BMW has confirmed that the 2014 Mini will be launched in India, later this year, after the introduction of the 7 Series ActiveHybrid and the i8 supercar. Based on BMW's new front-wheel drive platform called UKL, the car was globally unveiled in November, last year at the Cowley plant in Oxford, UK.
Mini claims that the 2014 model is a more ‘grown up’ car as compared to the predecessor, and looking at the dimension, the car has indeed grown in size. The new car is 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.
The new Mini retains many of the traditional elements like the hexagonal grille and the circular headlights and does look very similar to the old car. This car has more scope for personalisation and is available with an extensive list of interior and exterior components.
The 2014 Mini is being sold with a new range of turbocharged four-cylinder engines. For the Indian market, we expect Mini to launch only the Cooper and Cooper S versions. These variants get a 134bhp 1.5-litre engine and a 189bhp 2.0-litre engine respectively, mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox and sending power to the front wheels. The 2014 model is the first ever Mini to be offered with the option of Variable Damper Control, which allows the driver to alter suspension setups to comfort or sporty.
With the 2014 model, BMW offers a modern and practical product while retaining the old-school charm of the original Mini. As the Mini is imported to India through the CBU route, the high taxation will push the price of the new model into the Rs 35 lakh range. BMW has already imported a couple of 2014 models for homologation. This price positions the Mini in a niche segment with no real competition. Other premium hatchbacks that you can buy for a lot less money include Mercedes-Benz A-Class, B-Class and the BMW 1 Series. Fiat and Volkswagen are also planning to field their own products, the Abarth 500 and the Beetle in India, later this year.