The Mini is legendary among the motoring world. The original BMC, Austin, and Morris models charmed the media, attracted droves of celebrity enthusiasts, and featured in popular films and TV programmes of the time.In 2001, motoring giant BMW revived the Mini. Adopting the brand name “MINI” it has successfully manufactured and distributed a variety of new models and given one of the greatest small cars a new lease of life.

The Mini Cooper

Probably the most famous of the Mini models is the Mini Cooper. Beloved for its characteristic style, punchy engine, and lively handling, the Mini Cooper has not only conquered the city streets, it has dominated many motor racing disciplines throughout the decades.

MINI has honoured the original Cooper by producing a modern-day version that retains the charm, finesse, and thrill of its predecessor. MINI has upgraded the existing Cooper and Cooper Clubman models for 2011 and introduced the all-new Cooper Countryman. Here is a brief overview of the 3 MINI Cooper models

2011 MINI Cooper

Retailing at $25,700, the BMW-owned MINI Cooper is larger in both dimension and weight than the original Cooper and possesses a 1.6 litre engine that is capable of producing 121 hp and 160 ft/lb of torque. With a top speed of 203 km/h and a 0-100 km timing of just 9.0 seconds, the modern MINI Cooper qualifies as a real hot hatch.

The 2011-model Cooper receives a more aggressive front grille, LED rear lights, and headlights that swivel when the car turns. The interior retains its art-deco quirkiness with just minor changes to some trimmings.

The sportier Cooper S is available for $30,850. This model possesses a turbocharged 181-hp engine that can blast from 0-100 km in 7.0 seconds and hit a top speed of 227 km/h.

2011 MINI Cooper Clubman

Modeled on the original Mini Clubman design, the new Clubman offers increased load space and easy access to the trunk by way of two large side-opening doors. Priced at $27,000, the Cooper Clubman has the same engine as the standard Cooper. The 0-100 km timing is 0.60 seconds slower than the Cooper, but the Clubman is slightly heavier and does have an increased wheelbase.

The MINI Cooper Clubman combines two great features: The dynamic driving attributes of the Cooper with the versatility and practicality of more internal space. The Clubman is the ideal car for anyone who wants to enjoy trips away with friends or family, without worrying if everything will fit into the car.

As with the standard Cooper, there is a multitude of colours, upholsteries, and accessories available for the Cooper Clubman. The Clubman is also available as a Cooper S model for $32,150.

2011 MINI Cooper Countryman

The MINI Cooper Countryman is the biggest and most versatile Cooper yet and is the first model to come with 4 doors. With a load space larger than the Clubman, and the option to upgrade to all-wheel-drive (termed “ALL4” by MINI), this is MINI’s most rugged model.

The standard version is priced at $27,850 and comes with the Cooper engine. The performance figures are lower than the other 2 Cooper models due to increased size and weight. Top speed is 190 km/h and 0-100 km reached in 10.5 seconds.

The Cooper Countryman can be upgraded to Cooper S model for $32,650. With the ALL4 all-wheel-drive installed, the price increases to $34,400.

Many people frowned when they first heard that BMW was going to revive the Mini. A practical German car manufacturing giant attempting to reincarnate a charismatic British icon sounded ill-fated and slightly offensive.

But BMW proved it really understood the true nature and appeal of the Mini by producing a range of modern MINIs that possess the charm, cheekiness, and driving excitement of the classic originals.

The current MINI is enigmatic and inspiring and no model showcases these characteristics more feverishly than the current MINI Cooper range.