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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.