Today the Mini Copper S is just another hot hatch, but in the early 2000s, it was special. This retro inspired quirky hatchback was exciting, it sold well, and more importantly, it sounded amazing. Today hot hatches are force fed air by turbos, but the R53 Mini Cooper S was different. This minuscule hot hatch used a roots type supercharger to cramp more air into its four tiny cylinders.
Currently, Dodge’s Hellcats offer a proper supercharged engine sound. However, only a few short years ago a cute little hatchback did it better. Sure the Hell Cat has twice the cylinders and way more than double the horsepower but it can’t hold a candle to the R53 Mini Cooper S. Aural enjoyment is subjective. I can’t tell you what sounds best, although that’s what this article is about. However, we can all agree the R53 Mini Cooper S sounds unique. In today’s world of muted turbo engines, a supercharger is a welcomed change of pace. The whine of a supercharger is far more special than the whoosh of a turbo that can be heard in almost any car.
Although the Mini of today only makes supersized knockoffs of a once popular English hatchback, the original revival was true to its heritage. The R53 mini was a mini Mini Cooper with the quirks and personality to match. Today these huge bastardizations of a Mini Cooper may fill the showrooms but let us never forget the original remake. The Supercharged hot hatch the sounded like a supercar.