PressClub United Kingdom · Article.
14.08.2006 Press Release
All change to the exterior, but subtly...Striking new interior...Brand new performance engines with lower fuel consumption and significantly reduced emissions...More choice to personalise each MINI...MINI's UK production triangle sees engines from Hams Hall and body panels from Swindon converge on Plant Oxford
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MINI: in brief
Details of the all-new MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S have been revealed today,
Monday 14 August 2006. Featuring a completely new body design, a striking
modern interior and modern high-performance engines, the two new models go on
sale before the end of the year.
The overwhelming success of its predecessor, launched in 2001, has paved the
way for the new MINI to consolidate and expand its position in the premium
segment it created. In five years it has sold over 800,000 around the world,
and 200,000 in the UK alone.
The external design of the new MINI has remained true to its phenomenally
successful forebear, yet every body panel is different. The MINI design team
rightly deemed evolution preferable to revolution and MINI's styling remains
instantly recognisable. Five years after its launch it still stands out, and
this design explains why demand for the current MINI is higher today than it
has ever been.
Under the skin, the new MINI range reveals more radical change. Highlights
include completely new four-cylinder 1.6-litre petrol engines featuring a
wealth of innovative technical features, and new suspension designed to deliver
a more comfortable ride without losing the trademark MINI 'go-kart' experience.
The new MINI features an all-new interior that aims to mix MINI's unique style
with improved quality and greater comfort. There is more usable space for both
front and rear seat occupants and owners will be able to choose from an even
wider range of colours, interior specifications and options in order to
personalise their car.
The new MINI Cooper produces 120hp, accelerates from 0-62mph in 9.1 seconds and
reaches a top speed of 126mph. The MINI Cooper S is powered by an intercooled
and turbocharged version of the same power unit and produces 175hp. It covers
the 0-62mph sprint in 7.1 seconds and achieves a top speed of 140mph.
The fuel consumption of both models has improved dramatically. The combined
cycle for the MINI Cooper is now 48.7mpg (formerly 40.9) and MINI Cooper S
40.9mpg (formerly 32.8). CO2 emissions have also been reduced meaning that both
models will move two places in the VED car tax ratings.
The new MINI One will follow in the first half of 2007, its 1.4-litre engine
developing maximum output of 95 hp. The MINI range will be joined at the same
time by the new MINI Diesel featuring the most advanced and sophisticated
turbodiesel technology in its class. Further details of these key MINI
derivatives will be issued at a later date.
Expected on-the-road prices:
MINI One £11,595
MINI Cooper £12,995
MINI Cooper S £15,995
The new MINI will be built at Plant Oxford, which is currently gearing up to
increase its capacity to 240,000 by 2008. More than double the planned
production capacity prior to the first car coming off the line in Spring 2001.
The new BMW-designed engines will be assembled at Hams Hall in the Midlands and
the body panels and sub-assemblies will come from Plant Swindon. This 'MINI
production triangle' in the UK is one of the true automotive UK success stories
of recent years.
MINI: in more detail
Exterior: unmistakable features of MINI design.
Every body panel has been re-designed, but MINI's successful form has been
retained. The MINI design team brief was continuity in concept, whilst
modernising traditional design details and engineering features. The second
generation new MINI remains immediately recognisable visually and dynamically.
The typical MINI characteristics of short body overhangs front and rear, the
famous wheel-at-each-corner stance and the high shoulder line rising towards
the rear have all been retained, as well as the hexagonal radiator grille and
the large, round headlights.
Some of the subtle changes...
· The new MINI has grown slightly in size from the first generation in order to
fulfil future safety requirements. The new MINI Cooper is 60 mm longer than its
predecessor and the new MINI Cooper S, 61 mm longer. But to maintain the car's
unmistakable proportions, the designers matched the increase in size at the
front by giving the car more rounded contours at the rear.
· The round, clear-glass headlights are now fixed to the body and have been
turned slightly to the outside to maintain the geometry of the car from the
front. The indicators, formerly isolated in the front valance, are now housed
within the main headlight units.
· The radiator grille is now made up of a closed, self-contained element
without the former dividing line made by the upper edge of the bumper. This
design is reminiscent of the air intake scoop on the classic Mini.
· The MINI Cooper S has a 'stronger' front end due to the bonnet curving up
approximately 20mm more to provide extra space for the turbocharged engine
underneath and to meet pedestrian impact regulations.
· Rising gently to the rear, the shoulder line is now 18mm higher than on the
former model and visually accentuates the powerful stance of the car's body.
· The rear lights are now slightly larger and feature separate external
· On both models, vertical air flow edges on the C-pillars and individual
spoilers at the rear end of the roof enhance the level of aerodynamics to an
even higher standard than before. The MINI Cooper now has a drag coefficient of
0.33. (0.35 on the previous model).
· Customisation of the new MINI starts with a wide range of paintwork colours.
12 body colours will be available, seven of which are brand new.
The changes in the interior design of the new MINI are as comprehensive, but
more immediately visible, than on the exterior. The design of the instrument
controls and feel of the surfaces inside the car offers an air of premium
Still the most striking feature inside is the Centre Speedo. It now comprises
not only the analogue speedometer, but also all entertainment and, as an
option, navigation functions.
The centre console below the Speedo is slimmer to create more space in the
footwells for driver and front passenger. The door lock blipper and ignition
key is now a round signal sensor. When inserted into a slot beside the steering
wheel it allows the driver to press a start/stop button to switch the engine on
New ambient illumination included in the optional lights package is unique in
the automotive industry. The colour of the interior lights in the roof lining,
the door storage compartments and grab handle recesses may be changed at any
time in five stages from warm orange to sporting blue, depending on the
occupants' personal preference. This is controlled from a new panel of toggle
switches in the roof lining. The toggle switches in the dash that operate the
electric windows, seat heating and central locking were a real hit with current
MINI owners and have been made larger on the new MINI.
A Colour Line option allows individual design of the MINI cockpit. Colour
highlights in the lower sections of the dashboard flow on into the door
linings, where they are combined with the materials on the trim surfaces.
Colour Line is available in five colour shades, with the trim surfaces coming
in four exclusive variants over and above the versions already standard on the
MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S: glossy black piano paint, dark brown grained
oak, brushed aluminium, and an extra-fine gloss surface.
A set of 16 chrome-plated trim rings for the air vents, cupholders and
instruments gives the interior an even more sophisticated look.
In the rear, passengers are offered more comfort with recessed knee cut-outs in
the front seats lined with material rather than the traditional plastics.
MINI Cooper: fully variable valve management instead of a throttle butterfly
The 1.6-litre naturally-aspirated power unit in the MINI Cooper develops
maximum output of 120 hp at 6,000 rpm. Engine torque reaches 140 Nm at just
2,000 rpm, peaking at 160 Nm once the engine reaches 4,250 rpm.
This ultra-modern four-cylinder features fully variable valve control based on
the BMW Group's unique VALVETRONIC system. This innovative valve management
system adjusts intake valve lift and opening times within fractions of a second
to meet the power and performance requirements of the driver. The big advantage
is that it replaces the conventional throttle butterfly on "normal" engines to
translate any movement of the throttle pedal directly into engine speed
In addition to variable control of valve lift on the intake, valve timing is
also controlled on the outlet stroke. This enhances the torque curve to deliver
not only high torque at low engine speeds, but also high power at high speeds.
Together these two technologies reduce fuel consumption, depending on the route
the driver is covering, by up to 20 per cent. Fuel consumption in the EU test
cycle is down by approximately 12.5 per cent. The CO2 emissions on the MINI
Cooper is now 139g/km and 164g/km on the MINI Cooper S - a reduction of 43g/km.
MINI Cooper S: twin-scroll turbocharger and direct fuel injection.
Displacing 1.6-litres, the four-cylinder turbocharged power unit of the MINI
Cooper S now develops an impressive 175 hp, up 5hp on the outgoing supercharged
engine. Maximum engine power comes at 5,500 rpm, with peak torque of 240 Nm
being maintained consistently between 1,600 and 5,000 rpm. When accelerating
hard, torque rises to an even higher level of 260 Nm by briefly increasing
charge pressure through a system named 'overboost'.
The MINI Cooper S engine is a Direct Injection petrol power unit. Intake air is
pre-compressed by a twin-scroll turbocharger complete with intercooler. Exhaust
gases meanwhile are split and forced through the exhaust ducts of two cylinders
each, separated from one another in the exhaust gas manifold and the
turbocharger. Response time when accelerating is virtually instantaneous.
The high performance of the MINI Cooper S is also enhanced by advanced valve
management - four valves per cylinder being operated by two overhead camshafts.
The camshaft on the intake side comes with infinitely variable valve timing to
manage both engine output and torque while minimising fuel consumption and
emissions. The exhaust valves are sodium-filled in order to off-set the higher
temperature loads typical of a turbocharged engine.
Innovative technologies around the engine.
The Hams Hall-constructed engines featured in the new MINI boast a wide range
of innovative technologies. The two-piece bedplate structure of the crankcase,
for example, is sophisticated technology derived from motor sport. The cylinder
block and bearing housing are made of cast aluminium alloy, while the camshafts
on both engines are composite structures, not the usual castings, in order to
The on-demand water pump in the coolant circuit helps to reduce fuel
consumption since it is only activated when the engine has reached its regular
operating temperature. This helps to save fuel in the warm-up phase and the
catalyst is able to reach the temperature required for optimum operation
Manual Gearshift and Automatic Transmission.
Both the new MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S come as standard with a six-speed
manual gearbox. As an option, a six-speed automatic transmission will become
available for both models. Paddles on the steering wheel allow the driver to
change gear manually without removing his hands from the wheel.
Chassis and Sports Suspension.
As with the first generation, spring and damper settings tune the chassis and
suspension set-up of the new MINI Cooper S to be firmer and more dynamic than
the MINI Cooper. As an option both models are available with an identical
Sports Suspension set-up, comprising harder springs, dampers and anti-roll bars.
Front-wheel drive, a low centre of gravity, a long wheelbase, wide track, short
body overhangs, a stiff bodyshell and the firm suspension all interact to
determine MINI's unique go-kart feeling.
The front axle is based on the McPherson spring strut principle and features an
anti-roll bar to reduce body sway to an absolute minimum. The central-arm rear
axle is new to MINI and unique in this segment. Its longitudinal track control
arms are made of aluminium that reduces weight by 6 kilos over the former model.
Benefiting from the sophisticated kinematics of the new suspension, the wheels
offer improved grip over even more extreme cambers. The rear axle is equipped
with an anti-roll bar on both model variants that makes a decisive contribution
to the car's famed agility, poise and safe handling.
New electromechanical power-assisted steering.
The new EPAS (Electric Power-Assisted Steering) makes a significant
contribution to the pin-point behaviour of the new MINI. Speed-related power
assistance guarantees low steering forces when parking and, at the same time,
precise responses at high speeds on the motorway.
The electric system offers the driver a choice of two different steering
control maps. The standard set-up ensures a well-balanced steering response in
all speed ranges. The second map is activated when the Sport button is pressed
and the power steering becomes even more direct. The electronic map for the
accelerator is also modified by the Sport button to give a more instant
Run-flats as standard on MINI Cooper S.
The MINI Cooper comes as standard with 15-inch light-alloy rims and 175/65 R 15
tyres. Run-flat tyres are standard on the MINI Cooper S that has 16-inch
light-alloy rims running on 195/65 R 16 tyres. In the event of a puncture,
Run-flat tyres allow drivers to continue their journey for 90 miles at speeds
of up to 50mph. Run-flats also provide stability in the event of a blow-out or
sudden deflation. Seventeen-inch rims running on 205/45 R Run-flat 17 tyres are
available as an option on both models.
Safety at all times.
Both models feature a wide range of safety features. Six airbags are standard
consisting of front, side and curtain head airbags for the driver and front
passenger. The extra-large curtain airbags (integrated in the roof lining)
offer optimum protection from head injuries for the rear passengers.
Active safety is ensured in critical situations by ABS anti-lock brakes, EBD
Electronic Brake Force Distribution and CBC Cornering Brake Control as standard
on both models. ASC+T Automatic Stability Control + Traction is standard on the
MINI Cooper S with on-off control by the driver, and as an option DSC Dynamic
Included within the option of DSC is Hill Assist. This feature holds a manual
MINI on the brake when setting off on a gradient to prevent it from rolling
Passive safety was another primary aim of the new MINI's designers and the new
car offers all the prerequisites for optimum results in crash tests.
The transverse engine of the new MINI combined with the extra-large deformation
zones at the front absorbs most of the impact forces in the event of a
collision. Highly stable crossbars and reinforced door structures also help to
keep impact energy away from the passenger cell. The same effect is provided by
the front axle absorbing energy and passing impact forces on through the floor
of the car.
The electric fuel pump is switched off automatically in the case of a severe
accident to prevent any chance of a fuel fire. At the same time the central
locking is opened and both the interior lights and hazard warning flashers are
immediately activated to attract attention.
Welcome to the next MINI adventure. Full specification and technical details
will be issued at the time of the new MINI's debut at this year's Paris motor