2014 MINI Previewed: New Options & Colors

Exclusive: Over the past year we’ve given you an in-depth look at the 2014 F56 MINI through a series of articles detailing the high-level technology, engineering and design behind the car. With that now behind us it’s time to start getting into the details.

What we have for you today is a detailed glimpse at a car that won’t launch in the US for another 13 months. We’ve pieced together data from various international sources to create a detailed preview at the what options are coming on F56.

Colors

MINI’s not going to change all of its color options (Chili Red, Midnight Black and Pepper White are likely to stay) but there will be some surprises. Well they would have been surprises if you didn’t see them here on MF first.

  • VOLCANIC ORANGE (B70)
  • ICED CHOCOLATE METALLIC (B49)

We may see more new colors but these are the first we’ve uncovered.

Lighting

  • 522 XENON LIGHT
  • 5A4 LED HEADLIGHTS WITH CORNERING LIGHT

Somewhat surprisingly Xenon’s won’t be the ultimate lighting available for the next MINI. The F56 will also include optional LED headlights. Keep in mind that this doesn’t refer to the LED daytime running lights that will be integrated in the rings around the headlights but the headlights themselves. This will mark the first time LED lights have been available on a small car from any manufacturer.

Because its temperature is very similar to that of daylight, LED light has a very bright beam, enabling traffic signs, for example, to be seen more clearly. Cornering lights turn on automatically when bends are taken slowly. All bends taken faster than approx. 60 km/h are the responsibility of Adaptive Headlights, which adapt smoothly to steering wheel movements and the speed to optimally light up the road ahead.

Parking

  • 5DP PARK ASSISTANT
  • 5DU PARK ASSISTANCE PACKAGE
  • 508 PARK DISTANCE CONTROL (PDC)
  • 3AG BACKUP CAMERA

Yes, the next generation MINI can park itself. Maybe a little less impressive than the same technology maneuvering a 4,500 lb 7 Series, but helpful nonetheless for those who are parallel parking challenged. For those that have been dying to see what’s directly behind their MINIs as you slide into that parking spot, your hopes have been answered with item 3AG: the backup camera.

Active Cruise

  • 544 CRUISE CONTROL WITH BRAKING FUNCTION

Radar sensors at the front of the vehicle permanently scan the road ahead. As your MINI approaches a slower vehicle, Active Cruise Control automatically reduces power output from the engine and gently applies the brakes, holding your MINI at a pre-defined distance to the vehicle ahead.

This distance is set as a number of seconds, not of metres, so that a safe reaction time is always available, relative to the current speed. When the lane ahead becomes clear, Active Cruise Control automatically increases your vehicle’s speed to your preferred cruising speed. Up to four different cruising speeds can be pre-programmed. A touch on the accelerator or brake pedal deactivates the system.

On curves, Active Cruise Control uses data from the Dynamic Stability Control and navigation systems to calculate whether the cruise speed needs to be adjusted, and to determine whether vehicles in the radar’s field are in the same or a neighbouring lane.

The high-performance radar sensor is heated in cold weather, ensuring year-round operation. Active Cruise Control is functional at speeds above 30 km/h and below 180 km/h. Depending on the model, this function is controlled by a paddle on the steering wheel or a button on the multifunction steering wheel.

Heads-up Display

  • 6AD MINI HEAD UP DISPLAY

An F56 with Head-Up Display will be easily recognised by a small square depression on the dashboard. This contains a projector and a system of mirrors that beams an easy-to-read, high-contrast image onto a translucent film on the windscreen, directly in the driver’s line of sight.

The image is projected in such a way that it appears to be about two metres away, above the tip of the bonnet, making it particularly comfortable to read. Head-Up Display halves the time it takes for eyes to shift focus from road to the instruments and back. The system’s height can be adjusted for optimal viewing.

Tele-Services

  • 6AE TELESERVICES
  • 6AC INTELLIGENT EMERGENCY CALLING

With the F56 MINI will be introducing TeleServices which utilize wireless communication between your MINI and your MINI Service Centre. This guarantees a personalized and thus more beneficial service as well as a quick reaction in the event of a problem.

When a service is due, MINI TeleServices will automatically sends all relevant data from the Condition Based Service system (CBS) to your Service Centre. They will then call you to arrange a service and discuss any extra work that may be required.

MINI TeleServices lets you to get in touch with the BMW Breakdown Service when a problem arises. Thanks to the data transfer our specialists can make a remote diagnosis and are often able to solve the problem from afar.

MINI Connected & Software

  • 6NM MINICONNECTED
  • 6NT MINI CONNECTED XL
  • 4VA MINI DRIVING EXPERIENCE PACK
  • 4V9 MINI EXCITEMENT PAKAGE

We’re not entirely sure what the XL refers to but we can certainly take a guess. There will be at least two different screens used in the new MINI. We suspect that 6NT simply refers to the version of MINI Connected compatible with the larger screen.

The MINI Excitement and Driving Experience package are a bit of a mystery to us, but we do know that MINI is planning on offering more dedicated software as options. We suspect these both offer extended functionality of some kind for that gorgeous new screen.

Performance

  • 223 ELECTRONIC DAMPER CONTROL (EDC)

For years performance cars have enjoyed the benefits of electronic damper control. EDC will allow a driver to manually adjust the MINIs’ dampening to suit the driving conditions — meaning you enjoy outstanding comfort along with terrific cornering and on-road safety. EDC reduces variations in wheel load, ensures tyres have excellent traction and counteracts bodyshell movement regardless of the weight the MINI may be carrying or the state of the road’s surface.

Sensors constantly monitor all factors influencing the vehicle’s behavior in order to precisely adjust the damper control. In a fraction of a second, the signals are analysed by the EDC microprocessor and orders are sent to the actuators on the shock absorbers, which, with the help of magnetic valves, are variably adjusted to provide optimal suspension. Thanks to Electronic Damper Control, the tendency for the nose to dip when braking is practically eliminated. The influence of potholes and unevenness on the road surface is reduced to minimum.

In addition to increased driving comfort and improved roll characteristics on the tyres, EDC also contributes to vehicle stability and safety. By reducing the nose’s tendency to dip when braking and improving the tyre traction, EDC shortens the braking distance when braking heavily. The damper adjustment means that even when braking with ABS, the vehicle chassis remains upright on the road and all four wheels have the largest possible contact with the road surface.

The Driving Experience Control switch lets the driver choose between various programs (like ECO PRO, COMFORT, NORMAL, SPORT or SPORT+) and adjust the suspension to suit their individual needs.

F56 Release Schedule

The F56 hatch will debut this fall at the Frankfurt Motor Show in late September. However it’s internet debut right here on MF will take place in late summer with early press drives happening not long after. Final production should start in September with the first cars hitting EU and UK dealerships this November and December. The US will see an official market launch in March 2014.