Frequently Asked Questions & Answers on the 2014 F56 MINI

Welcome to the F56 FAQ. We’ve taken your questions from recent posts and given them answers to the best of our ability hopefully to make the next generation MINI a little less of a mystery. As we know more we’ll be updating this post with better answers. Likewise as you ask more questions we’ll continue to answer them.

One note most of these questions have already been answered in previous MotoriingFile articles. For further information please check out the F56 section.

Q: Is the Cooper S and JCW going to be 2 litre L4 or the same as the one/cooper 3 cylinders 1.5 litres but more HP obviously ?

A: We’ve confirmed that the US will see a 1.5 three cylinder and the Cooper S will have a 2.0L four cylinder. Eventually the next generation JCW power plant will be based on the 2.0L four.

Q: Have been driving a jcw coupe for a while and have gotten used to the steering and feel of the R56 family of cars. Got some time behind a R50 again and the outstanding question I have would be is MINI going to reverse the trend for the steering feel in the F series. The difference in feel is night and day, still feel that I can place the R50-53 on the edge of a dime. However the R56 generation cars are numb in comparison.

A: I’d argue it’s not quite night and day but clearly there is a difference. We won’t know until we drive the car but MINI is aware that visceral qualities are important that the MINI brand. Make that what you will.

Q: Is there going to be a base price increase?

A: Yes. No telling what that will be but take a look at the historical data for good clues.

Q: How much of the car is brand new vs how much is carried over (if anything) from the R56?

A: Everything is brand new. Nothing is being carried over.

Spy shot of F56 switches

Q: The new dash layout is quite a bit disturbing. The design seems a forced bunch of differing technologies. Any hope this will change before production?

A: The new dash has been signed off on as of earlier this spring. The only thing that could potentially change is likely trim.

Q: What will be the engine (and so the power) of the Cooper SD?

A: A new 2.0 diesel. Launch time is still unknown. The 1.5L diesel should be available at launch in diesel friendly markets.

Q: Can we really hope a controlled suspension (electronic damper control)?

A: Yes we’ve confirmed previously that MINI will offer electronic damper control (option 223) on the F56.

Q: Will the 8-speed automatic version be available from the start on the Cooper S and will it include flappy paddles?

A: Yes as an option. And they should be pull/pull rather than the awkward push/pull current set-up.

Q: Is there a timeline for JCW, and Will it still have prince?

A: Look for the new generation JCW to launch around 18 months after the F56 this fall. That means Spring of 2015. It will have an entirely new and more powerful engine.


Q: Will there be any other grill options (JCW) that mask the giant gulping fish mouth?

A. There will be a JCW Aero-kit available likely in the spring. It’s unclear how it will change the look of the car.

Q: AWD??

A: For the first time it’s possible. If and when has yet to be decided.

Q: Will there be trim blackout options?

A: Unclear but we hope.

Q: Any ideas on the 4 different interior trim levels? Why does the spyshots show two different spoilers on the MCS? Are 18″ alloys confirmed as factory fit?

A: No. Likely due to different trim levels. Not yet but we’re working on it.

Q: Are there going to be different “lines” – think BMW’s lines (M Sport, Luxury, etc) for the specific models?

A: We believe so.

Q: With the F56 to replace the R56 late this fall in Europe & early next year in the US, will any of the other current models (ie: R57-61) be tied to any of the changes offered in the F56??

A: No.

Q: All the talk so far has been about the 1.5L 3 cyl. Is that just for the base non turbo, or to include the S?

A: That’s on the Cooper and below. The MCS and eventually the new JCW will get a 2.0 four cylinder.

Q: Since 2007 the same 1.6L has been used across all models with 3 main power configurations. That’s 7 years with minimal power improvements & fuel economy using the same engine. ? A: Ok that’s not a question but we just had to throw this statement in to emphasize the issue at hand and why MINI is moving to the 2.0L for higher output applications.

Q: Backup cameras as an option beyond the current backup detection system?

A: Yes it’ll be option 3AG.

Q: Will the F56 really be as ugly as the spy photos revealed?

A: It looks better and much less flat in the front.

Q: is there going to be any “blind spot” option ? (oh please say yes)

A: We believe so.

Q: Will the taillights have a simliar look to the Paceman.

A: No but they will be larger version of what the R56 has.

Q: Is the F56 going to be the third MINI to have its name blasted over the rear hatch?

A: No because it would just say MINI. MINI believes the hatch should be iconic enough to be recognizable.

Q:How long after the F56 release will we see the revised Clubman? That is the car that is next in line for release, yes?

A: No. The next car scheduled for release is the F55 five door MINI. That should happen late next year with the Convertible following in the spring of 2015. Then we should see the Clubman shortly afterwards.

Q: Love the roadster; want the F56 goodies. Please tell me the coupe and roadster won’t end with the R56 platform.

A: It will continue production for a few more years. Exact timing seems to be shifting a bit but BMW typically has seven year product cycles.

  • andrew725

    “The next car scheduled for release is the F55 five door MINI…Then we should see the Clubman shortly afterwards.”

    Would you please clarify? I thought the F55 five door was replacing the Clubman (R55) in the lineup.

    • BimmerFile_Michael

      The clubman will become more of a “shooting brake” with the 5 door as a true hatch like the current hardtop with more room and extra doors.

    • We’ve reported on it several times over the past 18 months. Check out the F55 section for full details.

      But to clarify they are two separate cars.

      • bootska

        Error 404 for the F55 section.

  • jimmyk

    No JCW until Spring of 2015. Any chance it may be available sooner? I really didn’t want to have to wait that long…

    • It’ll still be available on the R55, 57, 58 and 59.

      • brian

        irrelevent.. No one gets an entirely different model of a car for a certain spec.. 😛

  • Mysticeti

    “Blind Spot” option? Who’d want that? “Blind spot detection” option, sure… 😛

    • tobi


  • Nick Dawson

    The F55 five door MINI is essentially a stretched F56. According to sources it will have a longer and more upright rear overhang to increase rear leg and headroom. Clubman 2, due in summer 2015, according to the above same source, will ditch the asymmetric doors and replace them with four conventional doors, but retain the rear barn doors. Clubman 2 will still look similar to today’s Clubman but will be six inches longer. It will not, however, be the shooting brake style as previously stated. The shooting brake version, the Sportvan due in spring 2016 and codenamed F58, will have a low roof and longer wheelbase and will be a premium car that can be a four-seat lounge-chair cruiser or a three-seat beach express. A larger seven-seat version will follow later. Sadly, today’s Roadster and Coupe are not meeting BMW’s sales expectations, and according to the same source are unlikely to be replaced.

    • memphismini

      No shooting brake Clubman? Crap. Not sure I could have waited until 2015 anyway.

    • scamper

      I hope to Coupé continues. I’m waiting for the next gen version. I want my 2-seater!

    • BimmerFile_Michael

      You’re differing from what I have heard re: the clubman 2, I doubt the board will green light a higher priced MINI like the Sportvan and it that would be too close to the BMW set to debut and they will never directly compete in the same market space. The idea is to spread the wealth of the platform and not to just badge engineer.

      That’s a long way out so we shall see. The other factor is if the BMW flops they may have an engineered MINI backup so they can save face a bit and still sell units 🙂

  • lawrothegreat

    Many thanks for this article. It’s great to have the information, but until MINI decide to launch photos and full specifications, there will continue to be unanswered questions. I’m really pleased that the Cooper S is going to be a 2.0 litre 4 cylinder, it suggests that it will have more power and torque than the current generation (which it needs just to stay with the competition) – I liked the idea of the 1.5, but from what I’ve read I’m assuming that around 200 hp and 200 lb ft from around 1,500rpm (which is where a stock MCS needs to be) may be beyond the 1.5 currently (the i8’s 220 hp is boosted by it’s electric motor at low revs).

    The recent undisguised spy shots are misleading – looking at camouflaged photos at more normal angles reveals that the car could look quite pretty with more resolved lines than realised.

    I’m also becoming more comfortable with the interior. Whilst the design may not change, the shots that we’ve seen are in rougher plastic, probably with larger panel gaps. Through in the larger screen, a higher spec interior, an aluminium effect or similar, and everything lit up, and the results are likely to be far more pleasing.

    I’m just waiting for build slots to begin…… which will be a few months yet!

    • lawrothegreat

      Meant to say throw in, not through in….

    • benzz

      As of February, MF was reporting an output of 187 hp for the B48 Cooper S engine…anybody know if that’s changed? Seems awful low for a 2.0T.

      • It’ll be around that. Yes it’s low but the idea is that this engine will be as light as the 1.6L but with greater performance and efficiency. Also the size allows for much greater power potential down the road in the LCI and JCW upgrades.

        • lawrothegreat

          Thanks. I hope that JCW ecu remaps are made available soon after launch – clearly the 2.0 can deliver more, and I suspect the new FWD platform has been engineered to handle more power through the front wheels too. I appreciate that the third generation is also lighter but it would be disappointing if its 0-62mph is not less than 7.0s. I’ve been a big fan of the R56 MCS and I also really liked the way the JCW drove, but I’ve never liked the JCW aero kit. So the option of more power for a stock MCS down the BMW warranty approved route would be preferred.

  • fishbert

    Intent of the last question: Will the coupe and/or roadster be refreshed with the F56 goodies at some point, or are they dead-ends due to slow sales and being something of a niche product? … not “will they stop selling them when the F56 first comes out?”

    • Same answer. They will continue production for a few more years. Exact timing seems to be shifting a bit but BMW typically has seven year product cycles. They will not be updated with F56 tech just like any other R56 derivative.

      • fishbert

        That last sentence could be read a couple different ways, so, for clarity…

        Presumably there will be Clubman and Convertible updates coming with F56 tech… but not so for the Roadster or Coupe. Is that right?

      • scamper

        I’ll try asking it this way: will the Coupé and the Roadster see a second iteration of any kind? Definitely hope so.

        • Yes. This is what we reported last year:

          The next Roadster and Coupe will launch with a sportier look completely separate from the standard MINI. MINI design language will remain but the bodywork will no longer be based on the hardtop hatch.

          Expect this in the latter half of the decade.

        • AMS

          Or not at all, depending on who you talk to.

        • Nick Dawson

          Gabe – The automotive world has moved on since your last report on the proposed next generation Coupe and Roadster. As you know, an all-new MINI Coupe/Roadster with unique body styling was always going to be wholly dependent on there being an all new BMW Z2. A senior BMW insider, however, has recently revealed that it is proving difficult to convince the Board that there is a sound business case for a Z2. One of the reasons behind this is the hugely disappointing sales performance of the MINI Coupe and Roadster. Even the proposed replacement for the Z4 is looking shaky.

          You will be aware that in 2011, BMW and Toyota agreed a joint venture to co-develop next generation lithium ion batteries, and since then the co-development of fuel-cell vehicles, and lightweight technology. The mainstay of the joint venture, however, is an all new sports car platform, set to underpin the replacements for the Z4, 6-series and GT-86. Both parties want a lightweight, rear-drive platform, incorporating carbon fibre composite technology. Unsurprisingly, politics is causing friction behind the scenes at BMW. There is fear amongst the old guard that an unwelcome Japanese connection might put off traditional BMW customers.

          Bearing in mind that the eco-brand Project i has already swallowed up the equivalent of US$3.4 billion, much to the angst of the old guard, it is little wonder that tensions are running high after BMW’s Chairman, Norbert Reithofer, put the on/off M8 supercar back on ice in favour of the i8 supercar. Only a reckless man would bet on there being a Z2, let alone a new MINI Coupe/Roadster.

        • We’ve held off reporting this due to a lack of specifics but I’ve heard several variations of the above. One is the two cars merging into one. The other is an outright cancelation.

        • BimmerFile_Michael

          Norbert Reithofer has one thing going for him- he has made the company more profitable than ever and at the same time has future proofed it even if BMWi fails.

          The Toyota shared sports car may never occur as a BMW but will be chassis developed to be scalable “just in case” the board approves it at some point. But it is highly doubtful as that segment is declining rapidly and there is no profit to be made and others are pulling out as well. The only one really is Porsche that makes money.

          MINI must be more profitable and is on course to do so but the roadster/coupe are dead in the water if you ask me. MINI has some hard decisions to make and going the route of the smaller sportier models is not one that will be successful- the profit lies in more than two doors ( part of the reason the Paceman has 4). BMWi will be the BEV option and is why it is somewhere in the middle of BMW/MINI in terms of style and optioning. MINI is somewhat stuck…

        • That’s the big concern I have. Not the Coupe or Roadster but whether BMW is going to allow MINI to offer electric and hybrid offerings. More specifically when will some of the BMWi tech filter into the MINI product range. If it does how will it be different than BMWi? Can BMW afford to even do it let alone make it anything other than badge engineering.

        • scamper

          I’m slowly learning that all the things I really want — a 2-seater electric MINI — are out of line with the rest of the population. Maybe I can lease an electric Fiat for 3 years (yes, California), then come back here to see if anyone has come to their senses. ;P


    Will the larger S Paceman (and S Countryman) retain the current 1.6L for some time…even as the smaller lighter F56 S has the new stronger 2.0L available?…ie: an engine upgrade lag of 1-2+ years? Since the F56 S will have the 8 speed automatic/paddle shifter as an option, would other S models also have that option on the same timetable (like the Paceman & Countryman)?

    • It’s a great question. I could see either but if the need for efficiency at a corporate level outweighs the cost of engineering it will happen. I’d getit will for the LCI (aka refresh).

  • JR

    Q: Will there be trim blackout options? A: Unclear but we hope.

    MA here, in charge of ordering for our dealership…blackout trim has actually already begun showing up in the ordering system.

  • asfds

    so basically mini is taking cues from vw with the mk6

  • Head Honcho

    The 2 liter S will be non-turbo? Hard to keep the power under 200hp isn’t it with turbo?

  • AMS

    Hey, I have another question: will the 8-speed Automatic in the F-56 have a dual clutch or traditional fluid torque converter?