New Mini: Now with added muscle

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Mini Cooper SD

The new Mini has impressed since its launch back in March, with the petrol powered Cooper S model providing an entertaining warm-hatchback driving experience for keen drivers.

Trouble is, in the real world of traffic, commutes and school runs, most buyers are going to be more interested in fuel economy and running costs – something that usually doesn't go hand-in-hand with driving pleasure. Mini has the answer to that: the most powerful diesel model it has ever produced, the Cooper SD.

Using a 2.0-litre turbodiesel unit, the Cooper SD develops a healthy 168bhp, but more crucially 349Nm of torque from just 1,500rpm, which endows the car with a more muscular feel than its petrol counterparts.

Previously if you wanted a diesel Mini you had to opt for the Cooper D, which, with a 114bhp 1.5-litre turbocharged motor, isn't exactly a firecracker.

However, with all that grunt on tap, the Cooper SD can get from 0-62mph in a very respectable 7.3 seconds. Its trump card, though, is its fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, which are rated at an impressive 68.9mpg and 109g/km respectively – a penalty of 11.8mpg and 17g/km over the lower powered model.

The engine is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, but a six-speed automatic transmission is available as an option.

The new Mini Cooper SD arrives in UK showrooms later this month with prices starting from £19,450.

Mini Cooper SD

Mini Cooper SD