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World Debut: The MINI Hardtop Five Door (with Gallery)

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Ladies and gentlemen, meet the first ever proper five door MINI. Yes there’s the Countryman. But in many ways that diverged from some of the classic MINI principles that has made the car so attractive over the years to city dwellers and enthusiasts. With this new four door MINI we have a car that combines space with small. And in doing so creates a new version of that magic formula that has served MINI so well.

In many ways this is the true successor to the current MINI Clubman. With similar legroom and similar size, the five door is MINI’s attempt to go head to head with cars such as the five door Ford Fiesta and VW Polo. The larger six door Clubman (which will go into production in June of 2015) will take this formula up a segment competing directly with the four door VW Golf and Ford Focus.

Look for the F55 to hit showrooms this fall with US pricing being announced soon. We’ll have much much more on the new F55, but until then read on for the full release and massive photo gallery.

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MINI USA Press Release

Just a few months after the market launch of the new MINI Hardtop 2 door, the British premium brand expands its model range with the addition of an entirely new body variant. The MINI Hardtop 4 door combines the legendary go-kart handling that MINI customers love with newly added utilityin the form of two new added doors. The iconic exterior design of the original in the small car premium segment is authentically transferred to the specific proportions of the new 4 door body. With the wheelbase expanded by 2.9 inches and the body lengthened by 6.3 inches as compared to the new MINI Hardtop, the 4 door model provides greater freedom in terms of interior use. At the rear of the MINI Hardtop 4 door there are three seats, and passengers here benefit from the fact that headroom is increased by 0.6 inches as compared to the 2 door model, with headroom enlarged by 0.5 inches and interior width increased by 1.8 inches at shoulder height. What‘s more, the luggage compartment space is 0.5 cubic feet larger than in the new MINI Hardtop with a total of 9.2 cubic feet.

The British premium brand is now represented with a 4 door model in the small car segment for the first time in its history. The MINI Hardtop 4 door instantly sets new records within its competitive environment in terms of legroom, headroom and luggage compartment volume. The car’s high level of variability is also supported by the 60 : 40 folding split in the rear backrest.

At the market launch of the MINI Hardtop 4 door there are two engines with MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology to choose from. A 3-cylinder engine with a peak output of 134 bhp powers the MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 door. 189 bhp is the output of the 4- cylinder engine in the MINI Cooper S Hardtop 4 door. Once again in the MINI Hardtop 4 door, the latest generation of engines ensures an exceptionally favorable balance between driving fun and fuel consumption with the likewise newly developed 6- speed manual and 6-speed Steptronic transmissions as well as extensive MINIMALISM technology. Typical MINI go-kart feeling is guaranteed due to a model- specific version of the refined suspension technology. Dynamic Damper Control with adjustable dampers is optionally available for the MINI Hardtop 4 door. The MINI driving modes ensure made-to-measure sporty flair and comfort.

The MINI Hardtop 4 door also benefits from the high standards of the new model generation in terms of the quality of materials and workmanship, safety, acoustic and vibrational comfort as well as innovative equipment features. The new display and operating concept can be optionally supplemented with an on-board computer of up to 8.8 inches in size in the center instrument as well as the MINI Controller with touch-sensitive surface. A LED light ring for the center instrument provides feedback on driving condition as well as on numerous functions activated by the driver. Other equipment features available include the LED headlight, LED fog lamp, extended ambient lighting and Comfort Access. The range of optional driver assistance systems includes the Head-Up Display which extends above the steering column, the Driving Assistant system including camera-based active cruise control, collision and pedestrian warning with initial brake function, high beam assistant, road sign detection, Parking Assistant and rear view camera.

What‘s more, the diversity of the MINI Connected in-car infotainment program is unique within the competitive field with numerous additional functions which can be integrated in the vehicle via apps in the areas of social networks and infotainment are now available for both the Apple iPhone and for smartphones using the Android operating system.

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Exterior design: characteristic proportions, clear lines.

The new MINI Hardtop 4 door is the second body variant of the new MINI Hardtop. The functional qualities of the 4 door model are also reflected in the clarity of its lines. The unique roof line and the emphasis of the rear section draw attention to the extended length, while the increased overall height reflects the improvement in headroom. The design reflects the car’s historical roots as well as being an evolutionary refinement of the contemporary vehicle concept. Characteristic MINI proportions ensure a compact and powerful appearance which underscores the agility of the MINI Hardtop 4 door as well as its consistent orientation towards driving fun.

The body of the new MINI Hardtop 4 door is 157.4 inches long (MINI Cooper S Hardtop 4 door: 158 inches), 56.1 inches high and 68 inches wide. This makes the MINI Hardtop 4 door 6.3 inches longer and 0.4 inches higher than the 2 door version – the width remains the same. The wheelbase has been extended in the MINI Hardtop 4 door by 2.9 inches to 101.1 inches, while the track is identical to that of the 2 door model. Cornering agility is in no way inferior to that of the 2 door version. Interior comfort has been tangibly enhanced: due to the extended wheelbase, rear passengers now have an additional 1.5 inches legroom available to them, while the increased space also provides for a third seat in the back row as well as more comfortable access to the rear. The increased vehicle height can be felt in an additional 0.6 inches of headroom. Meanwhile the car’s interior width at the shoulder is now increased by 1.8 inches. The luggage compartment has a volume of 9.2 cubic feet – an increase of 0.5 cubic feet.

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Like all MINI models, the new MINI Hardtop 4 door also has an unmistakable appearance. This is due to the car’s proportions as well as the typical brand styling and characteristic three-way structure of its body. The corpus, greenhouse and roof on top are clearly separated from one another in visual terms. The window graphics taper off visually to the rear, contributing to a dynamic wedge shape from the side perspective and indicating the forward thrust of the MINI Hardtop 4 door even when stationary.

The wide track and short overhangs emphasise the striking expression of the vehicle’s corpus as it sits powerfully on top of the wheels. The athletic stature of the new MINI Hardtop 4 door is underscored by a striking sill line between the front and rear wheel arches. Meanwhile the character line below the side windows provides a dynamic downward thrust which directs attention to the large wheel apertures.

Traditional design features include the hexagonal contour of the radiator grill, the side indicator surrounds known as side scuttles, the circular headlights, the upright rear light clusters and the black periphery around the bottom edge of the body. The contours of the headlights, rear lights and wheel arches are emphasised by means of precise edging. The single-section, seamless chrome frame of the radiator grill brings out the hexagonal shape particularly clearly. The visual effect of the side scuttle elements and the additional headlights in the front apron is enhanced by means of striking lines on the adjacent surfaces in each case.

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In the MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 door model, the ribs of the radiator grill and the tailgate handle are finished in White Aluminum. The bumper trim, integrated in the radiator grill and also acting as a number plate carrier, is finished in high-gloss black, while the exhaust tailpipe has a chrome cover. The MINI Cooper S Hardtop 4 door model draws the distinctive and striking sporty flair from such features as a radiator grill with honeycomb pattern, a bumper trim in high-gloss black, an additional opening in the bonnet, brake air ducts integrated in the lower air inlets and a separate rear apron with exhaust tailpipes arranged at the center. This model variant also bears a red “S” logo with a chrome border, not only on the side scuttle elements but also on the chrome bar of the radiator grill.

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Unique within the competitive field: LED headlights, adaptive light distribution, LED turning light, LED fog lamp.

The circular headlights are bordered by a wide chrome ring and have clearly structured light sources, with the arched turn indicators arranged in the lower section. In the standard version, the daytime driving light and the side light are generated inside the additional headlights, while fog lights can also be included here as an optional extra.

The new MINI Hardtop 4 door is the first car in its competitive category to offer the option of LED headlights. The bright white LED units provide the light source for both low and high beam. They are also surrounded by an LED daylight driving ring, the lower section of which reaches down to the white turn indicators. Another option is that of LED headlamps with additional functions, ensuring optimum illumination of the road surface and roadside – depending on the situation and route profile – and also including an LED turning light. The optional fog laight (standard for Cooper S) are also available in halogen, or else in LED technology in conjunction with LED headlights. What is more, cars fitted with LED headlights also have LED units for the rear lights.

For the market launch, the range of exterior paint finishes for the new MINI Hardtop 4 door consists of three solid and nine metallic colors. In all models, the roof and exterior mirror caps can be finished in a contrasting color – white or black – as an option and at no extra cost. Roof rails for roof rack mounting are also available for the new MINI Hardtop 4 door. Individual accents include white or black bonnet stripes and Chrome Line for the exterior.

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Interior design in hallmark MINI style, innovative display and operating concept.

Precise lines, high-end color and material combinations and modern functionality highlight the orientation of the new MINI Hardtop 4 door towards driving fun and a premium interior ambience. The horizontal structure of the cockpit and the circular or elliptical contours of central features such as air vents, instruments and door trim are among the classic MINI design elements. The innovative display and operating concept is ideal for safe, intuitive and convenient handling of the various driver assistance systems, infotainment and comfort functions.

The instrument cluster on the steering column displays road speed, engine speed and fuel supply by means of superimposed circular instruments. The speedometer scale includes a color panel for Check Control messages, vehicle status displays and visual indicators relating to driver assistance systems currently activated.

As soon as the key is inside the car, the engine of the new MINI Hardtop 4 door can be started by pressing the toggle-type start/stop button located in the middle of the center console, which lights up red. Above the toggle switch there are three circular control switches for heating and air conditioning. The operating switches for the headlights and fog lights are located on the instrument cluster next to the steering wheel. The electrically controlled power window lifts are integrated in the door trim panels.

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Center instrument with a wide range of functions and exclusive lighting configuration.

With its indicator elements and extended functionality, the hallmark MINI center instrument significantly intensifies interaction between driver and car. Depending on the car’s fittings, the center of its interior surface serves as a 4-line TFT display or else a color screen up to 8.8 inches in size which shows operating feedback for vehicle functions, air conditioning, infotainment and communication, navigation maps and route directions as well as the special graphics for MINI Connected Services. The selection and control of these functions is facilitated by a Controller in the center console which comes in conjunction with the Radio MINI Visual Boost, the MINI navigation system and the Wired Package. Rotary, pressure and shift movements as well as one-touch and bookmark buttons allow for intuitive, safe and convenient operation based on the principles of the BMW iDrive system. The features included with the Wired Package include a Touch Controller whose touch-sensitive surface enables entry of characters.

The innovative display and operating concept is supported by a lighting design in the area of the center instrument which is unique to MINI. LED units around the outer edge of the circular instrument – available in six colors – can respond to the current situation on the road and to specific operating procedures according to driver preference. For example, the the road speed and engine speed dials displayed in the instrument cluster are underpinned by parallel light impulses at the edge of the center instrument. When Park Distance Control is activated, the remaining distance to obstacles is shown by means of a ring of light which is illuminated in green, yellow or red – supplementing the graphic display. A change in the desired interior temperature is confirmed by LED units which light up in blue or red. Route guidance information provided by the navigation system is also visually supported by the illuminated ring: the closer the car gets to the turn-off point, the smaller the lit-up area at the edge of the center instrument. Extended functionality and hallmark MINI diversity of colors and materials in the interior.

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The extended space along with numerous clever details makes the new MINI Hardtop 4 door extremely functional and practical. The rear backrest with a 60 : 40 split can not only be folded down but also angled more steeply so as to create more luggage space. The belt for the central back seat is integrated in the backrest. Numerous cupholders and storage facilities make it easy to take drinks and travel utensils along in the car, and there is an additional storage compartment behind the trim strip on the passenger side. A storage package is also optionally available that includes a double dual-section load compartment floor, additional lashing eyes and floor net for the luggage compartment, along with map pouches for the backrests of the front seats.

Seats in a cloth/leather combination or leather finish are offered as an alternative to the standard leatherette version. The MINI Cooper S Hardtop 4 door is fitted with sport seats as standard, which are also available as options in the Cooper model. The sport seats offer excellent lateral hold as well a as seat depth adjustment function. The optional leather lounge seats have a tube-like visual structure and offer top- quality upholstery for a high level of seating comfort. A wide range of possibilities for interior customization is offered by the model-specific selection of upholstery colors, interior surfaces, Color Lines and other design features – including Chrome Line for the interior and an anthracite headliner – as well as numerous new MINI Yours program features.

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Powerful engines with MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology.

At the launch of the MINI Hardtop 4 door, there are two engines of the latest engine generation to choose from with three and four cylinders respectively as well as MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology. In the power units of the MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 door and the MINI Cooper S Hardtop 4 door, turbocharging and direct fuel injection are combined with variable camshaft control on the intake and exhaust side (double VANOS) and variable valve control in the form of VALVETRONIC, as patented by the BMW Group. In combination with extensive MINIMALISM technology, the new engine technology in the MINI Hardtop 4 door also ensures a particularly favorable balance between driving fun and fuel consumption.

Spontaneous power delivery and high revving are also characteristic of the 1.5-liter 3-cylinder engine in the MINI Cooper Hardtop door. This mobilizes a peak output of 134 bhp and a maximum torque of 162 foot-pound (170 foot-pound with overboost) which goes on stream at 1,250 rpm. As a result, acceleration from zero to 60 mph the MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 door takes 7.6 seconds (automatic: 7.7 seconds), with a top speed of 129 mph in each case.

With a peak output of 189 bhp, the 2.0 liter 4-cylinder engine gives the MINI Cooper S Hardtop 4 door a real dash of sporty flair. The maximum torque of the engine is 207 foot-pound and goes on stream at 1,250 rpm. It can even be briefly increased to 221 foot-pound by means of an overboost function. This enables a sprint from standing to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds (automatic: 6.5 seconds). The top speed of the MINI Cooper S Hardtop 4 door is 145 mph (automatic: 144).

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Cutting-edge manual and automatic transmissions.

The new MINI Hardtop 4 door features state-of-the-art manual and automatic transmissions which exhibit a high level of efficiency. It is fitted as standard with a 6- speed manual transmission that is characterized by low weight and improved shift comfort deriving from the use of carbon friction linings for the synchronizer rings. A centrifugal pendulum in the dual-mass flywheel compensates for torsional vibrations, thereby enhancing the acoustic and vibrational properties of the drive system when travelling at low engine speeds for greater fuel efficiency. A gear sensor also enables active engine speed adaptation, or rev matching, for especially sporty shifting when accelerating and increased comfort when shifting down.

The 6-speed Steptronic transmission available for all variants of the new MINI Hardtop 4 door offers improved efficiency, enhanced shift comfort and increased shift dynamics. It offers both automatic and manual changes in drive position using the gear selector switch. The new MINI Hardtop 4 door also combines the 6-speed Steptronic transmission with the automatic engine start/stop function, preventing unnecessary fuel consumption caused by idling at junctions or in congested traffic. Another option for the new MINI Cooper S Hardtop 4 door is a 6-speed Steptronic sports transmission that offers even shorter shift times and comprises shift paddles on the steering wheel for use in manual mode.

In conjunction with the MINI navigation system, the 6-speed Steptronic transmission is also able to take account of the route profile in controlling gear shifts. Based on navigation data, the appropriate drive position is selected to match the imminent situation on the road ahead, e.g. directly prior to junctions or on corners. This prevents unnecessary upshifts between two bends in quick succession.

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The MINIMALISM technology which comes as standard includes not only the automatic engine start/stop function and extensive measures to optimize weight and aerodynamic drag in the new MINI Hardtop 4 door but also a shift point display function for vehicles with manual transmission, brake energy recuperation and needs-oriented control of the fuel pump, coolant pump and other ancillary units. The electromechanical power steering operates energy-efficiently, as do the map- controlled oil pumps in all engines.

Depending on the model variant, a significant optimization of aerodynamic properties is achieved by such measures such as extensive underbody trim and air ducting elements in the upper section of the C columns. With a drag coefficient (Cd value) of 0.30 (MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 door) or 0.32 (MINI Cooper S Hardtop 4 door), the new MINI Hardtop 4 door is at the forefront its segment in terms of aerodynamics, too.

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MINI Driving Modes: sporty flair and efficiency at the turn of a switch.

The MINI Driving Modes provides an excellent basis for fuel efficient motoring. A rotary switch at the base of the gear or selector lever is used to activate either the standard MID mode, SPORT or GREEN mode. In SPORT mode, the accelerator pedal characteristic curve and steering are switched to a sporty set-up (as are the shift times in cars fitted with the 6-speed Steptronic transmission). In GREEN mode, a more relaxed and also more fuel-efficient driving style is supported by intelligent control of energy and climate management as well as by systems such as shift point display. In cars fitted with 6-speed Steptronic transmission it is also possible to use the coasting function. The drivetrain is decoupled at speeds of between 31 and 99 mph as soon as the driver’s foot is removed from the accelerator pedal. The new MINI Hardtop 4 door then rolls at idling engine speed and at a minimum rate of fuel consumption.

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Optimized suspension technology: low weight, lots of go-kart feeling.

The suspension technology of the new MINI Hardtop 4 door retains the well- established principle of the single-joint spring strut axle at the front and the multilink rear axle – which is unique within the competitive environment. Every component has been optimized in terms of material selection and geometry. All measures are aimed at making experience of the agile MINI handling properties – commonly known as the go-kart feeling – just as intense in the new MINI Hardtop 4 door. In addition to allowing for the model-specific qualities of the 5 door body variant, the set-up of the wheel suspension, body mounting, vehicle suspension, damping, steering and brakes also takes account of the high level of engine power and the typical MINI concept consisting of front-wheel drive, transversely mounted engines at the front, low center of gravity, short overhangs, wide track and a rigid, weight-optimized body structure.

In order to achieve a low weight and a high level of component rigidity, the front axle is fitted with aluminum swivel bearings as well as axle supports and wishbones made of high-strength steel. The front axle kinematics supports the agile turn-in response and precise steering sensation of the new MINI Hardtop 4 door. High-strength steel types are also used for the rear axle. Tube-shaped stabilizers at the front and rear axle likewise contribute to weight reduction. The innovative axle bearing benefits both ride comfort and agility.

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Dynamic Damper Control in the new MINI Hardtop 4 door.

One of the particular features of the optimized suspension and damping systems is their low weight. The dampers are decoupled at the front and rear axle by means of triple-path support bearings. As an option, the new MINI Hardtop 4 door can also be fitted with Dynamic Damper Control. Two characteristic lines are available for damper set-up, allowing activation of either a more comfort-oriented response or a direct, sporty response to road bumps, depending on the given situation. The compression and rebound stage are adjusted by means of electrical control of the EDC valves.

In the electromechanical power steering, so-called torque steer compensation prevents self-steering tendencies caused by differing degrees of torque at the drive wheels. Steering precision is also ensured when it comes to sudden avoidance swerves and when taking bends in very sporty style. Standard features also include the speed-related steering assistance system Servotronic.

In addition to the anti-lock system ABS, electronic brake force distribution EBD, Cornering Brake Control (CBC) and the brake assistant, the driving stability control system DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) in the new MINI 5 door also includes a drive- off assistant, a brake dry function, Fading Brake Support and DTC mode (Dynamic Traction Control), which permits controlled slip at the drive wheels so as to facilitate driving off on loose sand or deep snow. When the driving stability system is deactivated (DSC Off mode), there is an electronic locking function for the front axle differential which selectively and appropriately brakes a spinning drive wheel on tight corners, redirecting the drive torque to the other wheel. This system, known as Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC), thereby promotes the car’s forward momentum without negatively influencing self-steering response. The MINI Cooper S Hardtop 4 door also features the Performance Control system, which counteracts any tendency to understeer prior to reaching the threshold level so as to support an agile yet neutral driving response on bends.

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The 15-inch forged light alloy wheels in the new MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 door have a particularly low weight as well as favorable aerodynamic properties. The new MINI Cooper S Hardtop 4 door is fitted as standard with 16-inch light alloy wheels. Other light alloy wheels up to a size of 18 inches are available as part of the program of options and accessories.

Comprehensive safety technology including pedestrian protection.

The standard safety fittings of the new MINI Hardtop 4 door comprise knee, front and side airbags as well as curtain airbags for the front and rear seats. All seats are fitted with 3-point seat belts and there are belt tensioners and belt force limiters at the front; ISOFIX child seat mountings are provided at the rear.

There are also impact absorbers and precisely defined deformation elements, all of which are elements that minimize the risk of injury to pedestrians.

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Innovative driver assistance systems increase convenience and safety.

There are numerous driver assistance systems available for the new MINI Hardtop 4 door. These include the MINI Head-Up-Display which shows information relevant to the driver on an extendible monitor in the upper section of the dashboard between the windshield and steering wheel. The MINI Head-Up Display promotes concentration on the road by displaying information directly in the driver’s line of sight. It can then be read quickly and conveniently without averting one’s eyes from the road. The information that can be shown in the MINI Head-Up Display includes speed in figures, navigation directions in the form of arrow graphics and junction sketches, visual signals for collision warning, display symbols generated by Speed Limit Info, Check Control messages and entertainment program details such as radio channels and track titles. The graphics on the high-resolution screen are clearly visible in all light conditions.

Other innovative driver assistance systems in the new MINI Hardtop 4 door include the optional Driving Assistant. This comprises a camera-based cruise control and distance control function which automatically maintains a distance from the vehicle ahead, as well as the collision and pedestrian warning system with initial brake function. In critical situations, the driver is first provided with a visual signal in the form of a graphic symbol that appears in the instrument cluster; this is supplemented at the second warning level by an acoustic signal prompting the driver to react. In addition to this, an automatic brake maneuver is triggered in the case of an imminent collision with a pedestrian or if there is a risk of a rear-on collision in urban traffic. Here the new MINI Hardtop 4 door is decelerated at medium brake force. Depending on the situation, this can either prevent an impact from occurring altogether or else significantly reduce the severity of the accident. As the automatic deceleration is activated, the driver is also given an unmistakable prompt to intervene.

Other elements of the Driving Assistant are a road sign detection function which registers and displays speed limits on the current route, and also the high beam assistant which takes into account environmental brightness as well as oncoming vehicles and those travelling ahead when controlling the high beam.

A rear view camera and Parking Assistant are also available for the new MINI Hardtop 4 door. The video images supplied by the rear view camera positioned underneath the tailgate handle are shown on the on-board computer in the center instrument as an aid when maneuvering and reverse parking. Meanwhile the Parking Assistant facilitates selection and use of parking spaces parallel to the road. The system automatically detects suitable parking spaces at the roadside. As the car then maneuvers into the chosen space, the Parking Assistant takes care of all the necessary steering movements on behalf of the driver. All the driver has to do is operate the accelerator, brake pedal and gear selection in order to maneuver the new MINI Hardtop 4 door safely and conveniently into the parking space.

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High-end features for comfort, functionality and individual style.

The standard features of the new MINI Hardtop 4 door include electrically adjustable exterior mirrors, door sill cover strips with model-specific inscription, Color Line in Carbon Black and the MINI Radio including AUX-IN and USB interface. In addition to dual-zone climate control and rain sensor as standard equipment, seat heating for driver and front passenger, a panorama glass roof, a harman kardon hi-fi speaker system are all available as options. The sports leather steering wheel and multifunction buttons and cruise control are also standard features in both the MINI Cooper and Cooper S Hardtop 4 door models.

Other options include Comfort Access, Park Distance Control, roof rails, electrically folding exterior mirrors, and both interior and exterior mirrors with automatic anti- dazzle function. For customization of the exterior and interior in hallmark brand style, options also include various decorative trim styles for roof and exterior mirrors, bonnet stripes, seat upholsteries, interior surfaces and Color Lines.

MINI Connected: apps now also available for Android smartphones.

The option MINI Connected is also available in conjunction with the Radio MINI Visual Boost and the MINI navigation system. It offers extensive integration of smartphones in the car, allowing the use of internet-based services in the areas of infotainment, communication and driver experience. These are provided via apps whose functional diversity is being continuously expanded. The MINI Connected program provided through smartphone apps includes vehicle-related functions such as Mission Control, Dynamic Music, Driving Excitement and MINIMALISM Analyzer, as well as online- based services such as a web radio function, the use of social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, foursquare and Glympse, the reception of RSS news feeds and entertainment features such as AUPEO!, Stitcher, Audible, Rhapsody, TuneIn, Pandora and Amazon Cloud Player. With the color display in the center instrument, all functions can be operated in typical MINI style – and more comfortably, intuitively and safely than ever before.

International Press Release (PDF)

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Written By: Gabe

  • Jason

    Now the Mini has a puckering butt to match its puckering chin. The side view is beyond awkward. I never imagined the Fxx could get even weirder proportions…

  • Rick

    meh … with every new variant and redesign, MINI is becoming like any other car out there for me … losing a bit more appeal and specialness each time :(

    • TurbochargedChili

      This makes the F56 look good, which isn’t a compliment to the F56

  • R

    So glad that I choose a Range Rover Evoque to replace my Mini

    • abashed to be a troll

      Okay, tastes differ. But the Evoque has neither grace nor style. It has the look of a squashed troll.

      • James Hawthorne

        If you think the Evoque looks bad, this is disgusting.

      • James Hawthorne

        The Evoque looks like one of the best looking cars next to the F56 and especially this F55. Not sure what grace, style, or substance the latest MINI’s have in your eyes.

  • jamesn

    I really wanted this car to work, but the smaller back doors just don’t work! Why can’t it just be like the countryman and f+r doors be the same size? It may work better in person, but that image with the back door open makes the opening to the rear seats look completely inaccessible to anyone except children, dogs and flexible circus acts.

    • Kev50027

      Yeah, rear doors do not legroom make. Yes, I know it has more legroom than the hatch in the back, but then again so did the original MINI, which was half the length.

      • Jamesn

        Do you know, as an owner of an original Mini, that comment holds so much truth! Even BMC played around with idea of a 5 door mini back in the day, as did some coach builders, but even they realised that it’s body shape just did not suit 5-doors which heralded production of the Austin 1100 instead. My arguement with new MINI rear-space, and in fact that of any new car, is surely some upfront space could be sacrificed and still meet safety requirements? Even fully forwards, the seat is so far from the bulkhead you have your legs stretched out like you’re on a sun lounger. It may be a bit rattly in my old girl but I’ve never had any complaint about the fact you’re sitting like your in a chair. Follow that simple tip and they could half the door length and increase rear legroom!

    • Kevin Bartlett

      I agree, but, I can’t help but keep thinking that those doors will come in handy when grocery shopping. If I want the car as small as possible those are the doors that work best maybe…..will have to compare overall length to other 5 door hatches.

  • http://www.mynameisjay.com/ Jay

    We have a baby coming, and while I currently drive a Clubman, I have a feeling this will look VERY appealing after dealing with a carseat for a few months.

    • James Hawthorne

      There’s nothing that could ever LOOK appealing about this thing. Ugly as hell.

    • Aurel

      I just sold my Clubman. My daughter grew up to the age of 5 in it. I am 6’7″ and my wife is close to 6″ … the Clubdoor is more than enough to get the kid in and out comfortably.

      • http://www.mynameisjay.com/ Jay

        That’s encouraging. I really do love my Clubman.

    • Jason

      I would hold out for the F series Clubman. Much more room.

    • VancouverBlade

      I went through exactly the same thoughts as you when our little one was due and came very close to trading in our beloved Clubman to get a Countryman. I’m so glad I didn’t. The Clubman is brilliant for the baby. When he was in a carry seat we put him behind the passenger (Canadian side) and then when we moved to a larger seat we put him behind the driver.

      Generally everyone thinks they need more stuff than you actually do. We did a couple of trips with a ton of stuff loaded in the car but soon learned what we needed and it’s been a great car.

      I had a Countryman loaner for a few days recently and found that more difficult than the Clubman.

  • Lucien W. Dupont

    Is this the one that is going to potentially be a plug in hybrid?

    • http://about.me/jasonrwilliams Jason Williams

      Not that has been suggested at least. This F55 five-door is to share engines and drivetrains with the F56 three-door hatch. It is the F54 Clubman which has a longer, wider almost wagon-like proportions and which may have a hybrid option.

      • James Hawthorne

        This is based on the F54 platform – which is just an extended wheelbase of the F56.

    • http://bridger.us/ Gabriel Bridger

      No that’s the F54 Clubman.

  • James Hawthorne

    That is the ugliest MINI I’ve ever seen. Even worse than the F56

  • James Hawthorne

    It looks like the 500L of MINI’s. But even worse.

    • Kev50027

      I agree it’s hideous, but it’s not 500L bad. Nothing looks that bad.. That thing makes me shudder every time I see one.

  • Jamesn

    I’ve just decided that I’m renaming this the MINI Metro, they’ve even managed to get the rear window the same shape!

  • oldsbear

    Wow! The haters are here in full force!

    • t

      Just because people don’t love everything MINI shits out doesn’t make them a hater. I LOVE MINI’s. Grew up in them, owned both 1st and 2nd gens, but the 3rd gen is just too much wrong. I was sad to learn all this was changing for 2014 – right when I needed a new MINI. Currently scouring the country for a 2013, but they are hard to come by unless you want a basic build. If nothing is found, I’ll be keeping my 2011 lease. Will probably lose some money on it, but at least I will like what I drive. Isn’t that the point?

      • walk0080

        Have to agree. I like the 1st/2nd gen and original MINI… but 3rd gen does not appear to be designed for me. But I guess with MINI selling more cars and becoming perhaps more mainstream that was bound to happen eventually. PS: Hate those extra large tail lights. ugh.

      • http://about.me/jasonrwilliams Jason Williams

        Everybody’s needs are different. I’ve had three R53s (two JCWs), I’ve never liked the R56 but am very excited about the F56. My priorities being the driving experience and also tech (I’m a software programmer). The R53 had the driving experience and for the time, tech unheard of in the compact segment. The R56 lost the beautiful lines of the R53, gained an engine which had almost no induction noise, had an exhaust note which sounded like a tractor, had no more suspension travel, had a painfully light clutch, steering which lost some of the R53s precision and although mildly more comfortable didn’t move the bar much forward on interior quality or new features at all. The platform of the F56 has allowed for better engines, performance, economy, interior quality and comfort (more suspension travel) in far quantities than the transition from F53 to R56. That’s why I’m excited. Yes, the front end may look like it has an underbite, the lights front and back are just a bit too large but I can’t wait for some of the first tuners to put an exhaust on it and start modifying the suspension to see what the platform is capable of. The stock S sport seats are so much better than the R53, R56, R56 Recaros. One of the most important touch points, the steering wheel feels so much better than the R53/R56 and as good as my JCW steering wheel. If you haven’t sat in a F56 yet you really should and try to appreciate the small details (even the thud the F56 door makes is infinitely better sounding that the tinny thwack the R53/R56 makes when slammed), but if you keep your R56 I hope that makes you happy as well.

        • Kev50027

          “The R56 lost the beautiful lines of the R53, gained an engine which had almost no induction noise, had an exhaust note which sounded like a tractor, had no more suspension travel, had a painfully light clutch, steering which lost some of the R53s precision and although mildly more comfortable didn’t move the bar much forward on interior quality or new features at all.”

          I just test drove an F56 S last week, and everything except the tractor exhaust note and same suspension travel applies to it.

          The clutch was so light and devoid of feeling that I had no clue where it was starting to grab, and it felt like it wasn’t connected to anything at all. The steering lost some feel, although I didn’t get a chance to test it enough to say much about the steering. It lost all of the precision in my R56, and was a lot more comfortable, but to be honest the only thing about the interior that was nicer was the seats, and that was because they were the more expensive seats with high quality leather. Have you pushed an R56 to its limits properly? “Tinny thwack” just doesn’t describe the grumble I hear from mine every time I drive it. Also, I am very partial to the sound of my R56’s doors shutting. They sound very solid and secure.

          Of course I’m not saying you’re wrong, but my experience with the F56 was very different from yours. On top of all of this is the styling.. the thing looks truly massive. Beside my R56 it looked truly monstrous, and the front and rear lights are just a bit too “cutesy” to look like a hot hatch. It also has a big black tongue sticking out in the front and some ugly looking teeth hanging out below.

          As far as the steering wheel, I can’t be a fair judge of that. I ditched my Sport wheel for a JCW GP wheel over the winter and I absolutely love it, it reminds me of the BMW M wheels, and nothing beats those.

          I appreciate you sharing your opinion though, I enjoy hearing what others think about the new cars!

        • r.burns

          No, the R56 was a regression compared to the R53, the F56 is a huge progress compared to the 2 previous generations, in terms of sport feeling, road feeling, streering feeling

        • James Hawthorne

          No, you’re incorrect. The R56 can run circles around the R53, and the R53 can run circles around the F56. Both R’s look better doing it too, and don’t look like Nemo coming at you.

        • http://bridger.us/ Gabriel Bridger

          The Nurburgring times would disagree.

        • James Hawthorne

          Since when is MINI publishing Ring times for the F56?

        • http://about.me/jasonrwilliams Jason Williams

          Sorry but as much as I have loved my R53s, I’m not naive enough to believe that my R53 JCW can run circles around a R56 yet alone a F56. The R53 might be the most feel-some of the three generations by a decent margin, but in performance by the numbers, the F56 would likely be king.

        • James Hawthorne

          The F56 isn’t the king. Check the stats posted by actual reviews…not BMW numbers, and you will see the R56 LCI S was consistently faster than the F56 S in 0-60, 1/4 mile, and I guarantee skidpad, because of how floppy the suspension is.

        • Jason

          Hyperbole, hyperbole EVERYWHERE

        • James Hawthorne

          Exactly. The F56 sucks. Plain and simple. Anyone buying them deserves the car.

        • Jason

          such anger

        • James Hawthorne

          If the F56 gets you excited, please visit your nearest doctor.

        • http://about.me/jasonrwilliams Jason Williams

          Ah, the point in the internet comments when the discussion turns toward kindergarden insults. The MINI Community is a diverse community with varied interests that might not be as singular as your distaste of the F56 exterior styling. I’m super excited about the new tech features. I’m excited that the new UKL platform means it will be both the highest performing in addition to most comfortable MINI to date. I’m excited that sales might increase, increasing revenue for the brand. I’m excited that it is lighter than previous MINIs in non-US trim, but even with the added weight of US safety engineering, the weight gain was minimal. I’m excited that this is the first iteration of this platform, and there is a lot of potential and growth (I’m not pretending the F56 is a beauty, spunky sure, but this isn’t an R53) and design tweaks. I was excited when I sat in the F56 for the first time and could feel and see the interior material choices and engineering decisions that make this an interior to justify the price tag so much more than the R56. I was excited when Gabe said in his first review that the steering feel is better than the R56 and approaches the R53. I’m not excited that the gas mileage isn’t higher than it is, but it’s still an improvement. I’m not excited to hear the clutch pedal feel is even lighter than the R56 which is my biggest complaint of the R56 besides the steering. I’m torn on the quieter interior which diminishes the experience of hearing the engines. I’m not in love with the rear lights or the lower front bumper chin, but there’s always the LCI to fix those foibles. But overall, yes I’m excited. It’s a great base to start with and I’m excited to see what happens when people tune the engine, add exhausts, coilovers and have a larger number of 5-lug aftermarket wheels to choose from. Nobody said you have to be excited about it, but it isn’t necessary to be rude to others.

        • s

          Yeah, there are positives. Unfortunately, all the little negatives outweigh those for me – the majority being from a design and ergonomic angle. What good is the added tech when it’s hard to use. Not that the R56’s was great, but have you tried operating the connected controller with that god awful armrest without forming a claw with your hand that will eventually give you carpel tunnel? You shouldn’t have to have the armrest folded up in order to use a basic function of the car…

        • http://about.me/jasonrwilliams Jason Williams

          Interesting, one of the controversies of the F56 is the elimination of quirks in the name of ergonomics. The door lock/unlock button is now part of the door latch which is logical. The window switches on the doors are under your finger tips. The base radio controls while not being as simple as the R53 (what is) are so far beyond the nightmare the R56 radio controls were, there is no comparison. The rotating dials of the climate control will never be confused like the oddly longitudinally oriented R56 fan and temp controls that took some experimentation to get. I used the F56 MINIConnected Touch at the launch event and neither myself nor the other guests had any issues using the controller but the car might not have had an arm rest; I can’t recall. I’ll have to check that out next time! That certainly would be an oversight although considering how many generations it took for Audi to build an armrest that allowed the A4’s e-brake to be fully raised without having to raise the armrest, MINI is not alone in ergonomic deficiencies. I would also consider the e-brake a far more “basic function” of the car, while MINI Connected being a small take-rate luxury item. I’ve owned three MINIs and have yet to have one with an armrest, so we’ll have to see what the future holds. Ergonomically what I do not like is the tacked-on plasticky gas gauge and the tachometer is way too small. I would have preferred a large tach and a digital speed readout.

  • Don Compton

    my next Mini

  • Kevin Bartlett

    Okay, the spy shots always made me apprehensive…..I’m actually slightly optimistic now. I’ll have to see it in person and the competition for small 4 door hatches ( 5 doors if you insist ) is tough. New GTI, F55, even the GLA (all similar size, all 2.0T motors). I would want the power of an S obviously, but as I think everyone agrees the Cooper is the better looking model, that front clip still doesn’t do anything for me. But in the end it’s how it drives, you can’t see the nose from behind the wheel and the Clubman with its longer wheelbase was often lauded as being the best to drive maybe this can take on that mantle.

    For the record I have an R53 that I love, but I added a bigger car last year. The R53 is a great second car but I’d love to go back to a single car maybe the R55 can be that car, otherwise I’d probably move onto other options anyway.

    • James Hawthorne

      Buy a GTI.

      • Kevin Bartlett

        That’s a strong, and odd recommendation. You haven’t seen the other cars I mention in person yet for sure (and the 2015 GTI is pretty unlikely too). I think I’ll try driving all of them first.

        • TurbochargedChili

          2015 GTI’s are on the lots across the country. I drove one last week and can absolutely second that recommendation.

        • Mark

          Complaining about the Mini’s looks, but looking at GTI’s as an alternative???? I guess beauty is in the eyes of the beholder as those are aren’t just ugly, even worse, they look boring.

        • James Hawthorne

          I saw the GLA at the LA auto show, and drove the ’15 GTI yesterday. It was such a great car. I’ll be getting one later this year when I can get the performance package. Seems like a lot of people are waiting for that package too.

        • http://about.me/jasonrwilliams Jason Williams

          It’s awesome that VW has chosen to provide the option of a mechanical LSD. The LSD, boost in power and larger brakes is quite the bargain MINI owners aren’t used to. The quality of materials and performance for the money make it quite the value if you don’t mind slipping into obscurity in a car most people will confuse with a Golf.

        • James Hawthorne

          Well, the GTI is a Golf, and I would much rather be seen in a Golf than anything with those porterhouse sized tail lights, and hideous fish mouth front end. This 5-door looks like a DIY conversion with the rear doors looking freakishly small. The new GTI looks much better than before, and it’s performance, quality, price, and potential is all far exceeding the F5x.

        • http://about.me/jasonrwilliams Jason Williams

          The GTI is nearly faultless. It’s comfortable, leads the class in interior quality, the Mk7 looks stunning and the weight loss will definitely increase the performance numbers. However it’s the more mature car. The handling is excellent but safe and doesn’t encourage you to push it further. The induction sound isn’t particularly inspiring and the shifter is typical VW rubbery. That isn’t a bad thing as it is subjective; some people may not like the slightly more positive/notchy MINI shifter. I’ve driven a friend’s GTI with DSG and although I greatly respect the car, it doesn’t provide the same hooligan smile that MINIs provide. To each their own, but if I was going to cross shop the MINI, I would be looking at the Ford Fiesta/Focus ST which is likely an even better driver’s car than the MINI. The GTI may be a faultless hot hatch, but the way that performance is delivered is mildly clinical in comparison.

  • Lee

    I’ll say one thing, the dark blue one proved, it NEEDS the contrasting roof. Body colored hardtop option does it no favors at all.

    • http://about.me/jasonrwilliams Jason Williams

      Agreed. The dark blue with matching roof somehow makes the car look a bit taller and squatter than the electric blue which somehow appears to be a bit lower and longer. It’s all an illusion but the electric blue with white roof looks like a slightly longer hatch while the dark blue almost makes it look like a CUV, and just another bland CUV at that.

  • http://about.me/jasonrwilliams Jason Williams

    It’s unfortunate so many aren’t giving this a second look. Although the front end of the F56 S hatch looks cartoonish with features just a bit too large for the body, the extra length of the five-door makes the F55’s borrowed F56 front end seem far better proportioned. Of the F56 and the F55, the F55 wears it’s details better. The spy shots of the F55 made me think I’d hate it, but this looks a lot better than I was expecting and that’s coming from someone who has had three R53s and still thinks the R56 is too bulbous and lacking in character.

    • James Hawthorne

      It’s even worse looking than the 3-door model. MINI needs a new designer.

      • http://about.me/jasonrwilliams Jason Williams

        The front end looks better on the 5-door than the 3-door; Sorry. Do either look good? Well I’m not trading in my R53 any time soon is what I’ll say and I hope the LCI will resolve some of the issues which will be about the time when I expect my last (out of three) R53 to give out. However as a whole, I’m far more interested in this car than I ever was after driving the pre-LCI R56.

  • Mark @ MINI of the Main Line

    Line ‘em up! This thing will sell like mad. I can’t wait to see this car in person. I’ve been with MINI since 2002 and I have a feeling this will be the biggest seller to date. It can’t get here fast enough. You don’t have to love it – there are plenty of other MINI models for everybody. (and a MINI is not necessarily the car for everybody – that is ok)

    I’m super excited for this car.

    • con

      it’s funny it’s always the people who work for mini who have nice things to say about these new models…

      • Mark @ MINI of the Main Line

        I’m a lucky guy. I get to represent my favorite car brand. If the R53 is the way to go, I can sell those too. I owned 3 of them, now I have kids. 4 doors are much appreciated. This may compliment my wife’s R60 quite well!

      • http://about.me/jasonrwilliams Jason Williams

        They can see a market and people that want a MINI but don’t have a good fit at this point (need a bit more space/doors), so sure for the brand there’s potential new revenue for a sales man to be happy about. Just as Porsche has been able to finance the seemingly limitless variations of the 911 on the back of the Cayenne, I think this car will be good for the brand’s bottom line (more so than any of the previous niche models like the coupe, roadster and to a degree the R55 Clubman). And as I posted below, I think the F55 wears the details of the F56-platform far better than the F56 itself. And no I don’t work for MINI, but I’m fairly open-minded.

  • http://about.me/jasonrwilliams Jason Williams

    One has to wonder though why all the MINI USA press photos show the exterior with the controversial F56-platform body and don’t show much of the extra leg room in the back (not much more, but at least a little), or the rear trunk area and the trunk area with the seats folded. Considering that the F55 will probably sell to people who want a hatch but need a little extra space or doors, why not emphasize this by showing pictures of the boot space?! It will be interesting to see how Countryman sales are affected. The F55 has the obviously superior interior compare to the sea of cheap plastic which comprises the R60, the F55’s engine choice are superior both in economy and performance and the F55 will be by far the better handler of the two. Those who need AWD and prefer the looks of the R60 will stay, but I’m thinking there will be some converts. Or at least to get Electric Blue…

  • ulrichd

    Not bad at all, seems like the new front end works better here than on the hatch. But still can’t get past the tail lights. I have seen about 10 new MINis now and I cringe every time I see those lights.

    • http://about.me/jasonrwilliams Jason Williams

      Agree with you about the front end as I mentioned below. Also agree the lights both front and back are a just bit too large.

  • Xyor

    VW Gold ?> Golf, I Believe

  • Aurel

    This looks really freaking awkward. Is this built to make the Countryman even more appealing to people? Was Geely involved in the design?

  • brian

    does a Cooper front bumper fit properly on the S?

  • fishbert

    Here’s an overlay of F56 and F55 press shots. http://imgur.com/a/1P04V

    F55 is a bit longer (more-so at the bottom than at the top), has shorter doors up front that put the headrest behind the B-pillar, and it has framed windows (no thank you).

    • Mr Remi

      Fishbert – thanks for the doing the press shot overlays – those are fantastic.

      The F55 certainly wears the overhang better (or “short overhang” as Mini now likes to call it). I suspect this vehicle will sell fairly well, maybe even more so than the F56 if the Countryman is anything to go by.

      That said: Is this vehicle iconic? No. Does it make me want to show my family and friends photos of it? No. Does it inspire me like the Superleggera? No.

      It is a more functional vehicle. It’s a little bit fugly. It probably drives really well and probably enjoys the same level of reliability as any Mini, which is to say, mediocre.

      Bottom line – I think it retains just enough of Mini’s unabashed character (what I would consider the biggest selling feature of the brand) to attract new buyers. But just barely.

      Am looking forward to hearing more about the Rocketman and Superleggera.

    • les

      Gabe, can you share this some how?

  • Bubbleboy76

    Like the F56, the design grows on you, and also probably looks better IRL. I will buy one!

  • Skip

    “passengers here benefit from the fact that headroom is increased by 0.6 inches as compared to the 2 door model, with headroom enlarged by 0.5 inches”. Huh?

  • lavardera

    Its too bad it does not look more like the sketch showing it in black. That looks totally bad-ass, in real life kind of stodgy.

    Extra points if any body can name the architectural setting in this sketch – hint, location Barcelona (kudos for the artist using architectural cannon for backdrop!)

    • lavardera

      I think everything about this 5 door model is as expected. The only thing I feel strongly about is doors with window frames. Do Not Want.

  • Mike D

    Love it! I sold my R56 for a VW CC (6-speed manual of course!) once my daughter was big enough for a convertible seat. The R55 is on my shortlist for my next car – unfortunately it’s still a few years off, but hopefully most of the kinks will be worked out by then.

  • Chilly

    There is seating for 3 in the rear which, to me, doesn’t make sense in a car this size. I hope in the US there will be an option for 2 rear seats.

    • SPICYJCWCOUPE

      I agree re the 3 rear seats. For this size car, it should be set up like the F56 with only 2 rear seats. That middle seat looks like it would only fit someone that’s 1 ft wide!! Interesting that, just because it has as extra 1.8″ more interior width, that would translate to an extra person in the back seat! No way!

      Other stuff….looks like as soon as the F55 came out undisguised here, all the same crap from the same people began bashing the F55 as they did the F56. Yet there were those, like me, that see it as another choice for potential MINI owners in a positive light.

      Those that don’t like these 2 initial F series at all, go elsewhere for your next car! For those that like them, check out enjoy this new (maybe quirky) MINI look along with all the new technology that wasn’t available in the earlier R series.

      I may do just that in an S model! Having had a ’08 MCS hatch & my current ’12 JCW Coupe, I view this F55 as the potential next phase in my MINi ownership come this fall. Still small by ‘most’ standards, expect great handling, better mileage, & lots of new tech goodies!! By the way, I hit 74 in age come July, so I may even switch to the 6 auto with paddles instead of the 6 manual I had in my past 2 MINIS.

      • robble

        That extra 1.8″ width in the back is WHY they are are allowed to have the third seat and why the f56 doesn’t have one. US regulations stipulate a minimum width to put 3 seats and the F56 barely does not hit that number.

        • SPICYJCWCOUPE

          Just because they are allowed to put 3 seats in the back per meeting the min width, doesn’t mean they should. The Paceman, which is somewhat wider, has seating for 2 in the back & I think it was also an option in the Countryman but now only has the 3 seat bench. But if i go for the F55 this fall, I can overlook the 3 back seats instead of my preferred 2 seats.

      • BimmerFile_Michael

        FYI- the current Clubman in the EU has three seats

  • http://nerditis.com Captain Z

    I like it better than the F56. It looks more balanced to me. /me shrugs.

    It’s not for me though, as I don’t need or want a 5 door, but I can see it for others.

  • GoRixter

    It’s ridiculous looking. MINI is trying to be all things all people. I think they should stick to a 3-door hardtop, small SUV and a single convertible.

    • SPICYJCWCOUPE

      In other words, move back the clock at least 6 years when MINI only had the 2 door hatch, the convertible, & the Clubman!!?? While were at it, maybe move back all the technology by 10 years.

      Maybe there are some out there that that would prefer ‘the way it ‘was’ but I like the idea of more choices among the MINI line as well as the tech improvements.

      I don’t think that BMW/MINI could have stayed with only 2-3 models without eventual losses in sales due to the limited nitch market. Why did the classic Mini fade off after so many years?

      I’ve had an ’08 MCS & my current ’12 JCWCoupe. The F55S looks great to me as more ‘practical’, yet still small with expected great handling & mileage figures. Unlike others, I can overlook the fat lower lip! For me , I feel the positives out weigh the negatives in the new F series line. But of course, many will disagree with me.

  • James W

    Seen a number of the F56’s now: proportions do look wrong (bonnet too long and flat, rear lights ridiculous, goppy mouth) and this one looks even worse!

  • warrencheswick

    I don’t get the hate. Personally think its better looking than the Clubman or Countryman neither of which I’d ever consider getting. I’d consider this if I feel the need to go to a 4 door with a baby on the way.

  • torpeau

    I think this version of an F56 is terrific. I don’t have any long-term history with MINIs, so maybe that’s why I really like it — doesn’t bother me that the F56 is bigger that the previous hardtop/hatchback. I’ve only have sat in three MINIs and the third is the one I now own, special ordered it.

  • Nick Dawson

    Phew, that’s a relief; the majority of Motoringfile commentators hate F55! Why is that a relief? Because it means that F55 is going to be a huge success. BMW expects F55 to sell 3:1 compared to F56.

  • Douglas Yancey Funnie

    Some of these comments are so purposely exaggerated. Several of the commenters on here need to understand that their opinion is not the law of the land.

    I had an R53 and upgraded to an R56 and while I missed some aspects of the R53, there were many that I favored about the R56. While we will always love the cars of the past, the new version is solely based on customer complaints and requests so as much as you hate this, know that you ultimately created it.

    In regards to this vehicle, I see things I like and things I don’t. I really like the dark blue/dark blue configuration more than the light blue. The dark blue looks more adult than the light blue and hides the proportions of the rear. In many ways this car reminds me of the Porsche Panamera. Of course a less glamorous version of the Panamera but it clearly is a elongated version of a popular coupe. I say that because could have redesigned the car to better suit the addition of the rear doors but they kept a lot of the coupe’s design. I can’t see the Cooper being a huge seller (I would just spend a few more dollars and get the countryman or the clubman) but I bet you will see a lot of spec’d out Cooper Ss and John Cooper Work models being ordered. There is something to desire in the 4 doors on this MINI. I look forward to seeing them on the road.

    • Kev50027

      “While we will always love the cars of the past, the new version is solely based on customer complaints and requests so as much as you hate this, know that you ultimately created it.”

      That’s not true. MINI took consumer advice from non MINI owners and MINI owners who got it because it’s “cute.” They did not consider the feelings of their biggest fans, MINI fanatics who drive the car because it handles great and is fun to drive. They made the manual “easier” to drive with a clutch that has no feeling, and made it both slower and less fuel efficient than the auto. That alone tells you that they were aiming the new cars at everyone else, not MINI fans. The problem is that if they did all of that to the Cooper, not many would mind, since it’s supposed to be the softer, less aggressive of the two, but they did it to the entire range, and now the Cooper S doesn’t feel special or unique when compared with its competitors.

      Of course that’s my opinion, but I think it’s pretty clear that MINI didn’t listen to their biggest fans when making the new car.

      I understand that the company is going after a new market in the hopes of boosting sales. The problem is that they left behind the people who have invested most in the company. I doubt that move will hurt them, but for what it’s worth, I know that my next car will not be a MINI after test driving the F56.

  • http://spowellebc.wordpress.com/ Stephen Powell

    As always kudos to the MF (and WRR) team for all the details.

    This is a very logical extension to the brand. Very reminiscent of how the Audi A1 went from 3 doors to 5 doors – and Audi was targeting MINI in this case. I can see it being the popular choice for rental companies…

    My only disappointment is that the door windows are not frameless like on all the 3 door hardtops. I find frameless windows a touch of elegance and luxury even on the most basic spec models.

    I hope that MINI can still bring to market more daring designs like the Superleggera (and I am a huge fan of the fin – heck make in as big as a Jaguar D-Type). Even the current Clubman had an interesting style that may be easily lost in the race for market share.

    • SFRedMCc

      I’m also a big fan of the large, frameless front door windows on my 08 Clubman. My next Mini will be a Hardtop; due to the increased size allowing the seats to fold flat; plus I really don’t want to lose the frameless front windows.

  • SPICYJCWCOUPE

    Am looking forward to seeing what the F55 looks like in the Volcanic Orange as well as other colors. Since the build at the factory will begin in July, when is it expected on the configurators in the UK & here on MINIUSA?

    Would assume all the options available will be identical to the 2015 F56. Any word on the added weight over the F56 as well as mileage figures?


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MINI Model Cheat Sheet

1st Gen MINI
R50: One & MC Hatch
R52: All 1st Gen MINI Convt.
R53: MCS Hatch
2nd Gen MINI
R55: Clubman
R56: Hatch
R57: Convertible
R58: Coupe
R59: Roadster
R60: MINI Crossover
R61: MINI Crossover Coupe
3rd Gen MINI
F54: Clubman
F55: Five Door Hatch
F56: Hatch
F57: Convertible
F60: MINI Crossover
F58: Traveller

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'05 MINI Cooper S
'05 MCS Cabrio 1st Drive
'04 JCW MCS First Drive
'04 MC w/JCW Tuning Kit
BMW M3 SMG Vs. MCS
'04 MINI Cooper CVT
'02 MCS 3 year Review
Autocrossing the MINI Range


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