MINI goes larger with a new look in 2014
MINI Cooper has released the details on the third generation of the popular vehicle and it is debuting with a new platform which has been dubbed “UKL”.
This evolution provides a fresh look for the car though it does have a slightly larger size along with improved safety features and overall quality. Also included are LED headlamps with a head-up display and the MINI Connected infortainment system. The new design makes the MINI 4.5 inches longer and 1.7 inches wider. Additionally, the wheelbase has been extended to a total of 98.2 inches which has allowed automotive designers to increase the storage space up to 8.7 cubic feet which is 3 cubic feet more.
Other new elements can be found in the interior and while MINI retains their signature round cluster dials, the speedometer and tachometer are shown within an instrument cluster on the steering column.
The new generation – Gen3 – will be made available for sale to the public in March 2014; however, only the ‘Hardtop’ model will be made available. The Clubman, Countryman, and ever popular Convertible will be released in upcoming years.
The Hardtop does offer features that are certain to appeal to the performance fans with new ‘Driving Modes” which will allow individual setups for the steering and curve of the accelerator in addition to the actual engine acoustics, ambient lighting, and shift times of the automatic transmission.
The MINI Connected infotainment system allows passengers to remain connected by offering integration of smartphones within the car and internet-based services for both the Apple and Android operating systems.
The new safety features on this latest generation include a pedestrian warning system and backup camera system, speed limit information system and parking assistance.
When the Hardtop becomes available in March the engine will feature a 1.5-liter three-cylinder pushing out approximately 134 horsepower and around 162 pound-feet of torque. When the Cooper S trim is released later in the year it will feature a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with approximately 189 horsepower. Standard will be the six-speed manual with the six-speed automatic available.
A fantastic feature is that when aligned with the available navigation system, driving data will be sent to the MINI which will allow it to select the optimum gear for approaching junctions and corners.
For those drivers that are curious as to how much “get up and go” the MINI offers, it will make it off the line to 60 mph in less than 7.4 seconds and reach a robust top speed of 130 mph. For those willing to wait for the Cooper S, it will have a feisty top speed of 146 mph. Standard wheels are 15 inches and the Cooper S will have 16 inch light alloys. Other options available are the 18 inch light alloy.
TorqueNews will post more details of this stylish and zippy new addition to the MINI family as they become available.