What Changed for 2008:
- No significant changes for 2008
The world was introduced to the Morris Mini-Minor, affectionately called the "Mini," in 1959. Designed to be small and economical, the first Mini maximized passenger and luggage space in a package just 10 feet long. While it was undersized and slow (engine output was rated at just 34 hp), a light chassis with 10-inch wheels pushed to the furthest corners of the vehicle did offer one benefit-go kart-like handling.
is the new owner of the MINI
brand (BMW uses all capital letters to signify their "MINI"). Mixing updated chassis technology, modern safety advances and the original Mini's small-car formula, a brand-new 3-door hatchback MINI was launched in 2001. It was followed by an all-new, second-generation model in 2007. For 2008, the MINI Cooper hatchback and convertible carry forward mostly unchanged.Model Lineup
The 2008 MINI Cooper is offered in four models: MINI Cooper, MINI Cooper Convertible, MINI Cooper S and MINI Cooper S Convertible. The standard models are oriented towards economy, with a dash of sport. They offer a 120-hp powerplant, a single exhaust pipe on the rear, and 15-inch wheels. The "S" models are oriented towards higher performance. They offer a turbocharged 172-hp engine, a hood scoop on the front, a center-mounted twin exhaust pipe, and standard 16-inch wheels. Both convertible models-topless versions of the "standard" and "S" models-feature an innovative "3-in-1" soft top with an automatic sunroof and a heated glass rear window.
The options list for the MINI Cooper is long, and with the exception of some "S" performance-only options, shared by all versions. The "Premium" package adds cruise control, a dual-pane sunroof and automatic climate control. The "Sport" package adds Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), a rear spoiler, 16-inch wheels and fog lamps. A "Cold Weather" package will add heated washer jets and heated seats, while a "Convenience" package adds auto-dimming rearview mirrors, auto headlamps, rain sensor, Keyless Go Comfort Access, and Bluetooth Phone preparation.Powertrain
The 2008 MINI Cooper is available with a choice of two engines. The standard engine, found under the hood of the MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper Convertible, is a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine developing 120 hp and 118 lb.-ft. of torque. EPA fuel economy estimates for the two standard models are 26 mpg city/40 mpg highway. The more powerful MINI Cooper S models are equipped with a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine with a twin-scroll turbocharger. Output is rated at 175 hp and 177 lb.-ft. of torque. EPA fuel economy estimates are 24 mpg city/36 mpg highway.
The standard MINI Cooper engine is mated to either a 5-speed manual transmission or an optional CVT automatic with 6-speed Steptronic mode. The sportier "S" models enjoy a Getrag 6-speed manual transmission or an optional 6-speed Aisin automatic with paddle shifters. All MINI Cooper models are front-wheel drive. MINI offers a 4-year/50,000-mile limited warranty on all models.Safety
Both driver and front passenger inside the 2008 MINI Cooper are protected by dual-stage deployment "smart" frontal and seat-mounted side air bags. An Advanced Head Protection System II (AHPSII) curtain air bag offers protection for outboard passengers in both front and rear rows. Rear outboard seats are equipped with the child seat LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) system. Standard electronic safety equipment includes anti-lock brakes (ABS), Corner Brake Control (CBC), electronic brake-force distribution (EBS), Automatic Stability Control (ASC), and dynamic stability control (DSC). The 2007 MINI Cooper (known as the MKII chassis) has been crash-tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS
) with a "Good" rating (the Institute's highest score) for frontal offset, and an "Average" rating for side impact.Technology
An option on all 2008 MINI Cooper models is dynamic stability control (DSC). The microprocessor-based system electronically senses the steering wheel angle, vehicle yaw, and lateral acceleration to determine if the vehicle is traveling in the direction intended by the driver. If the system detects skidding, or the vehicle is pitching into a slide, DSC will automatically intervene. Once engaged, DSC reduces wheel torque from the engine and simultaneously applies brake pressure to individual wheels assisting the driver in maintaining control. DSC works in conjunction with ABS, traction control and CBC.