Carbon Fiber Officially Makes Its Way To The MINI: Is It Worth The Extra Cash?


It's also faster, so there's that.

Following in the recent footsteps of other smallcars like the Chevrolet Spark RS, British automaker MINI has made the leap intothe world of carbon fiber with the new MINI Cooper S Hardtop 4-Door CarbonEdition, priced at $37,100. That’s if you opt for the standard manualtransmission; The auto will put you out another $1,500. As its name implies,the car gets carbon fiber air intake trim, mirror caps, and exhaust tips. Thepaintjob on this model is “Midnight Black” metallic paint, and it features ared pinstripe.

This Carbon Edition Mini puts down 208horsepower instead of the usual 189 hp. That's not the craziest power increase on a MINI we've seen, but thelimited-run model benefits from a John Cooper Works Pro Tuning Kit and a moremuscular-sounding exhaust system. If you’ll take the British carmanufacturer’s word for it, the refined exhaust system delivers “cracklingsound” and “devilish backfire pops.” Tall promises from a company like MINI, so it will be interesting to see if it canpull it off. MINI fans will be happy to learn that there arealso additional manufacturer options to set your car apart from the pack.For example, there’s something called the “JCWExterior Package” which gives buyers a unique body kit.

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With the package, you also get 17” JCW Black Spoke wheels, and a spoiler in therear. Interior comforts include a special-edition-specific steeringwheel, Harmon/Kardon premium sound system, a sunroof, and heated seats. Is all that worth $37,100? We don't know, but more horsepower and carbon fiber is never a bad deal.