Turbocharged versus Supercharged - 2007 Mini Cooper S Long-Term Road Test
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2007 MINI Cooper Long Term Road Test

  • Full Review
  • Pricing & Specs
  • Road Tests (2)
  • Comparison (1)
  • Long-Term (134)

2007 Mini Cooper S: Turbocharged versus Supercharged

February 19, 2008

As you Mini Cooper buffs know, the previous-generation S was supercharged while the current one is turbocharged. Before this version debuted and I had heard that Mini was switching from super- to turbocharging, it struck me odd. Granted, Toyota had done this with the MR2 -- the first gen had a supercharged version, while the second-gen went to turbocharging. But isn't supercharging usually better in terms of a no-lag, right-now boost in performance?

While old common wisdom might've held that viewpoint, the fact is that today's turbochargers have virtually no lag. And I can vouch for that, having enjoyed our Cooper S over the long weekend. Of course, the power builds as the revs climb, and it's a thrilling rush that can make the steering wheel wiggle around some as the tires eagerly scrabble for grip. Yet down low, it never feels flat. Just for kicks, I compared the performance of our Cooper S versus the previous generation:

2006 Cooper S (Supercharged 1.6 liter I4, 168 hp):

0-60: 7.4 seconds. Quarter Mile: 15.6 seconds.

2007 Cooper S (Turbocharged 1.6 liter I4, 172 hp):

0-60: 6.5 seconds. Quarter Mile: 14.9 seconds.

Furthermore, the current-gen Cooper S has such a full-bodied powerband that passing on the freeway doesn't require a down change to fifth, just lean into it and it moves out with plenty of gusto to blast by those dawdling trucks and SUVs.

John DiPietro, Automotive Editor @ 11,770 miles.

  • Full Review
  • Pricing & Specs
  • Road Tests (2)
  • Comparison (1)
  • Long-Term (402)

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