Want a new Cooper S? Join the queue

 

The most exclusive MINI customers will be those driving the new Cooper S which is just going on sale on the Irish market. It's probably too late to get one this year because it has been a sell-out. Andrew Hamilton reports.

 "We had an allocation of 25 Cooper S models for the rest of the year and we almost have sold them all," says Clare O'Neill for Motor Import Limited, the BMW importers.

Cooper S is predictably faster than the MINI One and Cooper models. Supercharging the MINI's 1.6 litre engine has increased the Cooper's 115 bhp power output by 40 per cent to 163 bhp and reduced the acceleration time of 0 to 60 mph, from nine to 7.2 seconds.

The Cooper S makes a greater visual impact with an air intake scoop on the bonnet, twin exhaust pipes, a prominent rear spoiler and a 16-inch alloy wheel design. The Cooper S also comes with a six-speed gearbox, making it easier to tease out full performance.

The Cooper S retails here at €27,100 ex-works, compared with €20,070 for the MINI and €22,690 for the Cooper. The new MINI has been on Irish sale for 11 months now and in that time, according to Clare O'Neill, more than 300 have been sold.

News of the car's success in Ireland coincided with the 100,000th Mini coming off the assembly line last week.

The car, an electric blue coloured MINI Cooper S, was driven off the production line at the Oxford plant. More than 4,000 Cooper S models have already been ordered in Britain.