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Not more than four months after the third-generation MINI hatchback (of the BMW kind, that is) was unveiled globally, the cheeky looking F56 has arrived in Malaysia in Cooper and Cooper S forms. Now that was fast. MINI fast.

You can read our comprehensive report of the international debut, plus a live gallery from the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show for a general view of what’s new and what’s not in the new MINI. Here in Malaysia, we get four variants – the Cooper, Cooper S, plus their respective upgrade packs called Chilli and Wired.

Prices start from RM178,888 for the Cooper, going up to RM248,888 for the range-topping Cooper S Wired. Not exactly small change, then, but that’s a fair bit less than the models they replace, which were priced at RM195,888 and RM254,879 (R56 Cooper S with MINI Connected option) respectively.

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The Cooper variants feature the 1.5 litre three-cylinder MINI TwinPower Turbo engine with 136 hp and 220 Nm of torque. The 0-100 km/h dash is completed in 7.8 seconds, up from the old 120 hp/160 Nm naturally-aspirated 1.6 litre-powered old Cooper’s portly 10.4 seconds. Top speed is up too, from 197 km/h to 210 km/h.

Moving up to the Cooper S nets you a more powerful four-cylinder 2.0 litre turbocharged mill (part for BMW’s new B48 range). This one has 192 hp and 280 Nm, a 0-100 km/h time of 6.7 seconds and a 233 km/h top speed, compared to the outgoing model’s 184 hp, 240 Nm, 7.2 seconds and 223 km/h.

All models are paired to the same Aisin six-speed automatic transmission (no manual, as to be expected), with the Cooper S getting the upgraded Sports Auto version with a Launch Control function. Great fuel economy is standard across the range, with claimed figures of 4.7 (Cooper) and 5.4 litres (Cooper S) per 100 km.

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Marking out the base Cooper variant are its halogen reflector-type headlamps, which come without the distinctive LED daytime-running lights on the other models. Full LED headlamps and foglights are included in the Cooper’s RM20,000 Chilli package, and standard on both Cooper S variants.

Only two wheel designs are available, with the Cooper getting the 16-inch Loop Spoke Silver design, while the Cooper S runs on 17-inch Tentacle Spoke Silver items. Spotting the two variants is made easier with the Cooper- and Cooper S-specific front grilles and exhaust ports.

Inside, the Cooper gets fabric upholstery, Chrome Line trim, manual air-con, MINI Radio Basis with Bluetooth interface, Sports leather steering wheel and auto lights and wipers. The RM198,888 Cooper Chilli (the blue car pictured here) adds on leather sports seats, dual-zone climate control and MINI Radio Visual Boost (with a 6.5-inch screen and an iDrive-style six-button controller).

The RM228,888 MINI Cooper S gets much of the same (with the Cooper Chilli), with the addition of Black Checkered interior surfacing, Anthracite headlining and a John Cooper Works (JCW) steering wheel. You can shell also out another RM20,000 for the Cooper S Wired to have a centre armrest and a 12-speaker Harman Kardon HiFi sound system.

Exclusive to the range-topping model (Volcanic Orange car pictured) is a larger 8.8-inch screen equipped with the Professional navigation system. The package also includes a full touch-sensitive controller (much like the ones on new BMWs).

Standard across the range is the MINI Excitement package, which packs in an interior lighting setup. On the safety front, all models get four airbags (front and curtain) as standard, along with an active pop-up bonnet (for additional deformation space in case of a collision with a pedestrian).

Lastly, the MINI Cooper Chilli and Cooper S Wired come with a three-year MINI Service Inclusive programme, which is a RM5,900-option on the standard Cooper and Cooper S variants. The F56 quartet will be available at all eight MINI dealerships in Malaysia starting from the MINI Weekend on April 12 and 13.

F56 MINI Cooper S Wired


F56 MINI Cooper Chilli
Mini Austin Cooper S