In Canada, the Mini sells. The Cooper S does well as does the Countryman - given the AWD. My neighbour has a JC Works Cooper S and it goes like stink (get that one Mike!).
The reason why I suggested the Ford is that the one we get here will run circles around the Cooper S. It is considerably faster in a straight line (250+ HP) but where it really excels is through the corners. It will easily rotate the rear although it is a FWD car.
Are you looking for FWD? If you would consider RWD, the Subaru BR-Z or Toyota Twin is quick, almost perfectly balanced, has RWD, and looks like Ferrari made it (in 1975...). The best thing is that it should be cheaper than the Cooper S. Not trying to talk you out of it, just providing options (BTW, the VW GTi is just as good as the Cooper but rides worlds better).
I test drive a lot of cars....; )