Continuing on their massive sales success, MINI reveals the latest generation of its hot selling hatchback. We take a first look at what the new range of cars offers.
It would be an understatement to say that the reinvented Mini range of cars have been nothing but smash hits! Right from their rebirth in 2001, as the BMW developed new-gen products, the cars have caught the fancy of the buying public and gone on to set sales records. To give them credit where it’s due, they are also some of the most fun vehicles to pilot on the planet – which, along with their inherent style and quality, makes the reason for their success pretty clear.
So, in an effort to keep the success story going, Mini has revealed the latest generation of the iconic hatchback. The unveiling of the new car was preceded by examples of the three previous generations, along with a special mascot of Britishness – a British Bulldog named ‘Spike,’ who features prominently in their new commercials.
The list of changes in the new generation car is very comprehensive, including new styling, revamped interiors, upgraded equipment levels and quality, and even two brand new petrol engines – apart from the usual improvements in emissions, efficiency, safety, and driving dynamics. According to the company, every component has been back to the drawing board in an effort to optimise its functioning, performance, and style. And the result is this – ‘The New Original,’ a Mini that’s distinctly familiar, but enhanced in every single way.
Inside, the car features more space from the previous generation – mainly due to a 28mm increase in wheelbase to improve rear legroom – and a myriad of new technology that’s claimed to make the Mini the most connected car in its class. It features a state-of-the-art LED lighting system in the interior to engage the driver via its various colours for different driving modes – such as red for sport, and green for eco. The three most distinctive features of the interior, however, are the relocation of the giant central speedo – which, instead of being in the centre console, is now placed in a much more conventional position in front of the driver, and is now also more conventionally sized. Second is the striking aviation style Start/Stop toggle switch mounted low in the centre console, which looks very stylish and oozes appeal. And third is the optional head-up display, which displays vital information directly in front of the driver jet-fighter style – giving it an exciting look & feel. The Mini is now also fitted with two different versions of BMW’s iDrive system – called the Mini controller, which navigates through functions such as entertainment, navigation, etc.
As far as propulsion is concerned, the Mini is now powered by a brace of brand new petrol engines featuring TwinPower Turbo technology – with the Cooper being powered by a 1.5 litre 3-cylinder unit producing 134bhp, and the Cooper S featuring a 2 litre 4-cylinder producing 189bhp. The Cooper D comes with a 3-cylinder unit producing 114bhp. The transmission choices have also been revamped, with the car now featuring three gearbox options. First up is a 6-speed manual, which can rev match the engine on downshifts, and the 6-speed auto featuring a start/stop function for the first time. The third option is a 6-speed sports auto featuring shorter shift times, rev matching on downshifts, and manual control via steering mounted paddles.
On the outside, while there have been major revisions to the new Mini, it retains the family look and appears to be a subtle evolution of the last generation design. However, much of the detailing – such as the treatment of the front and rear lights, hexagonal grille, glasshouse, and fenders – are much more intricate. It has become visibly larger as well.
Combined with the new engines, equipment levels and technology, the new Mini promises to be a cracker to drive – especially with the company officially claiming that special care has been taken to ensure that the car retains its ‘go-kart’ handling. We can’t wait to get our hands on the new car to get a first-hand feel of how it drives. It’s estimated that the car will be launched in India next year, with a possible reveal at the upcoming Auto Expo in February.