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.


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.


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



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.



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


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


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.



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


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.



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.

  • R53 Owner

    LET’S MOTOR is replaced with LET’S MONITOR as your MINI parks itself, automatically applies brakes, and sends updates via Twitter, all as you watch it unfold on the giant center display screen. Can I say “no thanks” BMW?

    • glangford

      I’m with you on that. The only thing I see above that I’d like to have would be the EDC, maybe active cruise, but I doubt I’d use it that much. It also sounds like the base 20k mini will be a thing of the past…

      • Given that basically all of these systems are hand-me-downs from BMW, and that this car is sharing a platform with the FWD BMW cars, both that inheritance and economies of scale should keep the pricing under control. It might actually be more expensive for BMW/MINI to leave some of these systems out than to include them. Also keep in mind that most of this stuff will still be optional. Will the base price be less than $20k? I guess we’ll find out in September.

    • You’ll still be able to dodge most of this if you want a bare-bones MINI.

    • mike

      I agree, its a bit much. But then again, thats why they’re called “Options”.

  • GP0256

    I am excited to see this new version of the MINI. There are so many new options which really take the MINI to the next level of luxury while still keeping the car very fun over all.

  • Amber Back

    I sure hope you can opt out of your car telling the dealership you’re due for maintenence. We don’t all take our cars there for service…

    • ulrichd

      Most independent shops have the tool can can reset your service indicator light.

  • Gary

    Does this mean that Xenons (vice halogens) will be standard equipment — as they should have been all along?

    • No but they’ll likely be cheaper.

    • No but they’ll likely be cheaper.

      • mike

        Does it really make sense to manufacture 3 sets of headlights for one platform? Wouldn’t it overall be cheaper to just offer xenons as standard and LED as an option?

  • eEighty8

    You old farts need to quit whining about the advancement of technology in these cars. I hate to break it to you, put people want colored screens, backup cams, and smartphone integration these days. And I’m sure BMW is really upset you will now choose to drive your 2003 R53 into the ground.

    • AMS

      Adaptive cruise is great on the highway, where you’re not doing much that resembles active driving anyway. People who don’t want it are welcome to not order it or, if it’s standard, not use it.

      And even in a car as small as the MINI, a backup camera would be a welcome addition to the models with poor rearward visibility, like the Convertible, Coupe and Roadster.

    • R53 Owner

      I welcome this technology in my family car. Just prefer the MINI hardtop to be more focused on being an honest performance car.

    • ulrichd

      As long as they keep most of that stuff optional, fine. But I think of my Mini as a drivers’ car, not a rolling living room. Options add cost and weight and I’ll be just fine with a manual and the sport package. Backup cams in a Mini? No thanks, my neck still works.

      • Kurtster

        Get used to it. this stuff will all be standard on all cars before long so if it doesn’t suit you either rip it out yourself or invest heavily in keeping your old car running.

      • GoRixter

        Backup cam useful for people who want to drive their 4×4 SUV or 37-passenger family-van to the mall so that they can see when they’re about to crash into a shopping cart or a MINI. For a car the size of a MINI, the cam is redonkulous!

        • oldsbear

          It’s not redonkulous if my 2-year-old granddaughter happens to be immediately behind the hatch.

        • asdf

          maybe you should put the pipe down before going out for coffee, then you’d remember to load your 2 year old child in your car instead of letting them roam the driveway. weirdo.

        • I’ll tolerate no more name calling. This is your only warning.

        • Kev50027

          “weirdo” is name calling? Relax, they’re having a healthy debate about whether they’re capable of reversing a car without hitting things.

        • takeachillpill

          hahah you’re a softy, dude. 😉

        • oldsbear

          Judgmental much? I hope you never learn the hard way that you do not have super-powers.

  • heli_guy

    Those are some great advancements. I really like the active cruise one, and wish that was available now. This really makes me want to wait to buy my next MINI. Volcanic orange sounds interesting. When is the next convertible due?

    I wonder when this enhancements are going to hit the countryman? I agree the park assist isn’t necessary though…

    • Perhaps at the mid-cycle refresh. Otherwise it’ll have to wait until the F60 in 2018.

    • Gary

      I’d buy now and wait until at least model year #2 of the new F-series. History has demonstrated that the initial rollout will almost assuredly have design bugs that escaped testing and need resolution. To wit: the 2002 R50. The 2007 R56. The 2012 B-787 Dreamliner.

      • heli_guy

        Very true, I likely wouldn’t want a first year car either. I really like my cabrio, and if they make a new one, it likely won’t come out for a couple of years after the hatch. So that puts me at 3 – 4 years away… Darn.

        We are also looking at a Countryman as a family vehicle, so if they rolled some of that into a mid cycle refresh, then it would be something more enticing. That’s the problem with all the ‘previewing’ motoring file is doing. Makes me want to wait! Thankfully, I’m enjoying the two MINIs we already have 🙂 .

  • Herr26

    Volcanic orange is more enhanced than Spice Orange which can look very dull in certain light. One example would be BMWs Sedona Red introduced on the 135i Coupe especially when the light hit at the right time it would glow a magma red-orange. That is the effect that Volcanic orange gives off.

    A shame Sedona was cancelled. Despite being the launch colour , it was not a popular choice for the Coupe and Cabrio.

    • I’m sure Volcanic Orange will be fantastic if its anything like BMW’s Sakir Orange. However I have to disagree on Sedona 🙂

      • AMS

        I just hope it’s actually orange, and doesn’t look like a slightly faded tomato red.

      • AMS

        Ugh. An image search for Sakir Orange doesn’t look promising. That’s barely an orange. Guess I need to get my order in for a ’13, before Spice goes away.

    • I’m sure Volcanic Orange will be fantastic if its anything like BMW’s Sakir Orange. However I have to disagree on Sedona 🙂

  • Herr26

    During the economic crisis we witnessed a trend called downsizing meaning that customers would downsize from larger luxury cars to smaller ones just as long as they featured the same features and creature comforts . MINI is a prime example of being in the right place at the wrong time. MINI customers specify large car options in the current cars. What we are seeing coming to the market now is cars that were developed in that period , now focusing on compact but no less premium and luxurious as another model from the BMW portfolio.

    A good example is the BMW 3er Luxury line. It’s leather and materials are from the 7er to direct that ambience and feel within a downsized product. The 5er will also receive similar lines.

  • Jay

    Pretty awesome. My worry is, what is going to happen to the price when you deck it out? Will we have $40-$50k MINIs?

    • AMS

      We already have $40-$50K MINIs. The Motoringfile JCW Roadster was, what, $47K?

      • Jay

        Well those are sort of “fringe” MINIs. Seems like if you option-out a regular MCS with these new things, it will get pretty expensive. If they could keep the cost down around where it’s at now while adding all those goodies, I’d be surprised.

        • ulrichd

          If I buy an F56 it will likely be speced out the same as my previous two: Manual shifter, sport package, auto climate. Done.

          If I had $40-50K to spend on a car I would be looking at used Caymans.

        • Kurtster

          And you would have a used car with higher maintenance costs, that is challenging to drive in places where it snows a lot, gets 19 City/27 Hwy MPG (10 MPG less than the Hwy. rating of a JCW), and is nearly 30″ longer than an MCS Hardtop, thus making it harder to park in crowded cities. That’s okay. We all have different priorities. (I think I left out higher insurance costs)

        • Actually, quite a lot of MINIs go out the door with big price tags. While MINI is very cost conscious for people buying at the lower end of the price spectrum, they sell a LOT of fully optioned out, expensive cars as well.

        • Kev50027

          I haven’t seen any highly optioned cars in showrooms.

        • DKnight

          We have at least 10 MINI “S” over $35,000 at our dealer and at least 4 over $40,000. Two being at $42,000 and $46,000.

        • Kurtster

          That’s because dealers aren’t willing to invest that much on what amounts to a much harder sell to someone walking in off the street who is a non-enthusiast. I’d bet most $40k+ MINIs are pre-ordered by enthusiasts and seldom spend a day on the showroom floor before the owner picks them up so you’ll seldom see one.

        • Of course you are right, but Nathaniel’s comment is just curious to me since almost every MINI I’ve seen has been optioned fairly lightly. I had to custom order mine just to get the upgraded stereo, auto climate control, turning headlights, and heated seats. I always figured not too many people ordered loaded MINIs because the options are way overpriced. To pay 50,000 for a MINI is stupid, plain and simple. Many of those options come standard on a BMW that costs less.

        • Our man Todd, who is on site at his local dealership basically daily, sees nearly every car to go out the door. He can testify more precisely than I can, but he’s often commented on the frequent number of high dollar MINIs that roll out the door.

        • Kurtster

          You calling me stupid? There are very few Coupes like mine because I paid for the exclusivity. If I’d wanted to drive a sedan like everyone else I would have bought a BMW. Apples and oranges to me. Some people spend $50k on an RV. Some people spend $50k on a tractor or a truck. That’s useless to me. Spending $50k on a luxury sport sedan is equally useless to me. I have no dogs, no kids and no friends or family without cars and nothing to haul except my puny ass to and from work. If I have the income to support my ability to buy a luxury sedan, who says I need to spend it all on one of those of what I like? I didn’t pay $50k but I came close enough. I’m very happy with the purchase. I like the styling and the rarity much more than the Audi TT or any BMW sedan with the exception of a 1-Series M, which was not even close to my price range and is RWD only.

          What I’m saying is, don’t judge people who have the money to spend on a loaded MINI. There are reasons to want this car that extend far beyond horsepower and what Car & Driver says you should be driving.

        • Hemisedan

          I follow you completely. My dealer here where I live has many over $35k and I counted five over $40K, and that here is fly over land. My order for my next Rxx came in at over $35K and doesn’t have leather, but it has what I want. I have to agree though, that most Mini’s over $40K are ordered cars, but so what, that is our choice. Isn’t it good that we have a car company that encourages choice, that we can order a car and be driving it in about two months? Instead of buying a Government Motors car that the dealer has over 1000 units on the lot, with just about all having the same options? I like my mini’s.

      • Don Hopings

        I would think that if you take the M/F JCW Roadster and add some of the things above (parking assist, HUD, Active Cruise, EDC), you will be clearly OVER $50,000. As long as the current trim level and pricing structure isn’t disturbed, I guess it’s OK…

  • Salpjs

    Any idea if any of these options will be available for 2014, Clubman, Countryman, Paceman, coupe and roadster. My Clubman S lease is up in January and the next F56 iteration won’t be out until almost 2015. Will the new interior changes like window switches and dash redesign or any of these options come over earlier?

    • These options are predominantly tied to the new UKL chassis the next generation MINI uses. All MINIs will eventually be based on it and this will eventually have all of this technology. However since MINI uses a seven year product cycle it’ll take awhile for all of this to filter into the range. Roughly add seven years to the starting of sales for a particular model and that will tell when you to expect the design and this these kind of options.

      • AMS

        So, for the next 5-7 years, the Countryman, Coupe, Roadster and Paceman are going to continue with exactly the same tech and options they have now? I get that they’ll still be based on the old platform, but it just seems weird that MINI wouldn’t attempt to unify the line’s options list as quickly as possible. When the R56 came out, did the Convertible limp along with only the options of that had been available to the R53 for an extended period?

        Also, will Volcanic Orange be replacing Spice Orange across the line, or only for the new Hardtop? Any pictures of the new orange yet?

        • To answer your question about the r54 convertible – yes it did. MINI may update the R60/R61 but I doubt it’ll be dramatic if anything.

          Regarding the Orange – even prototype photos will be scarce for another six months.

    • Kev50027

      I doubt it. They tend to update the whole car at once with an update this big.

  • CV

    While this is obviously not limited to MINIs, I wonder what effect the active cruise controls will have on radar detectors.

    • AMS

      It can mess with them. No question.

    • Gary

      Most of the new FMCW adaptive cruise control systems operate in the 76-77 GHz frequency range (E-Band) which is not used by police radars. 24 GHz is authorized for front-end collision avoidance and back-up obstacle avoidance radars (K-Band); you’ll certainly detect these but Ka-Band seems to be the primary band used for speed enforcement these days. I suppose EMI from “dirty” transmitters could cause some problems.

    • It’s tech that’s been on the road for a while now. Likely a different frequency range, although I would pay extra for a version that was also an integrated jammer 😉

  • Stewart

    I think the car will have more standard options than the past with this new model sharing so much with the one series hence saving on development and building costs. Surly the money saved should make sure the build quality is better as well. Will this new Petrol engine not be out in the new one series early this year???

  • Stewart

    I think the car will have more standard options than the past with this new model sharing so much with the one series hence saving on development and building costs. Surly the money saved should make sure the build quality is better as well.

  • Evan

    Everything is expected spare the LED headlights. I wasn’t even thinking that’d be an option. They must be coming to the 3er LCI then too.

    I personally am not a fan of driving aids (cameras, PDC, parking assist, etc.) and will be happy to not have them on my next MINI. The EDC is interesting since a MINI with a short wheelbase may really benefit from a comfort mode for the highway and a sport mode for around town. Especially with run flats. The drive will be what ultimately determines it of course.

    With news of the base Cooper having 137hp and being lighter it’ll be hard to not go for it. The extra fuel economy and minimal loss of get-up and go compared to the S will allow a few more fun options… Both the base and S will have new engines it appears, so nothing will be gained by waiting for the teething troubles of the 3 cylinder to be sorted.

    I’m really interested in the F55 five-door. Which means an on-sale anywhere from 9/2014 to 3/2015… That may turn out to be too long for me to wait though depending upon commuting needs. Maybe it’ll have to be a diesel 3er for a couple years…

    I’m ready for the Geneva concept and the summer on-line debut…..

  • Jason Parry

    I like the new option for Possessive Xenon’s. Can I just get plain Xenons instead?

    • Mysticeti

      Ugh. I do this all the time. I think I may have spurious apostrophe syndrome. 😉

  • ulrichd

    Looks like EDC is not compatible with any sort of owner suspension modifications, since the actuators are in or on the shocks.

    • Stewart

      I’m sure there will be a disable option as so many lower their Mini’s.

      • It reads like it’s in the valving for the dampeners, which is internal to the shocks themselves. So conceivably, you should still be able to change out springs and have some basic customizability. You could also swap the struts out entirely and simply not benefit from the system. I’d also be curious to know just what percentage of MINI buyers overall (as opposed to percentage of MF readers) modify their suspensions.

        • ulrichd

          If you hang out on NAM it seems like half of all owners do 🙂

        • Yeah, self-selected sample size there 😉

  • b-

    As a HUGE fan of Hot Orange I can’t wait to see Volcanic Orange, hope it is more orange than copper as Spice Orange is.

    Gabe, will the Coupe and Roadster get this color or just the F56 cars? I would LOVE a Coupe in Orange with a white roof, even if I must paint the roof white myself.

  • mkortering

    LEDs + best Connected = my car. I just hope they keep White Silver.

  • jason

    Is there a rattle free option? Or, at least, a consolidate your rattles option? My R53 had them in the roof, dash, and both doors. Maybe they could talk to Bose about noise-canceling technology.

    • Kurtster

      I know a lot of people in the automotive division at Bose, and as a two-MINI owner, I gotta say, THAT’s funny! Rattle compensation.

  • the dumbing down of the masses continues. this caters to the “driver” that is texting, reading emails, primping and eating. bmw the ultimate DRIVING machine. they better have a stripped down “club sport” edition for real mini drivers.

    • Nearly everything in this list is an option — particularly the more elaborate gadgetry. If you don’t want it on your F56, you won’t have to include it. Order your car from the factory rather than buying it on the lot and it can be as simple as you like.

  • Niall

    My R53 is falling apart as is my sisters R56. Rattles have always been a problem with the Mini. Thats were the technology needs to advance.

    • oldsbear

      My 2011 MCSm is, and always has been, rattle-free.

      • Kev50027

        My 2011 MCS has rattles. They’re only noticeable in the cold, but I agree that build quality could improve dramatically. Even my 00′ Z3 didn’t have rattles, and it was 7 years old when I sold it. A MINI doesn’t seem very premium next to some of its competitors anymore, but it costs more.

    • Matthew

      Sadly, my 2003 Cooper (R50?) rattles like a bean in a tin can. The doors, sunroof and dash. 🙁

  • Nicko

    MINI need to introduce another solid yellow, something similar to the popular liquid yellow of the first generation, and some nice bright blues, solid and metallic. I agree that they need to spend some time on getting the build quality right before concentrating too much on tech. I’m amazed that anyone would need help to parallel park a car the size of the MINI, and I’m sure the head up display will be a waste of time as everyone (except me) concentrates on what’s going on on that “gorgeous new screen” There’s only really the EDC that interests me here.

  • coel

    So there was a news this morning that Chevrolet will be adding “Siri Eyes Free” to their cars. Basically heavily voice oriented Siri, like Ford Sync. I wonder if the F56 MINI will get this too as MINI and Apple had good relationship in the past.

    • BimmerFile_Michael

      That has been announced but without a time frame.

  • Hemisedan

    For the last four years that I’ve been around Mini Forums, I hear about all the rattles these cars, and the first generation guys mostly, how the R56 has so many rattles. Well I can’t say much about other R56 cars, buy my JCW has been rattle free from the beginning. Oh, I had a thump thump rattle in December, but it was a hatch latch that was causing the problem. Fixed on warranty. Now, just as solid as it was 23,780 miles ago when I picked it up from the dealer.

  • Do we know whether the Park Assistant is fully automated/”hands off” or if it just provides guidance?

    • We believe the former.

      • That’s be really nice. I have a lazy eye and zero depth perception; it doesn’t affect my ability to drive, but it makes judging the distances for parallel parking really difficult.

  • AMS

    Will Spice Orange be going away when the rest of the models change over model years from ’13 to ’14 (I would assume in late Summer 2013) or not until the F56 actually comes to the US in early 2014?

    I ask because I’m planning to buy an R59 this year, and was going to wait and order one of the first ’14 models. in Spice Orange.

    • Yes.

      • AMS

        Yes to which option?

        • SO will be going away. Volcanic Orange will be more orange and less copper.

        • AMS

          That…wasn’t really what I asked.

          So, let me rephrase the question, in as simple a way as I can: When will Spice Orange be going away?

  • Looking forward to it. My wife has decided (for now) to not go with the Paceman this year, and keep driving her 2004 MC. Low mileage. Me, on the other hand, my 2007 MCS will cross 100K this August if my projections are right, so one of us at least, if not two will be looking for a new one in 2014.