Friday, Dec. 21, 2001

The Mini Cooper S

Car designers have chosen one of two roads over the past few years: make vehicles more like trucks, or mine the archives and pull out, say, the VW Beetle or the faux-retro Chrysler PT-cruiser. But reintroducing legends can be sticky. BMW got it right with the Mini Cooper Series. The Cooper S is almost as preposterously cute as its gutsy little '60s forebear. The outsize head lamps, the twin exhausts under the middle of the back fender and the squat little body mark it as a mini from the front and back. It's only from the side that one sees it has stretched, so it's cheerful and comfortable.