First introduced in 1959, the MINI became known and loved for its unique small styling and its zippy performance. The British manufacturer finally stopped production in 1999, was acquired by BMW and started working on a complete redesign that was more in line with current fuel and emissions standards. As a result the new MINI was launched in 2002 and was named after famed race car driver John Cooper, who drove the classic MINI to numerous victories.
Defined as a two-door hatchback, the 2002 MINI Cooper has front-wheel drive and comes standard with a 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine and a five-speed manual transmission. It is capable of 115 horsepower and can accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in 8.74 seconds.
Though bigger than the classic MINI, the Cooper still maintains a small footprint at 142.8 inches long and 66.5 inches wide. It stands at just under 56 inches high. Curb vehicle weight, which is the weight of the car without any cargo or passengers, is 1050kg. The length of the wheel base is 97.1 inches. Standard wheels are 15-inch alloys.
Despite its small size the 2002 MINI Cooper is quite roomy inside. Front passengers get almost 39 inches of headroom and almost 51 inches of shoulder room, and legroom is surprisingly comfortable at just over 41 inches. A maximum of two rear passengers experience almost 38 inches of headroom and almost 45 inches of shoulder room. Legroom in the rear is just over 31 inches.
The 2002 MINI Cooper offers several option packages. The premium package features a multi-function steering wheel, automatic air conditioning, on-board computer and a sunroof. The sport package includes dynamic stability control, 16-inch alloy wheels, sport seats, fog lamps and a rear spoiler, while the cold weather package offers heated seats, heated mirrors and heated windshield washer jets. Other options available include automatic transmission with Steptronic controls, parking distance sensors, xenon headlights, leather upholstery and built-in navigation system.
Metallic colours available were Pure Silver, Dark Silver, Silk Green, British Racing Green, Electric Blue, Indi Blue, Velvet Red and Cosmos Black. Other colours to choose from were Liquid Yellow, Pepper White, Chili Red and Black II. The roof is offered in either the body colour or a contrasting colour choice of black or white, with the exception of Pepper White which does not offer a white roof.