PistonHeads Expert Opinion
Something of a 21st century hot hatch hero, having delivered fizzy, effervescent driving thrills for not that much money since the supercharged R53 Cooper S screamed onto the scene with 163hp in 2002. Since that time the Mini has grown larger, more models have joined the Cooper S range and the supercharger has been ditched for turbocharging, but the wheel at each corner stance, pin-sharp steering and go-kart attitude haven’t changed.
Nowadays, some of the earliest Cooper S Minis are available for less than £2,000, with the later, 175hp turbo R56 cars starting at about £3,000. There are specials to keep a look out for, too, the Works packages adding power and even more fun, while the stripped-out GPs of both generations still command well over £10,000 - even more than £20,000, for an especially good GP2.
The most recent Mini Cooper S made its debut in 2014, and is more mature and rounded than ever. It’s also the most powerful as standard, though, with 192hp - early cars are now available from £8k.