The next generation Mini Cooper has been spotted undisguised for the first time. Spied during what is believed to be a photo shoot alongside the powered up Cooper S variant, the car will be revealed later this year with sales expected to commence towards the second quarter of 2014.
The Mini design language has an iconic appeal to it and the next generation model stays loyal to this philosophy. The face of the new Mini Cooper gets a more rounded grille and the entire nose of the car is sculpted to give a broader feel as compared to the current model. More noticeably, the 2014 model inherits the circular day-time running lamps from the 2011 Rocketman concept. The rear tail lights are magnified and rounded to fit in with the overall design of the car. The sides have been subtly concaved between the fenders and get a slightly longer front overhang.
It is the underpinnings and not the exterior that holds the surprise. From 2014, all the Cooper models are expected to be powered by the 1.5-litre three cylinder engines sourced from BMW. The engine will have a twin-scroll turbocharging unit with variable valve timing and direct injection. The exact performance figures are not available yet but the power is expected to be between 120 and 200PS. The engine will also be further beefed up to a tri turbo for the high-performance variants, and will produce up to 300PS.
The current Mini Cooper is imported to India, and is available at starting price of Rs 26.68 lakh. We expect the next generation Cooper to be available in India towards the second half of 2014 and will compete with the VW Beetle and the Fiat 500, if it eventually comes to India. Considering that the Countryman is now being assembled locally, there is a possibility in the future that the Cooper variants will also come to India as CKD (Completely Knocked Down) units.