2006 MINI Cooper Overview

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2006 MINI Cooper Overview

Part of the appeal of the two-door, front-wheel-drive MINI Cooper is its fun factor, according to many drivers. And for 2006, that fun factor was kicked up a notch with the introduction of a MINI Cooper with the factory-outfitted John Cooper Works performance package, which provided a power boost to the standard engines while still delivering acceptable gas mileage.

Named for John Cooper, an aftermarket tuner who applied his skills to the original Minis in the 1960s and whose shop is still in existence, the package included an upgraded transmission, exhaust system, and brakes, as well as an engine performance upgrade that kicked horsepower up to 207, and pushed the MINI from 0 to 60 in about six and a half seconds. Lighter wheels, a limited-slip differential, and a tighter sport suspension are also part of the package.

Inside, the John Cooper Works edition received carbon-fiber trim on the dashboard and special badging.

Of course, the MINI Cooper was also available in four other versions, including a hardtop in either the Standard or S (supercharged) trim packages, as well as a convertible, also available as either a Standard or S model.

Power for the Standard hardtop and convertible models was provided by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that produced 115 horsepower, while the S models were equipped with a supercharged version of the same engine, producing 168 horsepower.

The Standard models came with a five-speed manual transmission, while the S versions were equipped with a six-speed Getrag manual transmission. A continuously variable automatic transmission (also known as a CVT) was optional in the Standard models, while a six-speed automatic was optional in the S models.

The MINI Cooper was well-equipped with such standard features as air conditioning, power windows, power door locks, dual front and side airbags, an AM/FM stereo system with a CD player, remote keyless entry, and anti-lock brakes. The S versions received larger 16-inch tires (as opposed to 15-inch tires in the Standard model), as well as a hood scoop, traction control, and a sport suspension. Leather seats and a navigation system were among the options.

Drivers felt that even without the supercharged engine or the special performance package, the MINI Cooper provided a quick, sporty ride with pinpoint handling, all in a package you could easily park just about anywhere. Most drivers noted that the back seat was a tight fit for anyone older than a teenager, and that the ride could be a little too stiff at times, but overall drivers gave the MINI Cooper high marks.

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