The history of the formation of the name Cooper began in the late 40s, when John Cooper registered the Cooper Car Company, where he began production of compact racing cars. One of his developments, the Cooper 500, opened the way for many athletes to race. In the early 60s, John Cooper's son, Mike Cooper, and part-time owner of his father’s tuning studio decided to create a sports car based on the compact Mini. As a result, in September 1961, the Cooper model debuted, which was still to become legendary. Conceived as an inexpensive and economical vehicle, the Mini suddenly turned into a purebred rider.
Mini Cooper has become a real "sports car for ordinary people." The reaction of consumers was reminiscent of euphoria. Potential buyers wanted more power. The result was an increase in engine capacity from 848 to 1071 cm ³, power increased to 70 hp, speed - 160 km / h.
Concerned about passenger safety, John Cooper provided the car with disc brakes. In 1962, an automatic transmission was included in the list of equipment, which had four gears for driving forward. For comparison, many luxury cars at that time, as a rule, had only three such programs. The first generation Mini Cooper was produced exactly 10 years, from 1961 to 1971, and then was excluded from the production program and replaced by a 59-strong model with a 1.3-liter engine with the designation Mini 1275 GT. However, the demand for Cooper still remained so great around the world that John Cooper had to create a retrofit kit that was very popular.
Sensing the rich possibilities of this market segment, the Rover Group (temporarily in charge of the MINI brand) in 1990 resumed production of the Mini Cooper. In 1994, Rover came under the control of the BMW Group. The Germans had long been carrying out plans to start producing small, but prestigious, “luxury” machines, so the brand Mini came in handy for them. The success of the second generation Mini was based on the organic combination of an attractive retrospective design and advanced engineering that BMW is famous for. Although the car was rightly criticized for its ergonomic flaws and the comfort level that did not quite match the price.
In October 2000, the “classic” Mini designs of Issigonis were discontinued. After all, at the Paris Motor Show of the same year, the world premiere of a completely new car with the same name, the release of which began at the same plant in Oxford, took place. And on sale Cooper third generation appeared in the spring of 2001. The modern remake of the cult model of the 60-70s was a success. The developers managed the most important thing: to preserve the individuality of the Mini and at the same time make it meet modern requirements for capacity and safety. BMW designers had a very successful lifting that did not violate the favorite and easily recognizable look of the car.
Cooper III is a full-fledged four-seat 2-door car with front-wheel drive and a transversely located petrol engine, personifying the features of the modern urban lifestyle, fully meeting the expectations of the new millennium buyer and, naturally, following the trends of automotive fashion. The car was developed by a group of engineers and designers under the leadership of Frank Stephenson on a completely original front wheel drive platform.
The peculiarity of its design is a very rigid bearing body (about 24,000 N / hail), McPherson-type front suspension on A-arms and rear multi-link suspension with a passive steering mechanism, which, coupled with wheels spaced at the corners of the body, provides excellent controllability and stability of the car on high speeds of movement. The third-generation Cooper has become 70 mm longer and, despite the current trend, slightly lost weight, although it was not possible to fall below 1200 kg. The hood lifted by 20 mm and now there is an 80 mm gap between it and the engine - this is dictated by European safety requirements for pedestrians.
Huge headlights and taillights received decorative chrome rims. During the transformation, Cooper lost one of his "highlights" - glazing, covering the rear pillars. In the cabin, the center position is still occupied by the speedometer, which has increased in diameter, containing the audio control panel and the onboard computer keyboard. The interior has smaller circles - a tachometer, ventilation vents, speakers, and door handles.
Even the key inserted into the mask under the engine start button is round. The trunk is small - only 165 liters (760 liters - with the rear seats folded). Under the hood, a 1.6-liter engine producing 115 hp. engine, allowing the car with a manual gearbox to reach 200 km / h and accelerate from standstill to “hundreds” in 9.1 seconds. Safety Cooper III at the highest level. Heavy-duty body, airbags, reliable braking system, side impact protection and a whole range of other means and safety solutions made it possible to obtain extremely high crash test scores.
In 2004, the exterior Cooper modernized. From the base model Mini One, the car began to differ in the shape of a chrome grille, front bumper with built-in regular fog lamps, two-tone paint, where the roof panel and exterior mirror housings are white, black or in body color and a chrome exhaust tip. By the way, at the request of the buyer, along the body, two characteristic white stripes can be drawn — the Cooper trademark.
Since 2004, based on the hatchback, the front-wheel-drive four-seat Cooper cabriolet has been produced, which debuted at the Geneva Motor Show. The soft top of this car can be easily folded with the help of an electric drive, by pressing the corresponding button in just 15 seconds. The rear window is heated, the windows are lowered and raised automatically when the awning is folded / raised. The safety of the Mini Cabriolet provides additional body protection, built-in steel pipes and rear safety rails in the windshield frame. Since the Cabrio is 100 kg heavier than the HB, its dynamic qualities are slightly worse, and the fuel consumption is slightly higher.
Despite this, as well as the higher cost, stylish cabriolets enjoy tremendous success in many countries, including Russia. Since 2005, this model is available in versions of Seven, Park Lane and Checkmate. By order, instead of 16-inch wheels on the Cooper install 17-inch. The updated interior of the Cooper includes a sporty 3-spoke steering wheel, a speedometer right on the steering column, new seats and a number of other interesting options like the four options for the central instrument cluster. In 2007, the updated Mini Cooper appeared.
Significant changes have occurred under the hood. Mini received a new 1.6-liter engine producing 120 hp, created in cooperation with Peugeot-Citroen. By the way, the engine is equipped with a system Valvetronic, optimizing power and torque. The car is offered in a complete set with a 6-speed manual transmission and a 6-speed automatic transmission. Switches located on the steering wheel - additional equipment. On the updated Cooper steering is fully electric, it replaced the electro-hydraulic. Turning the key is in the past - now the engine starts and turns off by lightly pressing the start / stop button.
More than 60 options and a huge number of accessories allow you to give your Cooper even more individuality. From sports seats and chrome trim to the navigation system with joystick control - almost everything and every taste is offered. The Mini brand has long become a cult. The royal family did not neglect the car, the Beatles, Charles Aznavour, Belmondo, Enzo Ferraria and many others drove to the Mini ...