MINI’s iconic hot-hatch cleans up

MINI Cooper S (R56)

The MINI Cooper S has just been named best hot-hatch in the annual What Car? awards. This is the third year on the trot the MCS has claimed the award, with the British publication stating, “just as brilliant as ever, the Mini is still the headline act in this category”.

That in itself, though, is not such a big surprise as the MINI has been widely praised since BMW relaunched the brand in 2001. However, what might raise a few eyebrows is the news that has named MINI the cleanest car manufacturer. In addition to this, the Cooper S was previously named Green Sports Car by What Car? in their 2008 awards.

CleanGreenCars reached their conclusion by calculating the average CO2 emissions of each car sold during 2008 and compared the data against 2007 figures. The result being the average CO2 emissions from the MINI fleet is 137.24g/km, an improvement of almost 7%. MINI is marginally ahead of Fiat, with 137.32g/km, and next best, Peugeot with 140.16g/km.

With more frugal diesel models to be added to their range, MINI can expect their average emissions figure to lower even further.


SEAT León Linea R

SEAT Leon Linea R

It’s fresh, it’s funky, it’s fast, and its not available in Australia! This is the SEAT León Linea R. Okay, so the Linea R range is not much more than a fancy body kit, and it’s only fast if you tick the 147kW 2.0 TSI engine option from the three choices available—but it does look the business. The other engines have been raided from the VAG parts bin and include the 125kW 2.0 TDI (as seen in the Golf GT) and the 118kW 1.8 TSI (as seen in the Audi A4).

The León Linea R also gets a bunch of goodies thrown in such as 18″ ‘Supercopa’ alloys, dual zone climate control, TCS (traction control), ESP and, of course, the funky body kit, complete with Linea R badging.

While the exterior of the León Linea R makes you take notice, the inside is not quite up to Golf standards. It looks sporty enough, but the fine detail is just not there and the low placement of the Sat Nav unit is questionable, to say the least. Never mind that, SEAT’s generally drive just as well as their Volkswagen cousins, and normally offer more bang, for less buck. You gotta be happy with that!