Mini reveals new petrol-powered Cooper C and the Cooper S hatchbacks

Electric isn’t the only way

Mini has officially confirmed that its new, fourth-generation, three-door hatchback model will get the option of petrol power in the forms of two new versions called the Cooper C and the Cooper S.

The British brand has previously only shown off the latest example of its showroom juggernaut with pure-electric power, as the Cooper Electric E and the Cooper Electric SE.

But the Cooper C and Cooper S cars will cater for “people who want to drive a classic Mini three-door, and appreciate the traditional performance and characteristic sound of a combustion engine”, according to Stefanie Wurst, the head of Mini.

Last of the ICE-powered Minis

New petrol-fuelled Mini Cooper S

Mini has already stated it wants to be the first fully electric subdivision of BMW and said as recently as 2021 — when facelifting the previous-generation cars for the second time — that it would develop no new internal combustion engines (ICEs) for any Mini model beyond 2025.

That likely makes these new Cooper C and Cooper S variants the last ever Minis to be launched with fossil-fuel power.

The former has a 154bhp three-cylinder turbocharged 1.5-litre engine, enabling the Cooper C to record a 0-62mph time of 7.7 seconds, while fuel economy is officially as impressive as 47.9mpg.

The more potent Cooper S gains a 2-litre engine, which turns out 201bhp. That reduces the 0-62mph time to 6.6 seconds.

Drive selector in Toggle Bar

Mini will only offer these new Cooper C and Cooper S models with automatic gearboxes from launch, as the interior is based on a design centred around a large OLED display screen and something called the “Toggle Bar”.

New petrol-fuelled Mini Cooper S

On this will be various key functions of the vehicle, but one of the toggles is for the drive selection — meaning there’s no space on the console for a traditional gear lever.

Underneath the Toggle Bar is a new inductive charging pad, using the latest in wireless smartphone technology.

Sharp handling for Cooper badge

New petrol-fuelled Mini Cooper S

Elsewhere, Mini says it will tune the suspension and steering of the Cooper C and Cooper S models specifically to suit their different weight distribution characteristics, when compared to the electric versions, which have more weight but a lower centre of gravity due to the underfloor battery pack. That should mean the new petrol Mini Coopers will have their own driving characters.

Beam yourself onto your dashboard

Internally, apart from a rev counter now featuring in the OLED display, much of the dashboard in the Cooper C and Cooper S cars is the same as in the electric models.

That means lots of use of textiles and other sustainable materials, and a largely minimalist appearance.

Technology on the Mini Cooper C and Cooper S cars will include a voice assistant which will respond to the command “Hey Mini”, 3D navigation with an augmented-reality view, advanced safety gear which can even warn passing pedestrians and cyclists when the cars’ doors are about to open

New petrol-fuelled Mini Cooper S

There will also be Experience Modes, controlled by one of the toggle switches beneath the circular OLED screen, which use two projectors to beam various illuminated graphics straight onto the Mini’s dashboard.

It allows for even greater interior personalisation for owners, who can even upload a personal photo and then have the main colours from it projected onto the car’s fascia.

Three-tone roof

Aside from badging, the main external identifier for the new petrol Mini Hatch models is that they have a radiator grille up front, which is necessary for cooling and the air-fuel combustion mix in the engine, as opposed to the smoothed-off panels of the electric versions.

Even at the back, no exhaust pipes are visible on the petrol Minis, though they do get contrasting cladding on the wheelarches as before, something that the new electric variants do without.

Options for the Mini Cooper C and Cooper S cars include a range of alloy wheels from 16in to 18in in diameter, while there are contrast roof choices, too — including the “Multitone Roof”, which blends three colours in a spray pattern on the top of the car in a truly unique design for each and every example; it’s claimed that no two paint patterns are the same.

New petrol-fuelled Mini Cooper S

There’s also the option of a panoramic sunroof, while inside the 60:40 split-folding rear seats can increase the Mini Hatch’s 210-litre boot to an area capable of swallowing 800 litres of luggage.

The Mini Cooper C starts at £22,300 in the UK, while the Cooper S will be priced from £26,700. Each can be had in three different trim levels called Classic, Exclusive and Sport.

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