The iconic Mini hatchback has returned in a completely new avatar. Launched in early 2014, the Mini (codenamed F55) is based on the UKL1 platform which it shares with the soon-to-be launched BMW 1 Series tourer. It carries over the iconic design of the BMW penned Mini that accompanied the the car into the modern generation. The new car which is already on sale in most European markets is being launched in India on November 19, both in the three-door and five-door petrol variants.
The 2014 Mini carries over most of the design from the previous car like the hexagonal grille and round headlamps but is now longer by 98mm, wider by 44mm and 7mm taller than the previous model. These extra dimensions have translated into an extra wheelbase of 28mm and a more spacious boot. Mini is also offering a large number of alloy wheel options which each give the car a unique appearance when looked at from the side.
While the fascia has remained pretty much the same, the side profile has the same lines but now appears much bigger thanks to the increased dimensions. The rear end too has been mostly retained from the previous car but now the lamps have become wider, the reflector has got a different shape and the single piece chrome exhaust tip has moved from the right side to the left side. The Mini will continue to retain its classic design due to its heritage and classic appeal.
Interior and feature list
The 2014 Mini retains the overall design and layout of elements from the previous car but now includes an increased feature list. However, what is now missing is the iconic central speedo which appears to be relegated to pages of the hatchback’s history. The colour schemes for the interior appears to be more conventional and there is exactly the right amount of chrome to give the Mini premium appeal.
In terms of technology, the new Mini 2014 gets a head-up display, which includes driving speed, navigation instructions and the current speed limit. Also included is a collision and pedestrian warning system with an automatic braking function at lower speeds.
Other updates include a reversing camera and parking assist, as well as headlights that use the front-mounted camera to see oncoming traffic and automatically dip from the main beams. To boost ride comfort and everyday usability, adaptive dampers will be offered for the first time. Two settings – Sport and Comfort, accessed at the flick of a switch – will offer a sharper drive or a more relaxed ride.
MINI buyers get a bit more standard kit for their money such as keyless go, isofix seats in the front and rear, and Bluetooth. And as ever, there is lots of scope for personalisation, with a list of options including a John Cooper Works spoiler, contrasting mirrors and a set of roof rails for the first time.
Engine and gearbox
The 2014 Mini that will be launched in India will be offered with the 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine that produces 134bhp. It has been mated to a six-speed AT that sends power to the front wheels. The Countryman D which is more popular in India and is locally produced will be introduced next year and is expected to continue via the CKD route. It may be joined by other models of the Mini in the future.
It is expected to be priced in the range of Rs 30 lakh to Rs 40 lakh and will be brought to the Indian market via the CBU route.