BMW recently launched the third generation Mini in its three-door hardtop guise. Rumours were afloat that Mini was also working on many different models, one of which was a five-door variant. Internally called F55, the car is the company’s first five-door hatch. The car has now been spotted undergoing trials and though it seems production ready, it will be only be launched by the end of the year or early 2015.
Based on the 2014 Mini (F56), the car looks identical to the donor car in every aspect, except for the doors. Mini has shortened the front doors to make room for the rear ones. Despite this, the rear doors seem to be very small. The rear doors extend right from the edge of the front doors up to the filler cap. Owing to an increased wheelbase, the rear legroom will be expanded by 50mm in comparison to the regular Mini and the backseat will now have room for three passengers. The rear section will be slightly raked for an increased boot space and the tailgate will also incorporate a spoiler. The roof profile will feature a subtle version of the Clubman’s ‘dune-line’. We expect the car to retain the engine lineup from the 2014 Mini which includes 1.5-litre 3-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, as well as a 1.2-litre unit.
The 2014 Mini looks very similar to the second-generation Mini as it retains the traditional design cues like the hexagonal grille and circular headlamps. The car has grown in size and incorporates new technology like DRLs, safety systems and driver assist among others. Mini has provided more scope for personalisation in the new car, with an extensive list of interior and exterior components. A new range of engines has also been introduced, all of which are turbocharged.
BMW unveiled the 2014 Mini Cooper as well as the performance sub-brand - John Cooper Works, in India at the Delhi Auto Expo last month. A four-door car has always been the logical choice for the Indian market because of the people’s affinity for a ‘bigger’ car. But because of it Rs 33.2 lakh price tag, the Mini has always been more of a bling vehicle than a daily use car. Though the doors make it a bit more practical, the presence of the two extra doors rarely matters in the niche car segment.