Story of My Lil’ Betsy Cooper

Our Automologist and MINI enthusiast, KEVIN, wanted to wax lyrical about his MINI for a particular reason; so we let him…

BMW struck gold with the MINI brand about 15 years ago. The first model, codenamed R53, was the first modernised version of the classic cult car of the 60’s. They didn’t just stop there. With further improvements and excitement, they gave birth to the R56 model (I am a proud owner of one) which is the 2nd generation of the modern MINI’s and 2014 saw the launch of the 3rd generation codenamed F56.

I am writing about my little pride and joy. I remember shopping around for a car sometime early 2016 to replace my then 23-year-old BMW 3 Series, and this time I was looking for something fun. I couldn’t think of any other car apart from the MINI. Having first experienced it with my friend’s R53 supercharged MINI, I was impressed right away.

Over the span of 3 weeks, I came across one and after the test drive, I fell in love right away. Even at first glance, aesthetically it was filled with character and I knew it was built to be naughty.

This was just a year after they had launched the current model, the F56, and looking just as chic and offering abundance of fun during the test drive, I knew this Mk2 MINI would go on to be a smash hit, just like the first one.

A little bit about this fun and desirable car:-

The R56 Cooper was manufactured at MINI’s Plant Oxford in Cowley, Britain; the engine was assembled at Hams Hall in the midlands, and the body panels and sub-assemblies were produced at Plant Swindon.

As mine was the LCi model ( LCi = Life Cycle Impulse), it was fitted with an upgraded N18 engine. The difference with the powerplant in MINI One, the N16 Engine, is that the N18 engine has an intercooler, twin-scroll turbocharger, sodium-filled exhaust valves for heat dissipation, direct petrol injection and a compression ratio of 10.5:1. The wastegate’s pressure was limited to 0.8 bar at 1400 rpm. The peak charge pressure would go no further than 0.9 bar. This was further complimented with a common rail direct injection system which was pressurised by a high pressure pump at the rear of the intake camshaft.

This allowed the MINI to have an exciting output of 184bhp with 240Nm of torque. Combined with the body weight of just 1.1 tons and with dimensions of 3723 mm in length, 1684 mm in width, 1407 mm in height, it was surely to excite.

Due to its popularity, heavy depreciation is an alien concept to MINI owners, which is why you can pay a surprisingly large amount to secure a decent Mk2 model of your own. The earlier Mk2’s with the N14 engines can fetch anything between MYR60,000 – MYR90,000 on the used car market and the LCi models, which were sold between 2011 – 2013, can easily fetch anything between MYR100,000 – MYR130,000.

Despite other rivals of the same years that offer better value and practicality, the MINI is great in many ways and you get the sense of individuality and owning something special. Everything about this car is sensational, so if you’re out looking for a MINI, take your time and shop till you come across the right one like I did with my Lil’ Ms Betsy Cooper. ☺

By the way, this one is up for sale as the itch was too great after an exhilarating test drive of the latest Mini Cooper S F56. Time for some new lovin’.

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