Production Begins of the F55 MINI Five Door

P90153107-F55_production

The F55 five door begins its journey to showrooms today with the first production vehicle rolling off the assembly line in Oxford. The first cars should hit UK and European showrooms in about a month’s time with US dealers seeing their first F55 later in the year.

Full release and gallery after the break.

Official Release:The new 5-door is a first for MINI production at the Oxford plant and marks another phase in the roll-out of a £750 million investment programme across BMW Group UK’s production facilities from 2011 to 2015.

P90153750-F55_production

The car comes hot on the heels of the new MINI Hatch, which was launched in November. The new 5-door, which will go on sale in the autumn, is an exciting addition to the family of MINIs made in Oxford and opens up a whole new market segment.

Business Secretary, Vince Cable said: “The launch of the all-new 5-door MINI is a further boost for the UK’s manufacturing sector, and will help to secure jobs in Oxford and Swindon as part of BMW’s £750 million investment programme in the UK. BMW’s continued commitment and investment in the UK underlines the continuing success story that is UK automotive manufacturing. “Through the UK Government’s industrial strategy we are backing the auto sector as it goes from strength to strength. We are providing the right environment to give businesses the confidence to invest and create high skilled jobs.”

P90153133-F55_production

The 5-door is the second member of the MINI family to be built on a new platform. The innovative approach to design increases the flexibility of the body manufacturing process, allowing more models of greater variation to be produced more efficiently, an essential element of the MINI’s build-to-order appeal.

Frank Bachmann, managing director of MINI Plants Oxford and Swindon, said: “This is an exciting day for us with the first ever 5-door MINI for the plant, which opens up a whole new market segment for the brand.

“BMW Group has invested in creating state-of-the-art technology and facilities at Oxford and Swindon for the launch of this new generation of MINI, demonstrating the company’s commitment to a long-term future for its UK production sites.”

Preparations for the new generation of MINI have seen the building of a new bodyshop at Oxford and significant investment in facilities and technologies at Plant Swindon, where the car’s body panels are pressed and a number of sub-assemblies made. Plant Oxford’s assembly employees also went through a programme of training to support the launch of the new model generation.

P90153140-F55_production

The new 5-door Hatch Key statistics

  • Measures 4m in length
  • 161mm longer than the three-door
  • 278 litres of boot space
  • 15mm more headroom
  • 61mm extra interior width
  • Three rear seats

Production updates for the introduction of the new 5-door Hatch:

  • Additional tooling for the body sides at Plant Oxford’s new bodyshop
  • New equipment in the wax sealing line in the plant’s paintshop to accommodate the extra door and differences in the shaping of the rear of the car
  • New paint colours, including the return of “Electric Blue”
  • New rear door cells in the sub-assembly line at Plant Swindon
  • New roof and panel tooling in Swindon’s press shop
  • PrayingForImprovements

    It looks so much better with that white paper over the black strip. A shame they don’t axe the bumper appliqué or at least offer a body-colored option.

  • Lee

    How did I miss that they have the monstrously ugly door frame around the glass now? Is that on the F56 as well?

    • LombardiStefano

      Lmao. Isn’t it simply hideous… Just like the grille too.

    • b-

      The Hard Top, Convertible and whatever they do with the Coupe/Roadster will be the only cars with the frameless doors moving forward. :(

  • SPICYJCWCOUPE

    Was hoping that the 5 door F55 would offer 2 rear seats like the F56 instead of ‘trying’ to squeeze in any extra 1 ft wide center seat….for who??? Also, having the Spicy Metallic Orange body color disappearing after a short run is disappointing. That has one of the best looks combined with a black roof as in my JCW Coupe as well as the R56.

    • RacerX

      It is 2.5 inches wider in the rear seat area than in the F56, after all … 😉

      So does that mean you are not wanting the F55 anymore? I know you have been waiting for its release!

      • SPICYJCWCOUPE

        Despite having a ‘3rd seat’ in the middle of the back for a person that’s only 1 ft wide, that won’t stop me from opting for the F55. However, even the appearance of the rear 2 seats in the F56 with the center ‘hump’ looks better than the 3 seat setup in the F55.

        I doubt that many, including me, who opt for the F55 will be plan to put 3 people back there unless he wants to punish the one in the middle. So I can overlook that ‘feature’ since it’s the overall concept of the 4 door hatch with a more accessible roomier rear seat that’s the driving force for me to head in that direction as my next MINI over an F56.

        It’s still a lot more compact with much better MPG than the Countryman, as well as better handling…and all the new technology that is still 1-2 years away for the next generation Countryman. The other alternative is next year’s new F54 Clubman.

  • bjw408h

    We saw part bins and a ´modified front end´ chassis for the ¨F55¨ on the shelf as we took our Cowley plant tour last Thursday… and at least one parts bin labelled ¨F54¨- tour of the factory is highly recommended!