MINI Cooper MINI has today unveiled the new MINI Hatch, the car which has defined a segment since 2001.
Even though the new MINI is instantly recognisable – something which comes from having such a globally identifiable design – the car is completely new from the ground up. Every component has been back to the drawing board in an effort to optimise its function, performance and style.
The result is ‘The New Original’, a MINI which is distinctly familiar but enhanced in every single way. It features significant improvements in technology, engine efficiency and power delivery, driving dynamics, quality and – of course – personalisation. Inside, the new MINI Hatch is quieter than the outgoing model, with improvements to acoustic refinement inside the cabin.
The new MINI Hatch is more spacious than before, safer, finished to an even higher standard and provides the driver with a more dynamic and performance-oriented experience behind the wheel.
Inside the cabin, new technology ensures that the new MINI is the most connected car in its segment. A new LED display concept, the first of its kind, provides the driver with visual feedback whilst operating the car and creates a premium ambience. It reflects a maturity and confidence in the brand’s design and engineering, a car which pays tribute to its unique British heritage yet stands ready to lead MINI into the second half of the decade and beyond.
New MINI in detail
Exterior: unmistakable design, contemporary style
The body of the new MINI is 3,821mm long (MINI Cooper S is 3,850mm), 1,727mm wide and 1,414mm tall. This makes it 98mm longer, 44mm wider and 7mm taller than its predecessor. The wheelbase has been extended by 28mm, while the track width has been enlarged at the front by 42mm and at the rear by 34mm.
Behind the changes, the new car has classic MINI proportions and an instantly familiar design that’s packed with character. Traditional cues such as the hexagonal contour of the radiator grille, circular headlights, ‘side scuttle’ indicator surrounds, upright rear light clusters and black lower body edging have all been subtly reinterpreted.
In profile, the tapering line of the glass creates a dynamic wedge shape. Below, a visual link between the front and rear wheel arches comes via a striking lower sill line and upper character line, which feature downward curves at both ends.
The new MINI is the first car in its segment to offer the option of LED headlamps for both dipped and main beam. They are surrounded by an LED daylight driving ring, the lower section of which reaches down to the white turn indicators. The rear light clusters also feature an all-LED design.
Five new exterior colours have been added to MINI’s already extensive palette, while the roof and exterior mirror caps can be finished in a contrasting colour –black or white– as a no-cost option. Roof rails are available for the new MINI for the first time. Other ways of adding a touch of individual style include black or white bonnet stripes.
Interior: hallmark MINI style, new display and operating concept
The new MINI’s exterior dimensions mean greater room for up to four occupants and their luggage, including enhanced shoulder space and larger footwells. The front seats have been given a wider adjustment range, and the base has been lengthened by 23mm for additional comfort and support. A choice of fabric or leather finishes, or a combination of both, is available. It’s also easier than ever for rear seat passengers to gain access to the back.
The rear bench seat back can be split 60:40. For even greater practicality, the optional storage package includes a luggage compartment floor which can be locked into place at various points and the rear seat backrest features tilt-angle adjustment. Boot volume has been increased by more than 30 per cent to 211 litres. Numerous cupholders and storage facilities make life easier for occupants.
With an instantly recognisable design, state-of-the-art functionality and premium colour/material combinations, there’s no mistaking the dashboard of the new MINI Hatch. The horizontal structure of the cockpit, linked to circular and elliptical details, remains, but has evolved to take on a more sophisticated form.
At the heart of the design changes is a new display and operating concept, illustrated by the instrument cluster on the steering column. Speed, revs and fuel level are displayed on vertically arranged circular dials. The speedometer scale includes a colour panel for messages and vehicle status displays.
The iconic central instrument now has extended functionality. Depending on the optional equipment chosen, it can serve as a four-line TFT display as standard or optional colour screen up to 8.8-inches showing vehicle functions, infotainment, navigation and MINI Connected services. Selection of these functions is performed via a choice of two new controllers, the MINI Controller or MINI Touch Controller, fitted in the centre console which come in conjunction with MINI Visual Boost Radio or the MINI Navigation System.
Groundbreaking LED lighting around the new MINI Hatch’s central instrument provides visual feedback to the current situation on the road and to specific operational steps, according to the driver’s preference. For example, when Park Distance Control is activated, the remaining distance to obstacles is shown by means of a ring of light which is illuminated in green, yellow or red - supplementing the graphic display. A change in the car’s driving mode confirmed by LED units which light up in blue, orange or red. Route guidance information provided by the MINI Navigation System is also visually supported by the illuminated ring: the closer the car gets to the turn-off point, the smaller the lit-up area around the edge of the central instrument.
Keyless-go is now standard across the MINI Hatch range. The start/stop toggle switch located in the middle of the centre console features a heartbeat illumination which pulses before the engine is started. A number of switches have been relocated for improved usability, including those for the electric windows, which are now integrated into the door trim.
Powertrains: three all-new engines, three all-new gearboxes
The new MINI Hatch features a range of three entirely new engines, each featuring MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology to increase driving fun and improve environmental efficiency. The trio all offer improved performance figures, with maximum power across all three variants produced lower down the rev range, while fuel consumption and emission levels have been reduced by as much as 27 per cent when compared to their predecessor models. All meet the stringent EU6 exhaust emissions criteria.
The new MINI Cooper Hatch has a three-cylinder petrol engine with a peak output of 134bhp. The new MINI Cooper S Hatch is powered by a four-cylinder petrol engine which develops 189bhp. The new MINI Cooper D Hatch comes with a three-cylinder diesel engine with an output of 114bhp. For fuel efficiency this latter model is the undoubted star performer, with average combined economy of 80.7mpg using the EU test cycle.
Engine MINI Cooper Hatch MINI Cooper D
Hatch MINI Cooper S Hatch
Type/no. of cylinders/valves in-line / 3 / 4 in-line / 3 / 4 in-line / 4 / 4
Capacity cc 1499 1496 1998
Bore/stroke mm 82.0 / 94.6 84.0 / 90.0 82.0 / 94.6
Compression :1 11.0 16.5 11.0
Output kW/bhp 100 / 134 85 / 114 141 / 189
at engine speed rpm 4500 – 6000 4000 4700 – 6000
Torque (with overboost) Nm 220 (230) 270 280 (300)
at engine speed rpm 1250 – 4000 1750 1250 – 4750
A six-speed manual transmission is standard featuring rev matching on downward shifts and a six-speed automatic transmission is available as an option on each engine. The automatic transmission sees efficiency improvements against the outgoing model, making a significant contribution towards reducing CO2 levels. For example, the outgoing MINI Cooper D Automatic Hatch produces 135g/km CO2 with the new MINI Cooper D Hatch producing 98g/km CO2.
Both transmission systems are newly developed. The auto features an engine start/stop function for the first time, preventing unnecessary fuel consumption. When used in conjunction with the MINI Navigation System, it’s able to take account of the selected route profile and control gear shifts. Based on navigation data, the appropriate drive position is selected to match the road ahead, preventing unnecessary upshifts.
Now on the options list is a third transmission, a six-speed sports automatic transmission which enables even shorter shift times, features rev matching on downward shifts and can be operated in manual mode using shift paddles behind the steering wheel.
MINIMALISM environmental technologies continue to feature on all MINI vehicles, and the new Hatch is no exception. Designed to reduce fuel consumption, the suite of standard features includes a shift-point display function on manual cars and optimised preheating process on the diesel. Brake energy recuperation and need-oriented control of the fuel pump, coolant pump and other ancillary units feature on all models.
Optimised suspension: less weight, even more fun to drive
The suspension in the new MINI has been extensively revised. A new single-joint spring strut axle at the front and a multi-link axle at the rear intensify the MINI Hatch’s unique handling properties.
In order to reduce weight and increase component rigidity, the new front axle is fitted with aluminium swivel bearings as well as axle supports and wishbones made of high-strength steel. This supports the agile turn-in response and precise steering of the new MINI. At the rear, the share of high-strength steel used in the axle has been increased.
All improvements are aimed at intensifying the MINI’s handling responses, better known as that famous ‘go-kart’ feeling. Engineers have worked hard on the suspension to improve the acoustic refinement in the MINI’s cabin and eliminate vibrations from the road surface after chassis testing on UK roads.
Also new to the car is Variable Damper Control. Available as an option, it presents drivers with the choice of two distinct set-ups, a more comfort-oriented response or a more sporty and firm one.
The new MINI Cooper Hatch and MINI Cooper D Hatch ride on 15-inch forged light alloy wheels, which have low weight and excellent aerodynamics. The MINI Cooper S Hatch is fitted with 16-inch light alloy wheels as standard. Rims up to 18 inches in diameter are available as optional extras.
Highly resilient bearing structures, deformation zones and an extremely stable passenger cell are all part of the new MINI’s design. Together these provide an excellent basis for keeping impact energy away from passengers and ensuring maximum occupant protection. The standard safety fittings include front and side airbags as well as curtain airbags for the front and rear seats, automatic passenger airbag deactivation and front and rear ISOFIX. The aim is to achieve maximum scores on all the relevant crash tests worldwide.
High-end features for comfort, functionality and individual style
The increased standard specification on the new MINI includes electrically adjustable exterior mirrors, air-conditioning, door sill cover strips with a model-specific inscription, front fog lamps, onboard computer, MINI Radio including aux-in, USB interface and Bluetooth. These can be supplemented with a range of desirable options for comfort, convenience, additional functionality and customisation. They include two-zone automatic air-conditioning, heated front seats, panoramic glass roof, visibility package including windscreen heating, rain sensor and automatic light control, a Harman Kardon hi-fi speaker system and a sports leather steering wheel. Other options include Park Distance Control, electrically heated and folding exterior mirrors, and both interior and exterior mirrors with automatic anti-dazzle function.
MINI Connected: more connected than ever
MINI Connected or MINI Connected XL is also available in conjunction with the MINI Visual Boost Radio and the MINI Navigation System. It offers extensive integration of smartphones inside the car, enabling the use of internet-based services in the areas of infotainment, communication and driver experience. This functionality is provided via a diverse and continually expanding number of apps which are downloaded to a connected smartphone.
MINI Connected XL includes the Journey Mate function for networked navigation, with Real Time Traffic Information.
In future, both the MINI Connected app and MINI Connected-ready apps supplied by third-party providers will be available not just for the Apple iPhone but also for smartphones using the Android operating system.
MINI Connected remains the access point for vehicle-related functions such as Mission Control, Dynamic Music, Driving Excitement and the MINIMALISM Analyser. MINI Connected is also the way into online-based services such as web radio, the use of social networks including Facebook, Twitter, foursquare and Glympse, receiving RSS news feeds and entertainment features such as AUPEO!, Stitcher, Deezer, Audible, Napster and TuneIn.
Another innovative feature is the permanently installed SIM card. This new option is a first in the premium compact car segment, and is used to establish phone connections required for the use of optional functions such as Emergency Call. In the event of an accident, this system automatically detects vehicle location, accident severity and contacts a call centre to initiate fast and effective assistance.
The SIM card also enables use of MINI Teleservices. This class-leading telematics feature provides automatic transmission of service-related vehicle data to a MINI Service Partner of the customer's choice.
Driver assistance systems: new MINI, new technology
The new MINI Hatch signals the introduction of a range of technologies which are making their brand debut. They include the MINI Head-Up-Display which shows information relevant to the driver on an extendable monitor in the upper section of the dashboard. Also new is the Driving Assistant option, a camera-based cruise control and distance control function which automatically maintains a predetermined distance from the vehicle ahead. It includes a collision and pedestrian warning system with initial brake function, road sign detection and high-beam assistant. A rear view camera and parking assistant are also available for the new MINI for the first time.
In addition to ABS anti-lock brakes, electronic brake force distribution (EBD), cornering brake control (CBC) with brake assistant, the driving stability control system (DSC) in the new MINI includes a drive-off assistant, brake dry function, fading brake support and dynamic traction control (DTC). This latter system permits controlled slip at the drive wheels so as to facilitate driving off on loose sand or deep snow.
The new MINI Cooper S features a performance control system, which counteracts any tendency to understeer prior to reaching the threshold level, supporting an agile yet neutral driving response in corners.
MINI Driving Modes: a basis for fuel-efficient motoring
Another new innovation and brand debut is MINI Driving Modes, an optional extra on the new MINI Hatch. Using a rotary switch at the base of the gearstick or selector lever, drivers can swap from the default MID mode to either SPORT or GREEN. The three choices offer a set-up which is either performance-oriented, comfortable and well-balanced or geared towards fuel efficiency. The latter includes decoupling of the drivetrain – better known as ‘coasting’ – when the driver removes their foot from the accelerator pedal. MINI Driving Modes also influences the ambient lighting, shift characteristics of the automatic transmission and the Variable Damper Control if the option is selected.
Personalisation: more of what people love
MINI pioneered the concept of automotive personalisation and that spirit of individuality continues with the new Hatch. The list of interior and exterior customisable components, and the options for them, is extensive. Most popular are expected to be a John Cooper Works rear spoiler, various decorative trims for roof, exterior mirrors, bonnet, seat upholstery, interior surfaces and new Colour Lines.
The new MINI Cooper Hatch now starts at £15,300 OTR. This represents only a 2.61 per cent increase compared against the outgoing model and customers benefit from a host of additional equipment including adjustable exterior mirrors, air-conditioning, front fog lamps, onboard computer, MINI Radio including aux-in, USB interface and Bluetooth all as standard. The MINI Cooper D Hatch’s OTR price of £16,450 represents only a 1.64 per cent increase verses the outgoing model. Completing the range is the MINI Cooper S Hatch starting from £18,650.
Pricing MINI Cooper Hatch MINI Cooper D Hatch MINI Cooper S Hatch
OTR cost £15,300 £16,450 £18,650
New MINI Hatch: coming soon
The new MINI Hatch will be built in Britain at Plant Oxford, a state-of-the-art facility which celebrated 100 years of car production in Oxford during 2013. The car will launch in the UK and globally in Spring 2014.