The blokes over at Fifth Gear got their hands on the new MINI Cooper S and gave it the thorough once over. Contrary to other reports, Tom Ford maintains that the 'go-cart' handling characteristics that made the last model so popular among drivers are still alive and well.

Styling-wise, Ford agrees that upon first inspection the new Cooper looks much larger. That perception is, in fact true, but mainly due to the hood's height increase that meets stricter pedestrian impact laws. The newly revised front end causes the beltline to move northwards, giving the new MINI a taller stance.

The three models mentioned in the video are the Cooper, Cooper S and the 1.4-liter One model that has been available across the pond, but hasn't made its way to the States.