The MINI Cooper S has been singled out for praise by What Car? and taken the Green Sports Car award in the What Car? Green Awards ceremony at the 2008 British International Motor Show, where the MINI range is currently showing on a MINIVERSITY-themed stand.

The award is recognition of MINI's commitment to manufacturing frugal and fast premium small cars, with minimal cost to the environment.

The MINI Cooper S embodies all of those qualities and when pitched against the competition, it's easy to see how What Car? made its decision.

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The systems that make astonishing fuel consumption (45.6 mpg on combined cycle) and low CO2 emission (149 g/km) figures possible from a hot hatch are known as MINIMALISM technologies. MINIMALISM is MINI's version of BMW's EfficientDynamics and the range of systems includes:

• Auto Start/Stop • Shift Point Display • Brake Energy Regeneration • Variable Valve Timing • Lightweight materials • Turbocharging • Electro mechanical Power Assisted Steering

Steve Fowler, editor of What Car? said: ‘The MINI Cooper S proves that fun doesn't have to go out of the window if you want to be green. We love the way the clever MINIMALISM technology works to cut damaging emissions without damaging driver enjoyment.'

50 years of Mini and MINI to be celebrated in England 2009 will mark the 50th anniversary of the launch of the original Mini, and the second generation new MINI will be commemorating this incredible achievement in style, right here in England.

The MINI United festival, which in recent years has brought together thousands of classic Mini and new MINI owners to celebrate a British icon, will be staged at a renowned race circuit in England and kicks-off on 22 May 2009. The exact location and further details will be announced in the near future.