Under the Mini's clamshell hood is a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that outputs an impressive 172 horsepower. Turbo lag is an issue at low speeds, but once it gets going (or when in Sport mode), lag is less of an issue.
With so much power going through the front wheels, torque steer is unavoidable. Fortunately, the Mini's quick steering helps to mitigate much of the lateral movement. When in Sport mode, the steering and throttle responses are sharpened.