One of the most iconic cars in the world, the MINI has a new look and is the most revolutionary yet.Â The new Mini Cooper 2014 was unveiled at the firmâ€™s Oxford factory on November 18th before simultaneous motor show unveilings at the Tokyo motor show and LA motor show.
Mini calls the new model â€ścompletely new from the ground upâ€ť, the result of which is â€śa Mini that is distinctly familiar but enhanced in every single wayâ€ť.
“Every year Mini convinces more and more people to consider small,” Jim McDowell, vice president of Mini USA, told Autoblog. The brand thinks there’s room enough for one more Mini model, McDowell said, which he promises will be “as radical in this decade as the original was in 1959.”
BMW said this new Mini is characterized by a new generation of engines increasing driving fun and efficiency, and a wider selection of innovative driver assistance systems as well as Mini Connected infotainment facilities.
Despite being called a “MINI”, the new model is 98mm longer, 44mm wider and 7mm taller than the outgoing generation, while its wheelbase has been stretched by 42mm to 2495mm.
In addition, the track widths have been enlarged by 42mm front / 34 mm rear. As a result of the increased dimensions (3821mm length, 1727mm width, 1414mm height), the new MINI not only offers more interior cabin room but also 211 liters of cargo capacity, a significant increase of 30 percent.
The new Mini, which hits the market in March 2014, will be available with two new engines. The all-new engine line-up at launch features a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol unit in the Cooper, a 1.5-litre three-cylinder diesel in the Cooper D and a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol in the Cooper S.
Each engine is turbocharged, has a stop-start system, complies with Euro 6 emissions regulations, offers peak power and torque lower in the rev range than its predecessor and is up to 27 per cent more fuel efficient than the engine that it replaces.
The new Mini Cooper is expected by BMW to sprint in 7.4 seconds (automatic: 7.3 seconds) from standing to 60 mph, while its top speed is 130 mph in each case.
Engineers have also worked to improve the Miniâ€™s ride and handling, with a new suspension set-up said to offer improved â€śacoustic refinement in the cabinâ€ť and â€śeliminate vibrations from the road surfaceâ€ť. The good news for us is that itâ€™s been tested extensively on UK roads.
Electronically-controlled two-stage dampers will be available in the new Mini, offering a choice between a more supple Comfort mode and firmer Sport setting. This is in addition to the existing Sport button that sharpens the steering and throttle response. Meanwhile, Mini assures us the chassis will retain its trademark agile handling, thanks to lightweight aluminium suspension components and lower friction bearings.
The 6-speed automatic transmission available for all versions of the new Mini is said to offer improved efficiency, enhanced shift comfort and increased shift dynamics.
These advancements have been achieved by means of elements such as a more efficient transmission control system, a more direct connection and optimized hydraulics. The new Mini also combines automatic transmission with an automatic engine start/stop function for the first time, says Hybrid Cars.
The interior, which is a huge part of Mini’s identity, has been updated as well. The car keeps a lot of its circular gauges, but the layout has been tweaked a bit to make it more user-friendly. Mini owners will either love or hate the fact that the window controls have been moved from the center of the car to the door panels, where they sit for most other car models.
UK pricing kicks off at 15,300 GBP for the standard Cooper, continues to 16,450 GBP for the Cooper D and ends at 18,650 GBP for the Cooper S. The initial range consisting of three versions is scheduled to hit the market next spring.