The new MINI hardtop 'originial' was revealed in front of an excited global audience in Oxford, United Kingdom on the 10th of this month. The ceremony also marked the launch of MINI's new plant at Cowley, Oxford which fascinatingly has a 1,000-robot body shop!
The latest reincarnation of this legendary car is a contemporary evolution to the classic MINI design with improved features and technology and brings with it the debut of the new three- and four-cylinder engines.
Appearance wise, the car retains a lot of its DNA and appears very similar to the outgoing model, even though all the body panels are absolutely new. The nose is a little boxy while the headlights look chunky. It seems larger overall and the MINI is not so 'mini' anymore with the size growing by 98mm in length, 44mm in width and 7mm in height than its predecessor. The wheelbase is 42 mm longer and the track has also been increased. The car therefore has a lot more room inside with the boot being 30 percent larger as well.
The new MINI will now be available with 2 new twin turbocharged direct injected engines and 1 diesel motor. The entry level Cooper version will get a twin turbo direct injected 1.5-litre 3-cylinder petrol motor that develops a max power of 136 bhp and peak torque of 230Nm with overboost. The car is said to return fuel consumption figures of around 22kpl in the combined UK cycle. The 1.5-litre diesel engine will make 116 bhp of peak power and a torque of 269 Nm. The Cooper D will get an even better fuel efficiemcy figure with a claimed mileage of 28.5kpl in combined UK cycle run. The hot hot Cooper S will be powered by a 4-cylinder, 2.0-litre twin turbocharged direct injection petrol motor that has 192 horses on offer while the torque is approximately 300Nm factoring in the overboost. Fuel efficiency figure is 17.55 kpl in the UK cycle, though significantly lower that its oil burning sibling, it is very good for a car generating such high horsepower. All these engines will have the stop/start technology for bettering fuel efficiency. As usual, power would be through the front wheels and via a six-speed manual gearbox or an optional six-speed auto. The MINI will also get a more powerful diesel engine in the future which would power the Cooper SD and some entry level motors which would do duty in the One and One D variants.
The interior has also been fettled with. Though the car retains its signature circular gauges, the layout has been changed to make it more user-friendly. The window controls have been moved from the centre of the car to the door panels which was also a very familiar feature of the MINI's interior.
The latest generation MINI comes with a host a features and creature comforts. The car gets Variable Damper Control (for comfort and sport setting), 15-inch alloy wheels (on Cooper and Cooper D), 16-inch alloys for the the Cooper S, an 8.8 inch screen for the infotainment system, new driver assistance equipment, paddle shits (for sport automatics) and a host of other standard and optional features.