Evolution of an Original. The new MINI.
Here comes the first generation change since the start of a new era: The new MINI is warming up to continue the outstanding success of its predecessor.
Consistently enhanced and refined in design, the new MINI comes in a new look and boasts all-new drivetrain technology for even greater agility. Due to enter the market in late 2006, the MINI Cooper is powered by a 1.6-litre normal-aspiration engine developing maximum output of 88 kW/120 hp, the MINI Cooper S comes with an even more powerful and dynamic 128 kW/175 hp turbocharged engine.
The “basic” version, the new MINI One, will be following in the first half of 2007, its 1.4-litre power unit developing maximum output of 70 kW/95 hp. And finally the range will be joined, also in the first half of 2007, by the new MINI Diesel featuring the most advanced and sophisticated turbodiesel technology.
The four-cylinder petrol engines come from a brand-new range of power units developed from a clean sheet of paper and boasting a number of highly innovative technical features. The interior is also brand-new in its design, while the exterior has been through a process of design evolution maintaining the unmistakable character of the MINI. Indeed, the specific features of the car’s body and interior now come out even more convincingly, clearly reflecting the typical character of the brand. And together with the modified chassis and suspension, the modern power units further sharpen the already legendary go-kart feeling so characteristic of the modern MINI.
At the same time it is not only the design and drive technology of the new model, but also the wide range of standard equipment and the sophisticated finish, that make the new MINI so unique, reflecting the premium standard of the brand in every respect.
Even more distinctive than before: unmistakable features of MINI design.
In its dimensions, the new MINI has grown slightly over the size of the first generation. The larger dimensions at the front serve inter alia to fulfil future safety standards and requirements, with the new MINI Cooper being 60 millimetres or 2.87´´ longer than its predecessor, the new MINI Cooper S 61 millimetres or 2.36´´ longer.
In the words of MINI’s Chief Designer Gert Hildebrand, “we have set off this increase in size optically by working on various exterior details”. Following the philosophy of “moving from the original to the original”, Hildebrand and his team have re-designed the entire car while preserving and authentically updating the characteristic look of the MINI.
As a result, the new MINI is characterised, as before, by short body overhangs front and rear as well as large wheels highlighting the muscular sideline of the car. Features naturally retained are the unmistakable highlights of the MINI such as the hexagonal radiator grille, the large, round headlights moved far to the outside, the complete “band” of glass stretching round the passenger compartment, as well as the diagonal seam between the engine compartment lid and the side direction indicators clearly bearing testimony to the welding seams at the same point on the classic Mini. And another feature virtually natural on the car is the size, position and arrangement of the upright, almost vertical rear light clusters.
The front end of the new MINI is also characterised by the position lights and foglamps beneath the main headlights. Indeed, these additional light units serve as “beauty spots” in the face of the new MINI, while the direction indicator lights are now integrated in the headlight units themselves.
The MINI Cooper S differs from the MINI Cooper inter alia through its even more muscular powerdome and its opening in the engine compartment lid. On both model variants, 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 typical MINI Center Speedo re-interpreted.
The changes in the interior design of the new MINI are far more significant than on the exterior. Both the design of the control units and the special surfaces inside the car clearly symbolise the high level of technical excellence and the outstanding premium quality of the new MINI. The dominating geometric elements are circles and straight lines skilfully combined with one another, round instruments and air vents, for example, being arranged attractively on the dashboard subdivided horizontally into three levels.
This clear focus on clear shapes and design elements gives the interior a particularly sturdy, functional and purist, but also light and generous look. Sophisticated, high-quality materials and soft surface contours, finally, round off the characteristic ambience of the interior in the new MINI.
The most striking and conspicuous feature within the cockpit of the new MINI is the Center Speedo even larger than in the former model. This central display and control instrument, acknowledged for a long time as an icon in the interior design of the MINI, has not only grown in size, but also in functional significance.
Hence, the Center Speedo now comprises not only the analogue speedometer, but also all entertainment and, as an option, navigation functions. With the entire centre console becoming even slimmer and more subdued as a result, the footwells are correspondingly larger. The door and ignition key, finally, is now a round signal sensor in typical MINI design, with the driver pressing a start/stop button to switch the engine on and off.
New petrol engines, complete range of safety features.
Displacing 1.6 litres, the four-cylinder turbocharged power unit of the MINI Cooper S now develops an even more impressive 128 kW/175 hp, the right kind of power to turn the MINI Cooper S into a truly outstanding experience in motoring fun. The engine is boosted in power by means of a twin-scroll turbocharger driven by the separate emission flow from two cylinders at a time. As a result, the turbocharger serves to boost engine power significantly from low engine speeds, providing a truly impressive effect: The 1.6-litre four-cylinder featured in the MINI Cooper S accelerates the car with the kind of power and performance otherwise to be found only in much larger normal-aspiration models.
The MINI Cooper also boasts a 1.6-litre power unit, this time, however, with normal aspiration and maximum output of 88 kW/120 hp. Intake valve control featuring the BMW Group’s unique VALVETRONIC technology is fully variable, valve stroke and opening times being adjusted infinitely and with electronic management to the respective power requirements. This innovative valve control ensures not only a particularly high standard of responsiveness and superior motoring refinement, but also superior fuel economy and optimised emission management.
Compared with the MINI Cooper, the chassis and suspension of the MINI Cooper S is a lot firmer and more dynamic. And as an option both models are available with sports suspension for an even higher standard of fun and enjoyment at the wheel. Reflecting the MINI’s commitment to premium, both models come with a wide range of safety features. Six airbags, for example, are naturally featured as standard to ensure comprehensive occupant protection on all seats. Active safety of the highest calibre is ensured in critical situations, in turn, by ABS anti-lock brakes, EBD Electronic Brake Force Distribution, CBC Cornering Brake Control, ASC+T Automatic Stability Control + Traction standard on the Cooper S and with on-off control by the driver, as well as DSC Dynamic Stability Control.
The Brake Assistant in the new MINI reliably detects application of the brakes in an emergency and builds up maximum brake pressure at the fastest conceivable rate. Yet another new function is Hill Assist uphill starting-off assistance combined with DSC, which activates the brakes when setting off on a gradient to prevent the car from rolling back.
The new MINI takes up the overwhelming success of its predecessor already accounting for sales of more than 800,000 units and immensely popular among a growing community of MINI aficionados the world over. And applying the high standards of quality, technology and safety consistently upheld by the BMW Group, the new MINI, more than ever before, underlines its claim to leadership in this segment.
Proportions, Shapes, Icons. Exterior Design.
"From the original to the original" this was the principle applied in developing the exterior design of the new MINI. Right from the start with the first generation of the modern MINI, the designers succeeded in appropriately adapting the concept of the classic Mini from the year 1959. And now they are maintaining this philosophy of forward-looking continuity: “In its exterior design, the new MINI is an evolution of its predecessor”, states MINI Chief Designer Gert Hildebrand. The objective in creating the new model was to focus even more directly on all signs of distinction, making the modern MINI not only a true classic from the start, but also an absolutely unique car in every respect. And it almost goes without saying that performance enhanced to an even higher level, together with even stricter safety requirements, provided additional motives for re-interpreting the design of the car in an appropriate manner.
Continuity in design and consistent maintenance of traditional design icons ensure from the start that the new MINI is recognised at first sight and from all perspectives as the true original. Indeed, it is precisely this consistency in design that gives the MINI its unique authenticity. The individual and emotional design language of the car follows numerous elementary symbols originating, believe it or not, from the architecture of the human body. So now these symbols all come together in perfect harmony in the new MINI.
The front of the car, for example, stands out through its open and fully alert look, the side view is characterised by powerful and muscular shoulders, and smooth, soft modelled lines dominate the engine compartment of the new MINI, to mention just a few examples.
Particularly the side view of the car now even firmer and more muscular in design due to the large wheels and elevated shoulder line gives the new MINI a clear touch of masculinity and maturity all in one. Indeed, the shoulder line rising slightly towards the rear and the discreet wedge shape created in this way also reflect the enhanced driving dynamics and performance of the car.
Traditional design elements, masculine expression.
Compared with its predecessor, the new MINI comes with a slightly larger front section. In fact, the difference in length is exactly 38 millimetres or 1.50´´.
This increase in size is attributable, first, to the dimensions of the new engines and, second, to new safety regulations stricter than before. Future legislation on the protection of pedestrians, for example, requires a greater distance between the engine compartment lid and the technical components within the engine bay.
In spite of these changes, the face of the MINI remains absolutely unmistakable and is characterised by three elements in particular: the large headlights, the position lights integrated in the lower air dam, and the hexagonal radiator grille.
While the round, clear-glass headlights have been turned slightly to the outside to maintain the proven geometry of the car from the front, not only their light beams, but also the “eyes” of the new MINI point clearly ahead. The direction indicators formerly positioned as separate units are now housed within the main headlight units, meaning that the position lights also comprising the optional foglamps now form the only “insular” elements as characteristic “beauty spots” in the face of the new MINI.
The new design of the car comes out most clearly in the radiator grille now made up of a closed, self-contained element without the former dividing line formed by the upper edge of the bumper. Through this new, even more distinctive appearance, the modified hexagonal radiator grille is even more reminiscent of the air intake scoop in the classic Mini, further enhancing the expressiveness of this icon in design. The horizontal orientation of the radiator grille, in turn, accentuates the sheer width of the body and gives the new MINI an even more masculine look.
The front end: each model with its own individual appearance.
The front ends of the MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S differ in a number of details adding up in their optical impact to give both model variants a truly distinctive and unique appearance. On the MINI Cooper, for example, the surrounds on the lower air intake scoop show a slight upward “swing” creating the impression that the MINI Cooper is smiling, raising up its mouth at either side. The radiator grille, in turn, is formed by three chrome-plated fins, again helping to give the entire front end of the car a superior touch of elegance and desirability.
The front end of the MINI Cooper S is even more sporting and dominant in its look. The engine compartment lid, for example, is curved up approximately 20 millimetres or almost 0.8´´ more than before, serving to provide extra space for the turbocharged power unit. “This is indeed a good example of that classical ‘form follows function’ and is typical of MINI”, states Exterior Designer Marcus Syring. “Authentic design proudly shows its qualities. And this is precisely why we have given the MINI Cooper S a somewhat more muscular and ‘stronger’ front end.”
This extra size and strength is further accentuated by the plastic grid in the radiator grille with its chrome surround. The distinctive pattern of the grid is reflected in the lower air intake scoop, making the air intake opening look even larger and more dynamic. And together, both elements visualise the power and muscle of the turbocharged engine that lurks within.
Yet a further feature to be found on the new MINI Cooper S is the typical opening at the front, the air intake scoop in the engine compartment lid.
The sideline: large wheels, small body overhangs.
The new MINI is particularly firm, muscular and striking in its design also from the side. Large wheels and minimum body overhangs both front and rear create the impression that the MINI is really resting on its wheels. This “stance-on-the-wheels” character has indeed been a typical feature of the car for decades, originally on the classic Mini, and now even more so, on the modern MINI.
The diagonal body seam between the engine compartment lid and the side direction indicator is also reminiscent of the great-grandfather of the new model launched almost 50 years ago the classic Mini boasted a clearly visible welding seam at this point. Further design icons are the chrome-plated door handles and the direction indicator lights positioned in the front side panels.
A feature characteristic of the modern MINI in particular is the glazed section around the passenger cell, the so-called greenhouse. Again, this particular highlight in design runs around the entire car like a dark, 360° glass band. And since it covers the body pillars in full, it also creates the impression that the roof is hovering freely in space.
Rising gently to the rear, the shoulder line 18 millimetres or 0.71´´ higher than on the former model clearly accentuates the powerful stance of the car’s body as well as the dynamic character of the new MINI.
The rear end: focusing on horizontal proportions.
To maintain the car’s unmistakable proportions, the designers of the MINI have matched the increase in size at the front by giving the car correspondingly striking shoulders at the rear. At the same time the contours of the new MINI’s rear end have become rounder than on the former model, the rear section being defined by horizontal lines running parallel to one another.
Within this overall arrangement, the individual segments rest on one another and provide mutual support. It is indeed precisely these gently flowing contours and increments, the characteristic “cascading”, that give the new MINI its particular look of strength and stability also from the rear.
Another genuine design icon, the rear light clusters remain almost unchanged. However, they are now slightly larger than on the former model and come with separate external surrounds even larger and more sophisticated in their looks and quality than before. The gap between the rear lights and the black band now also a bit wider at the bottom remains the same as before, giving the entire rear end of the new MINI a compact look despite its increase in size.
Serving as a vertical air flow spoiler, an additional trim panel in the area of the C-pillars helps to optimise the flow of air at the rear end of the new MINI. The MINI Cooper also boasts a small air spoiler at the rear end of the roof, helping significantly to improve the streamlining of the car, with the drag coefficient of the MINI Cooper now down to 0.33.
The roof spoiler on the MINI Cooper S, in turn, is significantly larger, not only optimising the flow of air, but also increasing downforces on the rear axle.
Further visual highlights bearing testimony to motorsport, where the new MINI will once again be making a powerful appearance, are the twin tailpipes positioned in the middle, a large air intake in the rear air dam, and the two-piece rear fog warning light design features clearly reflecting the dynamic potential of the most powerful MINI from every angle.
Body colours: roof also in black or white.
Customisation of the new MINI again starts with the wide range of paintwork colours: The new MINI will be available with no less than 12 body colours, eight of which are metallic. Two brand-new colours are Mellow Yellow and Oxygen Blue, while Chili Red and Pepper White were already to be admired on the former models.
The metallic colours are British Racing Green, Pure Silver, Astro Black and, as new colours, Sparkling Silver, Lightning Blue, and Nightfire Red.
The MINI Cooper S is also available exclusively in Dark Silver and Laser Blue, two metallic colours reserved for this model alone.
Moving on to the roof, the range of paintwork options allows even
greater freedom of choice, with the MINI purchaser being able to opt for roof paintwork not only in body colour, but also in black or white.
Yet a further option for customising both the MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S is the new Chromeline Package comprising chrome-plated surrounds on the lower air intake scoop, the foglamps and rear fog warning light (MINI Cooper) as well as the air outlet (at the rear of the MINI Cooper S) and the rear lid grab handle (also on the MINI Cooper S).
More Individual, more Mature, more Dynamic. Interior Design.
The evolutionary development of the new MINI’s exterior is supplemented by a radical change in the car’s interior design: “Looking at the interior, we decided to revolutionise the design of the new MINI inside the car in order to give greater emphasis to the MINI’s strong and masculine character”, states MINI Chief Designer Gert Hildebrand.
With the dimensions available for this purpose remaining almost the same as in the previous model, innovative ideas were very important in order to create a generous feeling of space: “In developing the design of the car in general and the interior in particular, our objective was to provide maximum space inside on minimum dimensions outside”, says MINI Interior Designer Marc Girard.
Hence, a wide choice of fabrics, leather trim, interior colours, body panels and trim materials offers all purchasers of the new MINI the opportunity to personalise the car individually according to their individual preferences. Indeed, the range of interior features meets all kinds of demands extending from sophisticated elegance via dynamic sportiness all the way to distinctive extravagance. And apart from personal style and customisation, premium quality and love for each and every detail come out clearly in every new MINI.
An ambience appealing to all your senses.
While the human being perceives technical features and the design of the body above all with his eyes and ears, the interior, through the use of particularly sophisticated materials, also appeals to your sense of smell and surface feel. Exceptional combinations of materials and perfect finish giving utmost attention to even the smallest detail therefore harmonise with clear surfaces and discreet surface patterns.
"The surface touch, that is the actual feel of the materials used, is extremely important", states MINI Material and Colour Designer Annette Baumeister. In all, the surfaces and trim elements are smaller, the surround rings even more filigree in design in order to accentuate the quality of the material. And through the exciting combination of individual design features, the various surfaces and structures form a perfect match.
Within the interior, the high shoulder line of the body gives the new MINI a sporting cockpit ambience also borne out by the unique combination of shapes, colours, and materials. The combination of circular elements such as the instruments and air vents, on the one hand, with the firm, horizontal geometry of the instrument panel, on the other, characterises the design language of the interior, making the new MINI even more generous and optically “light” inside the interior is sophisticated, strong and purist all in one. And at the same time the interior exudes a premium character quite unique in the new MINI’s market segment.
The colour worlds for the interior trim are Carbon Black, Gotham Grey, Tuscan Beige and Redwood Red, depending on the customer’s request either in perfect harmony with one another or forming an exciting contrast to the respective body colour and trim variant.
Again typical of MINI: light effects in the customer’s favourite colour.
The new ambient illumination included in the optional lights package creates a particular highlight within the interior of the MINI: Acting as “waterfall” illumination flowing discreetly down from above and as indirect illumination in the roof lining, the door storage compartments and grab handle recesses, the interior lights scheme creates a unique atmosphere of sophisticated style. And as yet another feature typical of MINI, the light colour may be changed at any time in five stages from warm orange to sporting blue, depending on the occupants’ personal mood and preference.
Authentic and sophisticated: materials in premium quality.
The dashboard in the new MINI is made up of two horizontally segmented sections with a trim element in between. Finished in a special synthetic material, the surfaces come in a particularly fine grain emphasising the sheer value of the material.
Round air vents placed far to the outside give the dashboard an even wider look, emphasise the horizontal orientation of the cockpit and serve as a connection providing a clear transition to the door linings.
The optional Colour Line allows very individual and highly personal design and configuration of the cockpit. Colour highlights in the lower sections of the dashboard flow on into the door linings, where they are combined very attractively and effectively with the materials on the trim surfaces. Colour Line is available in the five colour shades Dark Grey, Cream White, Pacific Blue, Rooster Red, and Mellow Yellow, 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 inspired by the structure of liquid metal.
A particular expression of the authentic premium character of the new MINI is provided by the use of natural wood and solid aluminium. And as an option, a fully closed glove compartment or a CD-changer may be integrated in the trim panel on the front passenger’s side.
Upgraded Center Speedo with additional functions.
The Center Speedo is and remains the central highlight within the cockpit of the new MINI, not just due to its particular position in the middle of the dashboard. Indeed, the Center Speedo is an absolutely unique, unmistakable MINI design icon, a circular instrument cluster not only larger than on the former model, but even more striking and distinctive in its look.
This special effect further intensifies the atmosphere of the cockpit on board the new MINI, especially as the Center Speedo has not only grown significantly in size, but also in its functions: Apart from the analogue-face speedometer presenting road speed on a scale extending round the entire display, the Center Speedo, depending on the model variant and level of equipment, now also comprises the audio system as well as the optional navigation and entertainment units.
The round contours of the display are another unique detail again typical of MINI, the central and high position of the Center Speedo ensuring optimum ergonomic control by both the driver and front passenger. Indeed, this alone makes it an integrating element for life and enjoyment on board the new MINI.
Like in motorsport, the rev counter is a free-standing instrument placed directly in the driver’s line of vision behind the steering wheel.
Both the steering wheel itself and the gearshift lever knob may be finished in a special wood look as an option, the cockpit as a whole serving as an interface between the car’s technical features and the driver, and thus underlining the overall dynamic character of the new MINI.
New design on the door linings and seat upholstery.
The particularly slender centre console helps to provide more space than before in the footwells on both the driver’s and front passenger’s side. The horizontal orientation of the cockpit, in turn, is reflected by the arrangement of the instruments and controls housed beneath the Center Speedo in the Center Stack. Further features typical of MINI are the vertically arranged ventilation knobs, the two cupholders integrated in the bottom of the centre console, and the toggle switches carried over from motorsport. Serving, inter alia, to operate the electric window lifts, seat heating and central locking, these switches are now larger on the new MINI and are matched for the first time by toggle switches also in the roof lining. Opening and closing the sliding roof, therefore, is now also a smooth operation carried out in that typical MINI style.
The door linings and panels also take up the design language of circular elements combined with horizontal structures. The main, elliptical lining element now extends all the way to the rear, the elliptic contour surrounding the armrest light in appearance, a door bag and the round door openers in an attractive elliptic line.
Different seat covers distinguish between the MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S, with special effect seams enhancing the lifestyle ambience of the particularly purist “basic” fabric in the MINI Cooper.
The seat upholstery in the MINI Cooper S, in turn, features “checks” bearing testimony to the checkered flag in motorsport, the checkered cloth used for this purpose emphasising the sporting character and dynamic performance of the MINI Cooper S.
Classic pinstripe cloth comes as an alternative, combining an elegant and fine woven look with leather on the side supports of the seats available in four different colours. Clearly, this particularly sophisticated, high-quality material pays tribute to the classic cloth used on sophisticated pinstripe suits.
Hand-sewn piped leather for that unique touch of class.
In the process of designing and refining the interior, the designers have once again shown their great attention and, indeed, love for detail. And the customer is able to follow this example, using the many options to personalise his or her new MINI.
A set of no less than 16 chrome-plated trim rings, inter alia for the air vents, cupholders, and instruments, makes the interior even more elegant and sophisticated in its look. Moving on to the leather upholstery, the customer has the choice of Leather Punch in Carbon Black or Leather Gravity in Tuscan Beige.
Classic Leather Lounge seats complete with attractive piping and available in two colour variants as an option bear out the very special touch of class so distinctive of the new MINI with its very British heritage. These seats with their exclusive piping combine the traditional values of the brand with very modern design language, the exclusive piped leather being hand-sewn and exuding supreme quality for all your senses.
Powerful Acceleration, Dynamic Motion, Ongoing Perseverance. Power Units.
The latest generation of the MINI comes with brand-new power units of the highest calibre. Upon its introduction into the market in late 2006, the MINI will be available with two petrol engines a 1.6-litre naturally aspirated power unit developing 88 kW/120 hp in the MINI Cooper and a turbocharged engine displacing the same capacity but churning out an even more impressive 128 kW/175 hp in the MINI Cooper S.
The range of engines will then continue to grow only a bit later, with additional petrol and turbodiesel engines further enhancing the range: These will be the “basic” engine in the MINI One, a 1.4-litre power unit developing maximum output of 70 kW/95 hp, and a sporting turbodiesel, both to be launched in the first half of 2007.
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 88 kW/120 hp at 6,000 rpm. Engine torque reaches 140 Nm/103 lb-ft at just 2,000 rpm, peaking at 160 Nm or 118 lb-ft once the engine reaches 4,250 rpm. So thanks to the wide range of useful engine speed, this compact power unit combines superior driving pleasure with equally superior fuel economy.
This ultra-modern four-cylinder features fully variable valve control based on the BMW Group’s unique VALVETRONIC, innovative valve management adjusting intake valve lift and opening times within fractions of a second to current power and performance requirements. The big advantage of this system is that it replaces the conventional throttle butterfly serving on “normal” engines to translate movement of the gas pedal into rising or
falling engine speeds.
In addition to variable control of valve lift on the intake side, valve timing may also be changed in both the intake and outlet stroke, optimising the torque curve and the development of engine power in the process. The result is not only powerful 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, with fuel consumption in the EU test cycle down by approximately 12.5 per cent.
MINI Cooper S: twin-scroll turbocharger and direct fuel injection.
Powered by a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine developing maximum output of 128 kW/175 hp, the new MINI Cooper S combines superior performance with moderate fuel consumption.
Maximum engine power comes at 5,500 rpm, with peak torque of 240 Nm/177 lb-ft being maintained consistently 1,600 and 5,000 rpm. When accelerating all-out, torque is raised to an even higher level of 260 Nm or 192 lb-ft by briefly increasing charge pressure (overboost).
Fuel is supplied to the four-cylinder by direct gasoline injection, with intake air being pre-compressed by a twin-scroll turbocharger complete with intercooler. With this new technology, the ducts of two cylinders at a time are separated from one another in the exhaust gas manifold and in the turbocharger itself.
This particular configuration enhances turbocharger response and almost completely eliminates the usual “turbo gap” when accelerating so typical in the past. Indeed, the 1.6-litre turbocharged engine is very similar in its response and behaviour to a much larger normal-aspiration power unit.
This superiority in performance is also ensured by sophisticated and highly advanced valve management, the four valves per cylinder being operated by two overhead camshafts. The camshaft on the intake side comes with infinitely variable phase adjustment setting valve timing to current power requirements and optimising both engine output and torque on minimum fuel consumption and emissions. The outlet valves, in turn, are filled with sodium in order to set off the higher temperature loads typical of a turbocharged engine.
Innovative technologies also around the engine.
The power units featured in the new MINI boast a wide range of innovative solutions. The two-piece bedplate structure of the crankcase, for example, is an advanced and sophisticated technology carried over from motorsport. The cylinder block and bearing housing are made of cast aluminium alloy, while the camshafts on both engines are composite structures and not the usual castings in order to reduce weight. Contrary to the conventional casting process, the procedure in this case is to shrink-fit cam rings made of high-strength stainless steel on to the camshaft as such.
The ancillary units backing up the newly developed engines of the MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S feature further significant innovations. A particular novelty in this segment is the volume flow-controlled oil pump driven by a chain and limited in its delivery volume as of a certain, predetermined pressure level. This reduces the power required for driving the pump and cuts back fuel consumption by approximately 1 per cent.
The on-demand water pump in the coolant circuit has a similar effect: 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 with an optimum effect at an earlier point. The alternator and air conditioning compressor, in turn, are driven by one single poly-V-belt.
The water pump is driven by a friction wheel, again helping, together with the other improvements in the package, to place the power units in the new MINI among the most compact four-cylinders in their class.
Crisp, Precise, Quick. Manual Gearshift and Automatic Transmission.
Both the new MINI Cooper and the new MINI Cooper S come as standard with a six-speed manual gearbox. And both models are also available as an option with automatic transmission again featuring six gears.
The manual gearbox comes in two different configurations: In the MINI Cooper S the first two gears are synchronised by a double-cone synchromesh unit, while the MINI Cooper features carbon friction pads. In both cases all gearwheels have helical gearing and all gears including reverse naturally feature full synchromesh. And last but not least, reduction of gearshift forces ensures a particularly efficient gear change.
The sports button: even more dynamic gearshift at the touch of a button.
Automatic transmission also enables the driver to shift gears manually whenever he wishes by means of paddles on the steering wheel, just like in Formula 1. The big advantage is that the driver is always able to leave his hands on the steering wheel when shifting gears, thus keeping his car fully under control in every situation.
In the automatic mode the transmission shifts gears virtually without any interruption of traction and pulling forces. Precisely this is why the automatic transmission incorporates a torque converter for setting off and a converter lock-up clutch closing immediately after the driver has set off a sophisticated configuration combining superior comfort with a sporting and crisp gearshift. Should the driver wish to choose a more dynamic style of motoring,
on the other hand, all he has to do is press the sports button to further shorten the electronically controlled shift times when shifting gears.
The MINI Cooper S will also be available as an option with a mechanical limited-slip differential preventing the drive wheels from spinning on, say, slippery surfaces. In this case more engine power is immediately fed to the wheel with a greater frictional coefficient in order to set off differences in surface grip, thus keeping the car stable and the driver in good control at all times.
The configuration with six gears in all gearbox versions enhances the agile and sporting character of the new MINI, with all gear increments being perfectly matched to the specific power and performance characteristics of the engines.
Go-Kart Feeling, Agility and Effortless Handling. Chassis and Suspension.
Like its predecessor, the new MINI also offers the driver that go-kart feeling
so typical of MINI cars: Front-wheel drive, the low centre of gravity, a long wheelbase, wide track, short body overhangs, a stiff bodyshell and the firm suspension all interact to determine that very special driving behaviour
so characteristic of MINI.
The MINI’s front axle is based on the McPherson spring strut principle, an anti-roll bar reducing body sway to an absolute minimum. The central-arm rear axle, in turn, is quite unique in this segment, aluminium longitudinal track control arms serving to reduce weight by 6 kilos versus the former model.
Benefiting from their sophisticated kinematics, the wheels have optimum grip at all times, regardless of the camber of the road surface. As a result, the rear axle supported by an anti-roll bar on both model variants makes a decisive contribution to the car’s superior agility and safe handling.
New electromechanical power-assisted steering.
The new EPAS (Electric Power-Assisted Steering) makes a significant contribution to the agility and nimble behaviour of the new MINI. Speed-related power assistance guarantees low steering forces when parking and, at the same time, precise response at high speeds on the Autobahn. The standard steering control map, in turn, ensures a well-balanced steering response and behaviour in all speed ranges. And to give the power-assisted steering an even more direct response, all the driver has to do is press the sports button.
The discerning customer opting for the new MINI also has the choice of two suspension variants: In its basic configuration, the MINI Cooper is already sporting and dynamic from the ground up, with the suspension of the
MINI Cooper S being laid out for even more dynamic performance. And both models are available as an option with a sports suspension comprising harder springs, dampers and anti-roll bars.
The front wheels come with inner-vented disc brakes measuring 280 millimetres or 11.02´´ in diameter (294 millimetres or 11.57´´ on the MINI Cooper S).
The rear wheels, in turn, feature disc brakes measuring 259 millimetres or 10.20´´, again serving to generate brake energy with maximum efficiency.
The fading-free brake system is further enhanced on both models by ABS anti-lock brakes, EBD Electronic Brake Force Distribution, and CBC Cornering Brake Control.
The Brake Assistant on the new MINI recognises emergency braking situations and immediately builds up maximum brake pressure when required. Additional safety in critical situations is ensured by on-demand ASC+T Automatic Stability Control + Traction featured as standard in the MINI Cooper S, as well as DSC Dynamic Stability Control.
Another new feature is the Hill Assist start-off function for uphill gradients operating in conjunction with DSC to prevent the car from rolling back on a hill by automatically activating the brake system.
The MINI Cooper comes as standard with 15-inch light-alloy rims and 175/65 R 15 tyres. The MINI Cooper S, in turn, boasts 16-inch light-alloy rims running on 195/65 R 16 tyres. Seventeen-inch rims running on 205/45 R 17 tyres are available as an option.
Yet another new feature on the new MINI Cooper S is runflat tyre technology. Thanks to their failsafe running qualities, these special tyres allow the driver to go on even after suffering a complete puncture, covering a distance of up to 150 kilometres or 90 miles at a maximum speed of 80 km/h or 50 mph. And last but certainly not least, the new MINI comes with a tyre defect indicator permanently monitoring air pressure in the tyres.
Six Airbags All as Standard. Safety Equipment.
Over and above its driving behaviour safe and superior at all times, the new MINI also offers a wide range of features for passive safety in every respect. It almost goes without saying that the new MINI fulfils legal requirements in all countries in which it is marketed. And it naturally offers all the prerequisites for optimum results in all crash tests relevant the world over.
Conceiving and configuring the car’s wide range of safety features,
the BMW Group’s specialists proceeded from a host of practice-oriented results in accident research. And at the same time they also considered future regulations and requirements, for example in the area of pedestrian safety and protection.
Six airbags come as standard, the overall package of restraint systems consisting of frontal, side and curtain head airbags for the driver and front passenger. The frontal airbags inflate as a function of the type and severity of an accident calculated by a central computer. The two side airbags are integrated in the side panels of the front seats, effectively protecting the driver and front passenger from thorax injuries. The curtain head airbags, in turn, inflate when required from the roof lining, forming large “curtains” over the windows and thus offering the car’s occupants at both front and rear maximum protection from head injury. Three-point seat belts are featured on all four seats, equipped additionally with belt tensioners and belt force limiters at the front.
Fitted crosswise at the front, the power unit of the new MINI offers ideal qualities for optimum crash behaviour, especially in combination with the extra-large deformation zones in the front section of the body, serving to take up 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, with the same effect being provided by the front axle again taking up energy and passing on forces through the floor of the car.
The electrical fuel pump is switched off automatically in a severe accident, the central locking is opened and both the interior lights as well as the hazard warning flashers are immediately activated.
The new MINI is not only a particularly sporting, but also a very safe car, thus fulfilling the great demands made of a premium vehicle also in the small car segment. Indeed, it is fair to say that the new MINI combines driving pleasure with sportiness and safety in every respect.
Source: MINI Press