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2012 MINI Cooper Coupe Performance

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Like the rest of the MINI range, the MINI Coupe is available in Cooper, Cooper S, and John Cooper Works trims. These come with a 121-horsepower 1.6-liter four-cylinder, a 181-horsepower turbo 1.6-liter four, and a 208-horsepower turbo 1.6-liter four, respectively.

Each model gets progressively sportier suspension settings and interior and exterior decorations, as well, including progressively larger and more ornate alloy wheels ranging from 15- to 17-inches. Brakes likewise get larger on the higher performance models, while acceleration times get smaller: the John Cooper Works Coupe takes just 6.1 seconds to hit 60 mph, and carries on to a top speed of 149 mph.

Dynamically, the Coupe is perhaps the most engaging MINI, being more ready to rotate and equipped with somewhat more liberal traction and stability control settings. Electric power steering means there are some unnatural aspects to the feel, but for a front-drive car, it's surprisingly communicative. It's tossable, fun, and spirited, even in base form.

The 2012 MINI Cooper Coupe packs a lot of performance and handling into a small space, making for a fun and lively drive.

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