This is the second in a series of official releases by MINI USA that details the US spec 2008 line-up. While there may not be any new info in these releases for the current MINI owner, they represent a good read for those seriously looking at buying a MINI for the 2008 model year. Further coupe information can be found in the MotoringFile R56 section.
Official MINI USA Press Release: Go-kart-driving fun, an interior that provides the maximum amount of car in the minimum amount of space and a myriad of personalization possibilities keep the 2008 MINI Cooper and Cooper S on top of the small-car premium segment Ã¢â‚¬â€œ some 800,000 units produced since the 2000 introduction of the first generation new MINI.
The body of the latest generation MINI Ã¢â‚¬â€œ introduced last year Ã¢â‚¬â€œ boasts evolutionary development from the iconic 1959 Classic Mini, while the interior, including styling cues are evocative of the original and contain the latest technological advances found today. And powering either the 2008 MINI Cooper or MINI Cooper S are a pair of four-cylinder engines resembling the original MINI’s in cylinder number and placement, transversely over the front axle, but far more efficient, cleaner and powerful.
Performance plays a major role in providing driving fun and the four-cylinder engines of the MINI hardtops deliver. The turbocharged 1.6-liter version in the Cooper S produces 172 horsepower, eclipsing the magical “100-hp-per-liter” measure revered by enthusiasts. This translates into zero-to-60-miles-per-hour acceleration in 6.7 seconds and a top speed of 139 mph. The naturally aspirated engine in the Cooper, also 1.6 liters, features variable valve control and accelerates this agile two-door athlete to 60 mph in 8.5 seconds, with top speed of 126 mph.
Despite their much higher level of dynamic performance and sporting character, both MINIs return superior fuel economy. The MINI Cooper S has a preliminary 2008 fuel economy rating of 26City/34 Highway mpg for a combined EPA fuel economy rating of 29 mpg. The MINI Cooper is even more efficient with a 2008 preliminary fuel economy rating of 28/37 City/Highway for a combined rating of 32 mpg.
Both engine variants are fitted transversely under the bonnet and power the front wheels. Composite Ã¢â‚¬â€œ instead of conventional cast Ã¢â‚¬â€œ camshafts and a weight-optimized crankshaft are part of the lightweight concept of the aluminium power units. Fuel consumption, in turn, is optimized by a volume flow-controlled oil pump and an electronically controlled water pump for the coolant circuit Ã¢â‚¬â€œ two technical features previously limited to larger and more expensive model segments.
The MINI Cooper and the MINI Cooper S both come standard with a six-speed manual transmission. Both models can be ordered with an optional six-speed automatic transmission.
A low center of gravity, wide track and the wheels moved to the extreme corners of the car guarantee agile and nimble driving behavior, that go-kart feeling. The modified structure of the body shell as well as a wide range of safety features, in turn, help to ensure the 2008 MINI meets or exceeds all accident-protection requirements.
Compared with the MINI Cooper, the MINI Cooper S has a more sporting suspension set-up, and as an option both models are available with sports suspension for an even higher standard of driving pleasure.
The EPAS Electrical Power Assisted Steering helps to make the MINI even more nimble and agile on the road, speed-related assistance ensuring low steering forces when parking and precise control at high speeds. In conjunction with the optional sports switch, EPAS even offers a special sports mode specifically increasing steering forces for an even more direct driving experience.
Clear look and a friendly face.
“From the original to the original” Ã¢â‚¬â€œ this was the philosophy in creating the body design of the second-generation modern MINI. The entire car was redesigned from the ground up, with many details and features being modified and enhanced in the process. But in its outer look, the MINI remains unmistakable, the radiator grill and large circular headlights characterising the front end of the car and giving it the traditional, “bulldog,” friendly appearance.
Contrary to the grill on the first modern MINI, the new hexagon radiator grill is a single-piece unit. The direction indicator lights on the new MINI are integrated in the headlight units, giving the front end an even greater clarity and more straightforward appearance, with just two additional “beauty marks” instead of the previous versions’ four. These are the positioning lights beneath the headlights which also include the optional fog lamps.
This generation’s increased length Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 2.36 inches Ã¢â‚¬â€œ is hardly noticeable, with the car’s overall proportions remaining smooth, uncluttered and particularly harmonious. The larger exterior dimensions provide more space within the engine compartment, as well as the foundation for the strictest future safety regulations.
The front end and front design of the car also serves to distinguish the individual model variants. One significant difference setting the two variants apart is the more powerful and muscular looking hood, which includes an exclusive air-intake scoop, of the Cooper S, some 0.8-inches higher than that of the smooth one on the Cooper.
Taut side-line, powerful rear end.
Seen from the side, the new MINI is firm, taut and striking, resting powerfully on its wheels in a look well-known to friends and aficionados of the brand as the “stance on the wheels.” Another characteristic is the seemingly uninterrupted “flow” of windows around the car, adorning the new MINI like a complete, 360-degree band of glass.
The window line rises up slightly towards the rear end of the car, 0.7-inches higher at the B-pillar than on the former generation. This allows the “greenhouse,” the glazed part of the passenger cell, to taper more distinctly towards the rear than the last version. Together, these modifications accentuate the wedge design of the 2008 MINI and underscore its powerful and dynamic look.
The more distinct “shoulders” at the rear of the new MINI forms a counter-element to the longer front end of the car. But, since the well-known MINI proportions are maintained, the larger body dimensions are hardly noticeable.
Upgraded center speedometer and additional toggle switches.
Combined with the horizontal geometry of the interior and, in particular, the dashboard, the displays in their purist, round design characterize the overall design theme of the cockpit. The central element is the MINI-signature center speedometer, larger than before, with an enhanced range of functions serving far more purposes and requirements than on the former generation. The displays and controls for the entertainment system as well as the display for the optional navigation system are integrated in the speedometer, while the tachometer remains a separate unit positioned, as befits a sporting car, behind the steering wheel in the driver’s line of sight.
The vertically arranged rotary knobs for the ventilation, the two cupholders integrated in the bottom section of the center console and the racing-inspired toggle switches are typical of MINI. Indeed, these characteristic metal toggles, operating the fog lamps, the power windows Ã¢â‚¬â€œ with express, one-touch up and down introduced for 2008 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ and central locking are larger than before and, in the new generation, are joined by duplicates in the roof console for sunroof and interior-lighting control.
A round transmitter finished in typical MINI style replaces the conventional door and ignition key, with the driver controlling engine operation with a start/stop button. All instruments and controls are very smooth and easy to operate, positioned at the right point for optimum ergonomics.
Background illumination in five colors
The new generation’s revised interior lighting reflects typical MINI style and class, with the addition of ambient lighting which can be varied in five stages from warm orange to sporting blue. Serving as discreet “waterfall illumination” from above and as indirect illumination of the roof lining, the door storage bins and the door handle recesses, this illumination scheme creates a unique atmosphere inside the 2008 MINI.
Natural wood, hand-sewn leather, and chrome as special interior options. The 2008 MINI continues to offer a wide range of options and special equipment to meet the demands and personal preferences of virtually any buyer. Wood, leather, various trim-and-color combinations mean adjusting the interior can be tailored for an “exact” fit.
The 2008 MINI offers 10 body colors, eight metallics. The external look is further customizable thanks to additional color and graphic options for the roof. Optionally, both the MINI Cooper S and the MINI Cooper are available with Chrome line featuring chrome surrounds on the instruments and a chrome bar on the lower air intake in the front air dam, on the fog lamps and the rear fog warning light on the MINI Cooper, plus, on the MINI Cooper S, chrome bars in the air outlet on the rear air dam and on the rear lid handle.
Complete range of safety equipment.
Benefiting from its strong and stable body structure, the MINI offers a standard of crash safety unique in its segment. In the event of a collision, optimized load paths within the body structure serve to effectively divert forces acting on the car, despite the short overhangs front and rear.
Reflecting the premium standard of the MINI, both models come with a wide range of safety equipment, including six standard airbags to enhance occupant safety.
Active safety is enhanced in critical driving situations by the standard anti-lock brakes (ABS), Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBFD), Cornering Brake Control (CBC), as well as Automatic Stability Control + Traction (ASC+T) control standard on the MINI Cooper S with on/off control. Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) is optional for both models.
Brake Assist on both models detects emergency operation of the brakes and builds up maximum brake pressure very quickly. A new feature is Hill Assist start-off assistance. This feature, in conjunction with DSC, maintains brake pressure for up to 3 seconds after the brake pedal has been released and before the clutch has been engaged, to prevent the car from rolling back when setting off on an uphill gradient.
British heritage at the cornerstone of the MINI’s success
The new MINI is built in the British production triangle formed by the BMW Group Plants in Oxford, Swindon, and Hams Hall. In recent years the BMW Group has made major investment in the expansion and modernization of this integrated production network, where the various tasks and functions handled by the plants in Oxford (final assembly), Swindon (press shop) and Hams Hall (body shop) are focused on the requirements of the market. The three plants employ some 6,350 associates, with the workforce scheduled to grow to 6,800 in the medium term. When that happens, annual production capacity will increase from 200,000 to 240, 000 MINIs.
The market launch of the latest generation of the MINI was November 18, 2006, marking the 100th birthday of Sir Alec Issigonis, the creator of the original MINI, whose concept, philosophy, character and flair all live on in the new MINI.
This revolutionary compact car was presented for the first time in August 1959 to the public: featuring front-wheel drive, transverse engine at the front, short body overhangs, long wheelbase and wide track marked this ground-breaking marque and made the MINI the role model for generations of cars in its segment. The universal appeal, defying marketing norms, and outstanding success in racing quickly made the MINI a genuine milestone in the history of the automobile, with production of the classic MINI amounting for almost 5.4 million units by the year 2000.
The creator of the MINI was knighted in 1969 by the Queen and died in 1988 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ at a time when production of the classic MINI had already exceeded four million units Ã¢â‚¬â€œ at an age of almost 82.
Exterior Design Ã¢â‚¬â€œ A Most Distinctive Look:
The 2008 is immediately recognizable as a MINI from every angle. Thoroughly modern, but nevertheless remains true and faithful to itself. The body designers created a truly authentic design reflecting both the character of the classic MINI and the up-to-date appeal of its predecessor.
This design not only accentuates the individual style and character of the MINI, but also takes the great demands made by a customer of a genuine premium car into account. Superior performance and even higher safety requirements than those which governed the first generation of the modern MINI have at the same time motivated the car’s creators to re-interpret its body design wherever appropriate and desirable. As a result, the 2008 MINI is some 2.36-inches longer than its predecessor. However, as the car’s proportions have remained the same compared to the previous generation, the MINI remains just as unmistakable as before, retaining the typical MINI character and style.
Authentic design: MINI remains MINI.
“From the original to the original” Ã¢â‚¬â€œ this is and was the philosophy from the start in designing the exterior of the 2008 MINI. And following this creed, the car’s creators and designers followed an essential step in the process of development along a clearly defined path: “In its exterior design, the this MINI is an evolution of its predecessor”, staid MINI Chief Designer Gert Hildebrand. For the objective in designing the car was to bring out all signs and features of distinction not only classical, but also typical of the modern MINI, even more consistently and convincingly.
Indeed, even the first generation of the modern MINI already succeeded from the start in suitably adapting the concept of the classical MINI from the year 1959. And now the new model generation is continuing this concept of continuity.
Careful and consistent loyalty in maintaining the design of the car and equally consistent continuity in adhering to the traditional icons in the design of the MINI help to give the 2008 MINI its unique authenticity at very first sight. In its individual and emotional design language, the new MINI is almost carried over from the anatomy and mimicry of the human body, combining these symbols in perfect harmony.
An open and fully alert look characterises the front end of the car, powerful shoulders give the side view its typical flair and appearance. And smooth, soft contours dominate many features and design elements such as the hood.
The large wheels and elevated window line give the 2008 MINI a firmer and more muscular look from the side, clearly expressing the masculine and mature character of the brand.
Traditional design features, powerful look.
Compared with the previous model, the front section of the 2008 MINI is 1.50-inches longer, the extra space serving to accommodate the larger engines and fulfil legal regulations for the protection of pedestrians, which require a longer distance between the hood and the technical components within the engine bay. But the face of the MINI remains unmistakable and characteristic of the brand in every respect.
This is ensured in particular by three elements: the large front lights, the positioning lights accommodated in the front air dam and the hexagonal radiator grille. The round clear glass headlights have been turned slightly to the outside in order to maintain the well-known and balanced proportions of the front end. The headlights accommodate the direction indicators formerly fitted as separate units. Hence, the lone “insular” element reminiscent of previous designs is the positioning lights serving as “beauty marks” in the face of the 2008 MINI and accommodating the optional fog lamps.
The radiator grill is particularly conspicuous in its design. The grill, now a single unit, is no longer split into two sections: one on the hood, one at the front end. Through its shape, the modified hexagon grill is even more reminiscent of the air scoop on the classic MINI. Through its horizontal orientation, the grill serves to further emphasize the width of the car’s body, giving the MINI a more masculine look.
Unique appearance: each model series with its striking, distinctive style.
The front ends of the MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S differ through a number of details giving each variant a distinctive appearance. On the MINI Cooper, the lower air intake scoop swings up slightly at either side, creating the impression of a “smiling” car. The grill is formed by three crosswise, chrome-plated ribs and a plastic grid positioned further down, again helping to give the entire front end of the car an elegant and likeable touch.
The front end of the MINI Cooper S is more sporting and dominant in its overall look, with the hood being curved up nearly an inch higher than that of the Cooper to accommodate the turbocharged engine. “And it is a wonderful example of that classic Ã¢â‚¬Ëœform follows function,’ making it quite typical of MINI,” stated Exterior Designer Marcus Syring. “Authentic design of this kind shows what comes within the car, which is precisely why we have intentionally given the MINI Cooper S an even more powerful and muscular front end.”
The plastic grid within the grill in its chrome surround accentuates this extra size and muscle, the honeycomb-grid pattern taking up the hexagon design of the grill repeated in the lower air intake. As a result, both air intake scoops visualise the power of the turbocharged engine beneath the hood; another sign of distinction on the new MINI Cooper S being the stylised opening in the hood.
The sideline: large wheels, short overhangs.
With its powerful presence, the front end of the car flows smoothly and harmoniously into the flanks of the MINI, creating a particularly firm and taut look from the side. Large wheels and minimum body overhangs front and rear give the MINI “stance on the wheels” character famous for several decades, as if the car were literally resting on its wheels.
Continuing the reminiscence of this MINI’s great-grandfather, launched almost 50 years ago, is the diagonal flow of the body seam between the engine compartment lid and the side indicators Ã¢â‚¬â€œ where the classic MINI had a visible welding seam. Further design icons are the chrome-plated door handles and the direction indicator lights accommodated in the front side panels.
Yet another feature characteristic of the modern MINI is the glazed “band” around the passenger cell or “greenhouse.” On this MINI it is a dark strip of glass extending around the body. Also covering the roof pillars, this band of glass creates the impression of a roof hovering freely in space, while at the same time the gently rising waistline is higher 0.7-inches higher than on the former model, once again emphasising the muscular stature of the car’s design.
The rear end: focusing on the car’s horizontal lines.
In creating the second-generation modern MINI, the car’s designers have set off the extra growth at the front by making the shoulders at the rear even more powerful and striking, thus maintaining the unmistakable proportions of the MINI’s body. And compared with the former model, they have now also given the rear end rounder contours, the car also being characterised by parallel, horizontal lines at the back.
The segments created in this way build on one another and appear to support each other, forming a gently flowing step structure, the “cascading” effect typical of the new model and giving it a stable stance from behind.
Already acknowledged as design icons, the almost vertical rear light clusters remain virtually unchanged. They are however slightly bigger than on the former model and are housed within separate chrome surrounds now separated from the rear light clusters. The distance from the rear lights to the slightly wider black band Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the dark, lower band around the entire body Ã¢â‚¬â€œ has remained the same, giving the rear end of the new MINI a compact look despite its increase in size.
An additional trim panel near the C-pillar acts as a vertical contour lip to optimise the flow of air at the back of the MINI. And a further feature is the small air flow lip at the rear end of the roof which helps improve the car’s aerodynamics: The drag coefficient of the 2008 MINI Cooper is 0.33cd.
The roof spoiler on the 2008 MINI Cooper S is larger than the previous generation’s, increasing down force on the rear axle as well as optimizing air flow. Further features carried over in their looks from motorsport are the twin tailpipes positioned in the middle, a large air outlet in the rear air dam, and the rear fog light in two separate sections.
Body colors: fresh, classy and sophisticated.
The 2008 MINI is available with a choice of 10 colors, eight of which are metallic. The non metallics are Mellow Yellow, Oxygen Blue, Chili Red and Pepper White. The metallic colors are British Racing Green, Pure Silver, Astro Black, Sparkling Silver, Lightning Blue, and Nightfire Red.
Two further metallic colors, Dark Silver and Laser Blue, are reserved exclusively for the MINI Cooper S. The customer is able to further increase the range of colors and combinations through the ability to choose a roof color Ã¢â‚¬â€œ black or white Ã¢â‚¬â€œ different from the body color.
To provide an even higher standard of customization, both the MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S are available with an optional Chromeline package comprising chrome-plated surrounds and, on the Cooper, a crossbar on the lower air intake scoop, in the fog lamps and in the rear fog warning light; and, on the MINI Cooper S, also in the air outlet at the rear end of the car. And last but certainly not least, the grab handle in the rear lid of the MINI Cooper S also comes in a chrome surround.
Interior Design – More Space, More Style:
The interior of the 2008 MINI is the result of a revolution in design covering all areas and features within the car. And, compared with the first generation of the modern MINI, the result brings more features and an even wider range of equipment, optimized ergonomics, more space, more sophisticated and stylish materials, and quality of finish reflecting the premium character of this MINI. “Focusing on the interior, we decided to revolutionize the car’s design in order to really highlight the sporting and masculine character and technical progress of the new MINI,” said MINI’s Chief Designer Gert Hildebrand.
The high shoulder line of the body creates a sporting cockpit ambience within the interior, concentrating the overall look and impression of the car on just a handful of distinctive highlights which again serve to emphasise the new and even more striking character of the interior.
One example is a smaller number of instruments now offer a wider range of functions. And a significant improvement is the driver and passengers’ experience of space and roominess within the 2008 MINI, even though the car’s exterior dimensions have grown by only about 2.4 inches from the predecessor. “Enhancing and upgrading the design of the car, we sought from the start to offer maximum interior space within minimum dimensions”, stated MINI’s Interior Designer Marc Girard. And indeed, the slender centre console provides additional legroom for the driver and front passenger, while the horizontal arrangement of the instrument panel emphasizes the generosity of the interior.
Round air vents moved to the outside serve to accentuate the greater width of the dashboard, emphasizing the horizontal orientation of the cockpit and at the same time acting as a transition leading over smoothly and harmoniously to the door linings.
Excellent ergonomics and easy control.
The car’s developers attached utmost importance to simple and ergonomic control by the driver. Hence, all control elements are in strict hierarchic arrangement as a function of their frequency of use and need for operation.
The principal highlight is Ã¢â‚¬â€œ of course Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the round, center speedometer thoroughly re-interpreted from the ground up. The center speedometer is larger than before, stands out even more distinctly and underlines the cockpit ambience. Apart from the analog-face speedometer, the center speedometer incorporates the audio controls as well as the optional entertainment and navigation functions. The most distinctive feature, however, is the speed indicator which surrounds all other functions like a 360-degree ring. And with the entire unit being placed high up within the instrument panel, all function buttons can be positioned for optimum ergonomic control.
Absolutely unique: center speedometer and toggle switches.
The horizontally oriented structure of the cockpit is also reflected by the arrangement of the controls and instruments housed within the center console right beneath the center speedometer. Other features typical of MINI are the vertical arrangement of the rotary air ventilation knobs, the two cupholders integrated in the base section of the center console, as well as the toggle switches carried over from racing. Serving to activate the window lifts, central locking and optional fog lamps, these toggle switches are larger than those on previous generations of MINI. And for the first time they are matched by toggle switches in the roof console controlling operation of the sliding roof and interior lighting.
Like racing design, the tachometer is directly behind the steering wheel in the driver’s line of vision. Additional information is provided by a supplementary digital speedometer as well as the on-board computer within the rev counter.
The conventional ignition key is replaced in this MINI by a round, electronic transmitter. Once inserted into the opening adjacent to the steering wheel, this transmitter enables the driver to start the engine by pressing the start/stop button. And with optional Comfort Access, the driver can leave the transmitter in his or her pocket or inside the car to open the doors and start the engine.
Pleasure for all the senses.
Encountering the new MINI is an experience beyond the visual and aural, for within the interior, the discerning customer will find numerous highlights appealing to the senses of touch and smell. “The touch effect, the impression you get when feeling a material, is extremely important”, said MINI’s Materials and Color Designer Annette Baumeister. Particularly sophisticated materials, clear structures, and fine surface grain highlight the car’s supreme quality. The individual panels and trim surfaces have intentionally been kept small, the rings and surrounds particularly filigree in design in order to emphasize the great attention given to every detail and the sheer value of the materials used.
The design language of “circular elements” combined with horizontal structures shows clearly in the door panels and linings, the elliptical main element on the door lining now extending to the rear. This elliptical frame encompasses the light-looking armrest, a door pocket, and the round door openers in one unit.
The wide range of colors for the interior offers the customer a choice of Carbon Black, Gotham Grey, Tuscan Beige, and Redwood Red, either in harmony with the body color and trim chosen or differing as an exciting contrast.
The dashboard is made up of two horizontally separated sections with a trim division in between. The plastic surfaces come in particularly fine grain, highlighting the supreme value, class and style of the material.
Authentic and sophisticated: materials in premium quality.
Different seat upholstery also serves to distinguish between the MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S: “effect-yarn” seams enhance the lifestyle ambience within the MINI Cooper in the “basic” upholstery. The seat covers on the MINI Cooper S come in a checker design reminiscent of the chessboard pattern of the checkered flag in racing and serving as a graphic element.
The chequered cloth used for this purpose emphasizes the sporting touch of the MINI Cooper S, and may be replaced by a classic pinstripe design combining an elegant and fine woven look with leather (available in four colors) on the side panels of the seats.
The wide range of cloth materials, leather, interior colors, panels and trim options offers each and every aficionado of the MINI exactly the right option to personalize his or her car according to his or her individual taste. The ambience thus created within the car ranges from high-class elegance through outright sportiness all the way to superb extravagance. And, quite regardless of the customer’s individual choice, premium quality and love for every detail is presented in every 2008 MINI.
The optional Color Line enables even the most discerning customer to individualise the cockpit according to his or her personal taste, color highlights in the lower sections of the dashboard continuing into the door linings and providing a particularly effective and attractive combination with the trim materials. Color Line is available in five colors (Dark Grey, Cream White, Pacific Blue, Rooster Red, and Mellow Yellow), with trim coming not only in its standard versions on the MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S, but also in four exclusive, very special variants: glossy black piano paint, dark brown grained oakwood, brushed aluminium and a fine glossy surface inspired by the structure of liquid metal.
A further expression of the authentic premium character of the MINI is the use of wood and aluminium, while a fully closed glove compartment or a CD changer may be integrated in the trim surface on the front passenger’s side.
High-Tech Power Units
The MINI Cooper S and MINI Cooper are powered by two different four-cylinder engines boasting a wide range of innovative details. Both power units are made of light alloy and displace 1.6 litres, benefiting from the BMW Group’s know-how in engine development and racing technology.
The engines in the MINI Cooper S and MINI Cooper differ in numerous respects. The MINI Cooper S features a 172-hp turbocharged engine with direct gasoline injection, while maximum output of the naturally aspirated power unit in the MINI Cooper is 118 hp, boasting fully variable valve management based on the BMW Group’s VALVETRONIC technology.
MINI Cooper S: turbocharged power unit for maximum driving pleasure. The 1.6-litre turbocharged power unit featured in the MINI Cooper S offers impressive performance on the road. Maximum output of 172 hp and specific output of 109.5 hp/liter are impressive figures for a four-cylinder, light-alloy power unit in this class.
The power unit in the MINI Cooper S achieves its peak output at an engine speed of 5,500 rpm. Maximum torque is 177 pounds-feet and is maintained consistently throughout the speed range from 1,600Ã¢â‚¬â€œ5,000 rpm. When accelerating, torque is briefly increased even further to 192 lb-ft by the “overboost” function, an increase in charge pressure which gives the MINI Cooper S even more powerful “punch.” And overboost acts exclusively on engine torque, not on overall engine output.
The MINI Cooper S responds instantaneously to the driver’s commands, accelerating from 0-60 miles-per-hour comes in 6.7 seconds, and from 50Ã¢â‚¬â€œ75 mph in about 5.5 seconds. The top speed is 139 mph.
Despite their much higher level of dynamic performance and sporting character, both MINIs return superior fuel economy. As of this printing 2008 EPA figures were not issued for these models. For comparison, the 2007 EPA figures follow: The MINI Cooper S has a 2007 EPA rating of 29City/36 Highway mpg for a combined EPA fuel economy rating of 32 mpg. The MINI Cooper is even more efficient with a 2007 EPA fuel economy rating of 32/40 City/Highway for a combined rating of 35 mpg.
MINI Cooper S: direct fuel injection applying the common rail principle.
Like the naturally aspirated version in the MINI Cooper, the new turbocharged power unit offers the highest standard of engine construction. The four valves per cylinder are controlled by two overhead camshafts, roller-type drag arms optimized for minimum friction, and hydraulic valve play compensation elements. The outlet valves are filled with sodium in order to meet the greater cooling requirements of a turbocharged power unit. The intake camshaft comes with infinite phase adjustment setting the engine’s valve timing to the driver’s respective power and performance requirements. The result is optimum output and torque on low fuel consumption and emissions reduced to a minimum.
Fuel is injected into the turbocharged four-cylinder by means of common-rail-direct-injection technology. The stainless-steel common rail connecting all cylinders is filled with fuel under high pressure by a pump at the rear of the intake camshaft. Injection valves positioned at the side in the cylinder head deliver fuel within fractions of a second and in exactly the right amounts from the rail directly to the combustion chambers, four valve pockets and the combustion trough in the middle of each piston ensuring optimum stratification of the homogeneous fuel/air mixture with a lambda factor of 1.0. Running in cast-iron sleeves and operating with a compression ratio of 10.5: 1, relatively high for a turbocharged engine, the pistons are cooled by splash oil.
MINI Cooper S: turbocharger with twin-scroll technology.
Featuring a twin-scroll turbocharger, the MINI Cooper S comes with another feature unique in this segment. Through its underlying philosophy and principle, the twin-scroll turbocharger builds up power and performance with unprecedented spontaneity. In both the exhaust gas manifold and the turbocharger itself, the ducts leading to two cylinders at a time are separated from one another. Reducing exhaust-gas counter pressure at low engine speeds, this arrangement capitalizes on the dynamic effect of the pulsating gas columns within the manifold in a special process enhancing the response of the turbocharger and accelerating its charge rotors to an optimum speed of rotation right from the start at low engine speeds.
The charge pressure, limited by a waste gate to 0.8 bar, starts to build at an engine speed of 1,400 rpm, almost eliminating the “turbo lag” typical of conventional turbocharged engines. As a result, the MINI Cooper S accelerates smoothly and instantaneously; the 1.6-litre turbocharged power unit demonstrating the same kind of response and behaviour as a larger normal-aspiration engine.
“The principle to achieve the same output as with a larger engine on a smaller and more fuel-efficient power unit is referred to as Ã¢â‚¬Ëœdownsizing,'” stated Erich Sonntag, Drivetrain Project Manager in the development of the new MINI. “With its specific output of approximately 110 horsepower per litre, the turbocharged power unit of the new MINI is a wonderful example of this philosophy.”
MINI Cooper: powerful but fuel-efficient normal-aspiration engine.
Also displacing 1.6 litres, the MINI Cooper engine combines superior driving pleasure with truly outstanding all-round economy. Maximum output of 120 hp comes at 6, 000 rpm, with the torque curve reaching a significant 103 lb-ft at 2, 000 rpm and continuing to a peak of 118 lb-ft at 4,250 rpm. The wide, useful torque curve is an example this engine combines superior power and performance with equally superior fuel economy in a compact and highly efficient power unit.
The 2008 MINI Cooper accelerates from a standstill to 62 mph in 9.1 seconds and has a top speed of 126 mph. Acceleration at speed is just as impressive, with the high-torque four-cylinder pushing the MINI Cooper from 50Ã¢â‚¬â€œ75 mph in top gear in 9.4 seconds.
MINI Cooper: variable valve management for optimum power and performance.
Fully variable valve control based on the BMW Group’s unique VALVETRONIC technology is one of the innovative technical features incorporated into the four-cylinder. With this sophisticated valve management, the stroke and opening period of the intake valves are adjusted within fractions of a second to the power requirements; the camshaft acting on the valves not directly via a drag arm, but rather through an additional intermediate lever adjusted in its pivot point by an eccentric shaft driven by an electric motor. Depending on the position of this lever arm, intake valve lift is varied infinitely between 0.2 and 9.5 millimetres, the entire process of changing over from minimum to maximum valve lift taking about 300 milliseconds.
Over and above variable management of valve lift on the intake side, valve timing on the intake and outlet sides is spread out variably as a function of engine speed. Again, this is also an infinite process switching over when necessary from one extreme to the other in 300 milliseconds.
This speed and fast reaction is ensured by a high-performance 32-bit processor integrated in the engine control system. Variable valve lift and speed-dependant camshaft control serve to optimize the torque curve and the engine’s power output.
Engines with innovative design features.
The engines featured in the MINI Cooper S and MINI Cooper are built in the BMW Group’s Engine Plant in Hams Hall, Great Britain. Compared with the former generation, both engines have been turned around by 180 degrees, with the exhaust facing front.
The basic engine block is similar in many respects on both the normally aspirated and turbocharged versions, both power units sharing a distance between the cylinders of 84 millimetres/3.31 inches, bore of 77 millimetres/3.03 inches, stroke of 85.5 millimetres/3.37 inches and, accordingly, engine displacement of 1,598 cubic centimetres/97.5 cubic inches.
The two-piece bedplate structure of the crankcase is a technology carried over from racing, with the cylinder block and bearing housing both made of cast aluminium. Integration of the chain box within the engine housing helps save weight, reduce running noise, and minimize the number of components.
The camshafts on both engine variants are composite structures, with cam rings made of high-strength stainless steel shrunk-fitted on to the camshaft as such (unlike the process in conventional casting). The next step is to fine-polish the cams down to an accuracy of 1Ã¢Ë†â€¢1000th of a millimeter. The eccentric shaft for phase adjustment is also made in this process, helping once again to reduce weight to a minimum.
Compact dimensions and high efficiency.
The lightweight concept applied in developing the power units for this generation of MINI also involves consistent reduction of frictional losses. This is why the crankshafts on both engines are weight-optimized in design and structure, and come with special bearing shells and comparatively small journals measuring 45 mm or 1.77 inches in diameter.
On both engines, the alternator and air-conditioning compressor are driven by a single poly-V-belt, while the coolant pump is driven by a friction wheel gearing. Again, both of these design concepts help make the drive units of the 2008 MINI compact Ã¢â‚¬â€œ they are among the shortest four-cylinder engines in their engine-displacement class.
A new feature in the MINI segment is the use of a volume-flow-controlled oil pump. Driven by a chain, this pump delivers as much oil at any given point in time as the engine requires, no more, no less. The result is a reduction in power uptake by the ancillary engine units resulting in approximately 1.68 hp at an engine speed of 6, 000 rpm and reducing fuel consumption by about one per cent.
The on-demand water pump on the coolant circuit offers a similar effect, cutting in when the engine reaches its operating temperature. This helps to save fuel in the warm-up phase, while at the same time the catalyst reaches the temperature required for optimum efficiency even faster and with a better effect.
Manual and Automatic Transmissions Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Precise, Spontaneous:
Both the 2008 MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S come with a standard six-speed manual gearbox and offer an optional 6-speed automatic transmission.
The manual gearbox comes in two different configurations: on the MINI Cooper S, the first two gears are synchronised by means of double cones, while the MINI Cooper uses carbon friction linings for the same purpose. All gears on both versions are in helical design and all Ã¢â‚¬â€œ including reverse Ã¢â‚¬â€œ feature synchromesh, thus allowing for light, precise and efficient gear changes.
Sport button: even more dynamic gearshift at the touch of a button.
The driver of an automatic-equipped 2008 MINA is able to shift gears by means of Formula 1-inspired paddles on the steering wheel, allowing him or her to keep both hands on the wheel even during gearshifts.
In the automatic mode, the transmission shifts gears according to the driver’s commands with virtually no interruption of power and pulling force. This is made possible by a converter activated when setting off and a converter clutch closing immediately after the car has started to move Ã¢â‚¬â€œ an operating mode combining supreme comfort with a sporting and crisp gearshift. Should the driver wish to enjoy even more dynamic performance, all he or she has to do is press the optional sports button for an even faster electronically controlled gearshift.
The MINI Cooper S is available with an optional mechanical limited-slip differential that minimizes the drive wheels from spinning on slippery surfaces or in bends. To set off different frictional coefficients, the differential instantaneously feeds more engine power to the drive wheel with better traction.
Chassis and Suspension
MINI’s innovations in suspension technology enhance the legendary go-kart feeling to an even higher standard which is further benefited from front-wheel drive, a low center of gravity and wide track.
MacPherson-style spring struts on the front axle ensure precise wheel guidance, keeping the steering almost entirely free of drive forces in fast bends, when accelerating and when applying the brakes. The central-arm rear axle, a concept unique in the MINI segment, ensures optimum road contact at all times through its kinematics.
Anti-roll bars on both the MINI Cooper S and the MINI Cooper make an additional contribution to the cars’ agile and safe handling.
EPAS for a brand-new steering experience.
This generation of the modern MINI introduced the EPAS Electrical Power Assisted Steering system offering a combination of motoring comfort and driving dynamics. The steering is sporting and direct; the assistance provided is geared to the car’s current speed on the road.
With its electromechanical control, the steering system can be programmed to various settings. The “basic” setting provides well-balanced power assistance as a function of road speed, allowing the driver to manuver and park the car with minimum effort. In the interest of safety and enhanced precision, steering forces have to be increased at higher speeds, and the integrated, active return motion moves the steering wheel back precisely to its central position in all situations.
The driver is able to set the electromechanical steering system individually to his or her personal preference by pressing the sports button. The sports mode, for example, activates a more dynamic control map characterised by higher steering forces and enhanced steering precision.
Introduction of EPAS steering technology in the MINI reflects the BMW Group’s general development strategy of improving efficiency while enhancing driving. Compared with conventional hydraulic systems, the steering in the MINI reduces weight significantly. In addition, electric servo motor is activated when power assistance is required or desired by the driver.
Differences in the suspension set-up.
The two versions of the 2008 MINI also differ in their suspension set-up. The sporting configuration featured on the MINI Cooper is raised to an even higher level in the MINI Cooper S, both models offering agile and, at the same time, comfortable and safe driving behavior.
The sporting-minded customer can choose a sports suspension on the MINI Cooper S and MINI Cooper featuring harder springs, stiffer shock absorbers and stiffer anti-roll bars. With this kind of equipment, the 2008 MINI comes even closer to the extremely direct driving behaviour of a genuine go-kart.
The braking systems are designed to work in concert with the chassis and engine. Inner-vented front disc brakes, 11.57 inches on the MINI Cooper S and 11.02 inches on the Cooper are complemented by 10.2-inch discs at the rear. The fade-free brakes of both models are enhanced and supported by an anti-lock brake system, EBFD Electronic Brake Force Distribution and CBC Cornering Brake Control. The brake assistant in the new MINI recognizes emergency braking manuvers reliably and in good time, immediately building up maximum brake pressure whenever required to keep stopping distances as short as possible.
On-demand traction control (ASC+T) featured as standard in the MINI Cooper S as well as optional Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) offer additional safety in critical situations. Intervening in the brakes as required or reducing engine power whenever necessary, DSC prevents the car from possibly swerving out of control.
Yet another feature is Hill Assist start-off assistance on uphill gradients. Available in conjunction with DSC, Hill Assist activates the brake system when setting off on an uphill gradient and thus prevents the car from rolling back.
Runflat tires standard on the MINI Cooper S.
The MINI Cooper comes standard with 15-inch light-alloy rims and 175/65 R 15 tires. The MINI Cooper S, in turn, is equipped with 16-inch light-alloy rims and 195/65 R 16 tires. Even larger 17-inch rims running on 205/45 R 17 tires are optionally available.
The MINI Cooper S boasts run flat tires as yet another standard feature, modified in this case to reflect the suspension set-up of the MINI. Thanks to their failsafe running characteristics, these tires allow the driver to go on motoring even when a tire is completely flat, covering a distance of up to 90 miles at a maximum speed of 50 mph.
And the 2008 MINI is equipped with a tire-monitoring indicator permanently monitoring air pressure and informing the driver in the event of an emergency.
Safety – Six Airbags Featured, Standard:
The 2008 MINI offers a high level of passive safety. MINI meets or exceeds legal safety requirements in all countries in which it is on sale, and has all the features and technologies required for scoring best results in all crash tests relevant the world over.
Determining the wide range of safety features boasted by the 2008 MINI, the development specialists also considered the latest findings in the BMW Group’s accident research. And from the start they focused on future standards and requirements, for example in the area of pedestrian safety and protection.
Six airbags come as standard in a package comprising frontal, side and curtain head airbags for both the driver and front passenger. The frontal airbags inflate as a function of the type and severity of an accident, as determined by sensors and calculated by a central computer. The two side airbags are integrated in the side supports of the front seats and effectively protect the driver and front passenger from thorax injury. The curtain head airbags, as the name indicates, inflate when required as large “curtains” coming down from the roof lining, thus offering the occupants both front and rear protection from head injury. Three-point seat belts are fitted on all four seats, featuring belt latch tensioners, belt force limiters, and belt warning signals on the front seats.
Keeping impact energy away from the passenger cell.
Fitted crosswise at the front in the 2008 MINI, the engine placement is optimized for crash safety, allowing extra-large deformation zones around the front end of the body. In the event of a collision, therefore, a lot of the energy acting on the car is absorbed by the body right from the start.
Highly stable crossbars and reinforced door structures also serve to help keep impact energy away from the passenger cell, an effect further enhanced by the front axle again taking up energy diverted through the floor of the car. In a severe accident the electrical fuel supply pump is automatically deactivated, the central locking is opened and the interior lights as well as the hazard warning flashers are switched on. Features and Equipment – Premium in the Compact Class:
Choosing either a Cooper or Cooper S brings a comprehensive array of equipment, but MINI customers have an extensive list of optional features to choose from to further personalize their vehicles. The option portfolio ranges from Chromeline for the body to advanced entertainment and navigation systems to leather seats to a sports suspension and, of course, unique light-alloy wheels.
Hand-sewn leather for a touch of class.
In creating the interior of the MINI, the designers paid particular attention to all the details and refinements a car of this calibre deserves. Hence, the customer has all kinds of options in personalizing the 2008 MINI. A set of 16 chrome surrounds for the air vents, cupholders and instruments Ã¢â‚¬â€œ for example, serves to make the interior even more elegant and sophisticated.
The two optional leather upholstery offerings Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Punch leather in Carbon Black and Gravity leather in Tuscan Beige Ã¢â‚¬â€œ clearly evoke the British heritage of every MINI. The hand-sewn piped leather of these exclusive seats provides a feeling of quality and flair.
MINI all the way: special illumination in your favorite color within the interior.
Ambient illumination, acting as discreet “waterfall illumination” from above and as indirect illumination of the roof lining, door panels and door handle recesses, creates a unique atmosphere in the interior of the MINI Hardtop. And again in typical MINI fashion, the color of the light may be changed at any time in five stages from warm orange to sporting blue, depending on the driver’s and passengers’ personal mood and preference.
Adding color is also the name of the game with optional Color Line allowing very individual and personal styling and flair in the cockpit of the 2008 MINI. Color highlights on the lower elements of the dashboard extend to the door panels, allowing an appealing and effective combination with the trim materials offered.
Color Line is available in the five color schemes: Dark Gray, Cream White, Pacific Blue, Rooster Red and Mellow Yellow. The trim surfaces come in the standard configurations, as well as with a choice of four exclusive variants: glossy-black-piano paint, dark-brown- grain oakwood, brushed aluminium and an extra-fine gloss surface resembling liquid metal at first sight. The premium character of the MINI is further enhanced by the use of natural wood and aluminium. In addition, an optional enclosd storage box or CD changer may be integrated in the trim surface on the front passenger’s side.
Cutting-edge entertainment and navigation systems can be specified by the MINI buyer. The optional navigation system features a 6.5-inch TFT color display housed within the center speedometer; the corners on the monitor rounded off and thus adjusted to the circular shape of the center speedometer.
TFT monitor technology provides an easy-to-read display, free of glare even in bright sunlight; display brightness is driver adjustable. In the dark, background illumination ensures optimum clarity and readability. And the presentation of navigation graphics also reflects the MINI style in both its configuration and color scheme.
The navigation and audio system comes complete with a CD player positioned above the removable control panel housing the drive for the navigation DVD. A joystick on the center console, developed for the MINI, enables the driver to easily and conveniently control navigation, entertainment and communications functions in conjunction with menus displayed on the screen.
The joystick also enables the driver to directly select a destination on the map presented in the display. The driver moves the cursor on the map with the joystick to the desired destination and then selects it by pressing down on the joystick.
External music systems such as an MP3 player are easy to connect to the audio system, allowing the driver and passengers to enjoy their personal music archives in the MINI at any time. A specific adapter for an Apple iPod is also available providing convenient control of the player via the MINI’s entertainment system.
Chrome surrounds and 17-inch light-alloy rims setting additional highlights.
The available Chromeline further sets the MINI Cooper and Cooper S apart from the pack. The option group comprises chrome-plated surrounds on the instruments and a cross bracket for the lower air intake (Cooper), chrome surrounds on the positioning lights and foglamps as well as the rear fog warning light (Cooper) and, respectively, the air outlet in the rear air dam (Cooper S) as well as the handle on the rear lid (Cooper S).
The aficionado seeking to really highlight the sporting character of his or her MINI also has the choice of a sports suspension with stiffer springs, shock absorbers and anti-roll bars on both the MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S. And to provide the final touch, the sports suspension may be supplemented by a variety of 16-inch or 17-inch wheels.
Accessories – Unique Features for the Individualist:
Supplementing the car’s standard equipment as well as the options offered by the factory, the new MINI may be further personalized through a wide range of Genuine MINI Accessories. All of these items provide a perfect match for the 2008 MINI and meet the quality and safety standards of the BMW Group.
Sporting highlights from John Cooper Works Tuning. Components from John Cooper Works provide the latest road-going MINI with classic motorsport technology. The wide range of Works Accessories named after the legendary MINI tuner includes enhancements like the 11.57-inch, cross-drilled front-brake discs for the MINI Cooper S. To match these larger brakes, John Cooper Works offers 18-inch double-spoke light-alloy wheels, the largest wheels approved for MINI (7J x 18), mounting 205/40X18 low-profile, tires (and featuring optional run flat technology).
Another John Cooper Works accessory is a roof spoiler with a carbon surface approved for both the MINI Cooper S and MINI Cooper.
An alternative option is the single-piece roof spoiler finished on request in body color. Both roof spoilers can be supplemented by the Aerodynamics Package from the MINI’s accessories range that comes with front and rear air dams as well as side sills. The youthful appearance of the package is enhanced by multi-spoke 17-inch light-alloy wheels carrying 205/45X17 tires.
Roof Graphics and Exterior components made of carbon-fibre. By tradition, special roof graphics and mirror caps play an important role in customizing the MINI. The 2008 MINI offers the Union Jack, Checkered Flat and the letters “MINI” amongst its roof graphics.
Mirror caps and door handle trim with the Union Jack and Checkered Flag motifs highlight the British heritage and sporting DNA of the MINI. And to add to this, the 2008 MINI is also available with exterior components from the John Cooper Works Tuning Range made by hand from carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic. These include panels for the front air scoop, the exterior mirrors, and the grab handle on the tailgate.
iPod interface, illuminated door entry strips. Portable music players are becoming increasingly significant for today’s premium-car buyer.. The 2008 MINI supports this trend, offering an interface to integrate the Apple iPod into the car’s radio and navigation systems. This music unit is controlled either via the MINI joystick, the multifunction steering wheel or the radio buttons, while the interface itself is located in the glove compartment.
Useful features for everyday motoring. To protect the interior of the MINI from heavy use, the range MINI accessories include textile floormats.
Additionally, the accessories range offers components to further raise the MINI’s functionality. Apart from an aluminium rear rack for bicycles, skis or snowboards, these include a roof-carrier system (compatible with ski and bicycle holders as well as roof boxes), theft-security bolts for the car’s light-alloy wheels and additional high-beam headlights combining the most advanced clear-glass technology with a look reminiscent of the additional headlights on the MINI Cooper which was the three time winner of the Monte Carlo Rally. Production – Tradition and Quality, Made in England:
The mondern MINI’s sales success is mirrored by its production triumph. The original plan launched in 2000 called for an annual output of 100,000 units, but demand by 2005 had doubled the number.
Growth of this magnitude demanded the utmost performance and great flexibility on the part of the production plants as well as the suppliers. To facilitate this, the new generation of MINI is built by three British plants of the BMW Group production network in Oxford, Swindon, and Hams Hall. These three plants form a closely-knit production system, a highly integrated structure further enhanced in recent years by the BMW Group investing some 200 million pounds Sterling (approximately Euro 290 million) in the expansion and modernization of plant facilities.
Together, all three plants currently employ some 6,350 associates, a figure planned to increase in the medium term to 6,800, with capacity reaching 240, 000 MINIs a year.
The concept of sharing out the workload among the plants in Oxford (final assembly), Swindon (press shop), and Hams Hall (engine production) is tailored to the requirements of the market. The BMW Group plants in Oxford and Hams Hall are acknowledged in Great Britain as role models for flexible work-time concepts, with production continuing in up to three shifts on seven days a week with a maximum of 140 hours. The production plants in Swindon and Hams Hall are flexible to respond to changes and modifications in Oxford, ensuring optimum just-in-time delivery of individual components exactly as required.
Production consistently maintaining the BMW Group’s high quality standards. The three plants comply with the production and quality standards of the BMW Group and are certified for environmental management to ISO 14001. Together with the BMW Research and Innovation Center (FIZ) in Munich, Germany, the Quality and Engineering Center (QEC) in Oxford played a decisive role in the ongoing technical development of the MINI. And now the QEC consistently monitors production quality by means of advanced and sophisticated inspection methods.
Apart from a test track, a four-die rig for detecting material noise, a rain and climate chamber (covering a temperature range from Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 40 to + 90 Ã‚Â°C), the Quality and Engineering Center also has a dynamic test rig complete with a rolling road where the MINI can be tested under laboratory conditions in all kinds of situations, and, if necessary up to the car’s top speed.!
BMW Group Plant Oxford: final assembly of the MINI. The origins of the Oxford plant, 62 miles northwest of London, begin in the 1930s as the place where William Morris started series production of the cars he had developed.
The BMW Group purchased the plant 1994, then in use by the Rover Group, and thoroughly modernized it for the 2000 onset of MINI production. A further investment of 100 million pounds Sterling since 2005 by the Group prepared the facility for the production of this MINI generation and an annual production run of 240,000 cars. Employment will grow from 4,500 to 4,700 associates when capacity is attained.
Most of this investment has gone into the modernization and expansion of the body shop as well as the construction of a second paint shop, which is the first within the BMW Group to use the Integrated Painting Process (IPP). This process applies the rust proofing and primer together with the first layer of paint, formerly separate operations. This accounts for significant savings in the amount of material required, energy and time. And the new process fully maintains the BMW Group’s strict quality standards.
Flexible, customer-oriented production. The Mobile Standard Production Cells (Mobi-Cells) developed by the BMW Group, a significant innovation employed in the 15,000-square-meter body shop, increase production flexibly and quickly whenever required. This makes production of the new MINI highly flexible, reflecting the standards of the BMW Group’s Customer-Oriented Sales and Production Process (KOVP). This flexibility allows the customer to change the configuration of his or her car up to six days prior to the start of assembly, despite a choice of more than 370 features and options in the interior, more than 300 variants on the exterior, and the approximately 2,000 components which go into every MINI. BMW Group Plant Swindon: turning steel plates into body components. Body panels have been manufactured in Swindon, some 43 miles west of Oxford, since 1954 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ and since 1994 this plant has been part of the BMW Group.
Apart from production of approximately 280 of the 350 body panels used on the MINI, the 1,100 associates in Swindon are also responsible for the sub-assembly of individual body components. To make this possible, the plant has been modernized with an investment of approximately 60 million pounds Sterling for production of the new MINI.
This modernization added 100 welding robots and brought the number of automatic press lines to 19. This expansion as well as additional improvements has raised the degree of automation to 95 percent, increasing production capacity by approximately 30 percent.
The culmination of the improvements means Swindon provides just-in-time delivery to the Oxford plant, with a four-hour lead time for supplying parts.
BMW Group Plant Hams Hall: building the engines for the new MINI.
Compared with the two other pillars of the BMW Group’s British production triangle, the engine plant in Hams Hall has a short history: Built on the premises of a former coal power station near Birmingham, the Hams Hall Plant has been the BMW Group’s Competence Center since 2001 for the production of four-cylinder gasoline engines displacing up to 2.0 liters.
Built at an initial investment of 400 million pounds Sterling and recently expanded at a further investment of some 30 million pounds Sterling, the Hams Hall Plant with its 750 Associates has a production capacity of up to 300,000 engines a year.
From here, up to 700 MINI engines are delivered to Oxford just-in-time and just-in-sequence every day, that is at the right time and in the right order for the car’s final assembly. The working week in Hams Hall may be anything between 30 and 140 hours, depending on current requirements.
In addition, the BMW Group Plant in Hams Hall has already received several awards for its impressive architecture and innovative environmental management. Strict quality standards also applied to suppliers. A number of suppliers have located in the vicinity of the BMW Group Plants in Oxford, Swindon, and Hams Hall, creating approximately 750 more secure jobs in the region. Such close contact with manufacturers of components including seats and cockpit modules guarantees optimum, on-time management of production processes.