BMW, yesterday, unveiled the new 2014 Mini Cooper. The car has been priced at 13,500 pounds (Rs 13.55 lakh) onwards and will go into production, next week, at their facility in Oxford. The Cooper D, Cooper and Cooper S models will be first three models from the range to go on sale.
The launch of the three-door hatchback took place at the Mini's production plant in Cowley, Oxford, on the 107th anniversary of the birth of the Mini's founding father Alex Issigonis.
The model has already been seen virtually undisguised in a series of spy shots, as both standard and hotter Cooper versions have been caught testing in Europe and North America. Like all cars from the BMW stable, this car too is big on styling. Then there’s a new design, a radical range of three and four-cylinder engines and a more hi-tech kit as well. The new range, which will be displayed later this week at the Los Angeles and Tokyo motor shows, will continue to include a basic MINI One, mid-range MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper D diesel, as well as a top-spec MINI Cooper S version.
The all-new Mini is based on BMW's new front and all-wheel-drive UKL1 platform, which will underpin 10 more of the Minis and some BMWs. It is the biggest Mini with dimensions that are 98mm longer, 44mm wider, sites 7mm higher and sits on 15-inch alloys. The longer wheelbase means more stability and better performance on the corners, as well as more passenger room and a larger, 211-litre boot. It’s also pretty much the same weight, despite the increase in size.
In terms of engines, the all-new 1.5-litre three-cylinder units will kick off the range, with a turbocharged 136bhp version powering the Cooper. The three-cylinder engines are all aluminium, with direct fuel injection and are hooked up to a new six-speed manual gearbox, which has automatic throttle blipping between down changes. A 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit, meanwhile, develops 189bhp. The only diesel engine confirmed so far is a 1.5-litre common-rail direct-injection unit with 114bhp. Both petrol and diesel engine options are offered with manual and automatic gearboxes, with stop/start functionality.
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 will be a collision and pedestrian warning system with an automatic braking function at lower speeds. This uses a windscreen-mounted camera to detect dangers ahead, sounds a warning and then can stop the car if necessary to prevent a crash. Other technology for the new MINI includes 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. This camera can also be used to keep a safe distance from the car ahead while using cruise control. 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, though, 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.
We expect that BMW will bring the new Mini to India by the end of next year via the CBU route and should price it significantly higher than the current line-up.