Don't wish to start a debate about good versus old here but.
Having driven the new Cooper S's (both the original super- and recent turbo-charged versions) I have to say they're fantastic handling cars compared to many of the hot-hatches that you find around nowadays
However, getting from one of those into my old Mini Cooper S (1380cc, twin SUs, spax coilovers – the works) I have to say the modern ones still leave me a bit cold. The old girl was ab absolute rocket ship, and handled like nothing else I've ever driven – my bottle was always going to run out before the grip did.
Sold EMO to fund the wifes first car a fair few years ago and it was the worst decision I ever made – If I ever see her again I'd offer silly money to buy her back.
Oh, and Guybe, if you think the new ones are cramped for a 6ft fella, try getting in one of the old ones