maximum response and pleasure.
All Cooper Hardtops use TwinPower turbocharged engines: three-cylinder 1.5-liter in the base Cooper, and 2-liter four-cylinders in the Cooper S and John Cooper Works models. The three-cylinder makes 134 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque, while the Cooper S boosts those figures to 189 horsepower and 207 pound-feet. Beneath the bonnet of the John Cooper Works edition sits the most powerful engine ever in a MINI production model, developing 228 horsepower and 236 pound-feet. Cooper Hardtops are available with a Getrag six-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed automatic transmission. All MINI Hardtops have front-wheel drive.
Expect about 29 mpg in city driving and 40 mpg on the highway with the base engine and manual shift. The fuel-economy estimate drops to 24/34 mpg (city/highway) with a Cooper S, and 23/31 mpg with the John Cooper Works edition. Acceleration to 60 mph takes 7.4 seconds with a Cooper, 6.5 with the Cooper S, and 6.1 seconds with the John Cooper Works.
The basic two-door model comes with the three-cylinder engine and a manual gearbox. Each Cooper has a sport leather-wrapped steering wheel, 15-inch silver-colored wheels, and heated mirrors and washer jets. Leatherette seat upholstery is standard, along with automatic climate control, Bluetooth connectivity, and Harman Kardon six-speaker audio with HD radio. A four-door Hardtop adds $1,000 to the price of a basic two-door.