MINI USA has quietly delayed the F55 launch from late fall to early 2015. That news comes from sources at MINI USA who clearly are focused on the F56 for the remainder of 2015.
What is the F54? It’s MINI’s take on a regular hatch slightly stretch for maximum utility with two extra doors added. What does this mean in terms of numbers? Specifically it’s 4005 mm long, 105 mm less than the Countryman. The wheelbase has been extended in the MINI 5 door by 72 millimetres to 2 567 millimetres, while the track is identical to that of the 3-door model. Unlike the Countryman, MINI has created a four door that should handle for the most part like a MINI. Consider this more inline with the R55 Clubman in the way it had 95% of the R56’s gokart feel.
Interior comfort has been enhanced due to the longer wheelbase. Rear passengers now have 72 millimetres foot space and legroom available to them, while the increased space also provides for a third seat in the back row as well as more comfortable access. The increased vehicle height can be felt in an additional 15 mm of headroom. Meanwhile the car’s interior width at elbow height is now increased by 61 millimetres. The luggage compartment has a volume of 278 litres – an increase of 67 litres or around 30 per cent as compared to the 3-door model.
From a packaging stand-point the F55 isn’t going to be MINI’s family hauler. That honor will go to the redesigned (and noticeably larger and wider) Clubman that starts production next June. Instead this is MINI’s answer to those who’ve wanted just a little more utility out of the standard MINI without resorting to something like the Countryman.
US pricing is a bit lower than we had originally expected. Basically MINI is giving you two extra doors and a healthy amount of extra space for $1000 more than the standard three door F56 hatch. Interestingly that price penalty is almost $500 less than the historical difference between the hatch and the Clubman.
– MINI Cooper Five Door / *$21,450
– MINI Cooper S Five Door / *$25,100
* Pricing does not include $850 Destination & Handling.