MINI boasts that its 2025 Cooper and Cooper S models are part of the most significant transformation for the manufacturer since MINI’s founding 65 years ago—apparently even more significant than the changes following BMW acquisition of MINI in 1996. Over the course of 2024, MINI will introduce the world to a completely “new MINI family” of vehicles while still retaining 65 years worth of styling cues and charm.
While the three-door Cooper has a variety of engine choices overseas, the U.S.-bound 2025 Cooper and Cooper S come with a somewhat familiar 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline-motivated power plant. “ICE powered Coopers? But what about the electric models!?” you ask. Head of MINI Stefanie Wurst offers, “At MINI, ‘Power of Choice” means that in addition to current and future electric MINI models, we also offer models such as the new MINI Cooper with gasoline engine. The car is ideal for all those people who want to drive a classic MINI three-door and appreciate the traditional performance and characteristic sound of a combustion engine.”
For those who like to drive things that go “vroom,” the four-banger in the Cooper S packs a punch with 201 horsepower and 221 pound-feet, allowing the hatchback to hit 60 in just 6.3 seconds. The non-S Cooper’s specs haven’t been released yet (we expect them to be available closer to launch this summer), but we can only assume less power and performance. After all, the S model comes at a premium!
You can’t talk about MINI without using the phrase “go-kart-like handling”—well at least I can’t— and that’s exactly what the manufacturer promises with the newest iteration of the Cooper. The suspension has been tuned for “agile” handling, with brakes suitable to reign things in repeatedly.
The exterior exudes the classic MINI vibe with typical proportions to the last 65 years of Cooper models. The new grille houses BMW’s smallest radar sensor and twelve ultrasonic sensors used by the multiple driver assistance systems such as Safe Exit (warning approaching pedestrians and vehicles when a door will be opened), and Driving Assistant Plus.
In the spirit of the brand’s driver-driven exterior customizations, the LED headlights have “three selectable light signatures—Classic, Favoured, or JCW.” In addition, MINI says, “the new Classic and Favoured Styles offer a wide range of customization options in keeping with the MINI’s expressive brand personality.” Different exterior and interior options are available based on trim levels, allowing for further personalization.
The interior is described by MINI as “minimalist,” giving a sense of more space (34.4 cubic feet in the cargo area with the 60:40 rear seats folded down). A 9.4-inch OLED display runs the latest Operating System 9, which is also home to the Intelligent Personal Assistant (IPA). I do like IPA’s, but not the kind that mix with operating a vehicle.
Despite MINI officially hitting retirement age—65, baby!—the new models still retain the fun and engaging spirit of the originals. If you’re interested in a new Cooper S, production starts next month. The Cooper S will have a base price of $32,200 (plus $995 destination and handling). The standard Cooper is expected a bit later in July with an MSRP of $28,95.
With an impending all-electric-powered future, will these new Cooper models have you singing “Ice Ice Baby?” —Mike Bevels
[Photos courtesy of MINI.]