The new J01 MINI Cooper is a massive step forward in many ways. But how does it compare to the previous generations? Is it an evolution or revolution? And more specifically does look better than the F56 – the previous generation MINI Cooper? Let’s take a close look.

Note: This week MINI is launching its next generation with the new MINI Cooper Electric and MINI Countryman Electric. In anticipation of this release, MINI invited us to experience the new cars in Munich and talk to the people that created them. We’ve taken that knowledge and poured it into exclusive in-depth articles, reviews and videos you won’t want to miss.

MINI Cooper EV: Premier | MINI Cooper EV: Hands-On Review | MINI Cooper EV: Video Review

MINI Countryman EV: Premier | MINI Countryman EV: Hands-On Review | MINI Countryman EV: Video Review

New MINI Family: 1st Look Video | MINI Circular Display & MINI OS9 Hands-On Review

When the F56 was released it was panned by MINI faithful for its large mouth and huge overhang (compared to the previous generations). It went on to be the most successful new MINI ever and those views have generally softened. Which makes this comparison pretty interesting. The J01 clearly is similar to the F56 but as you look at the two closer you start to notice some distinct and important differences.

But before we go further let’s look at the data. The new J01 electric MINI Cooper is 1 cm longer and 2 cm taller than the F56. But why does it appear to be smaller from some angles? With a clean-sheet to work with, MINI massaged the proportions of the J01 to better fit with the MINI design ethos. Key to that is the 3 cm longer wheelbase and larger wheels/tire set-up. The combination allows the overhangs to shrink and helps overall with the proportions of the car.

R56 MINI CooperF56 ICE MINI CooperJ01 2025 Electric MINI Cooper
Length3698 mm / 145.6 in3850 mm / 151.57 in3860 mm / 151.91 in
Height1407 mm / 55.4 in1414 mm / 55.67 in1435 mm / 56.49 in
Wheelbase2467 mm / 97.1 in2495 mm / 98.23 in2525 mm / 99.40

The Small Differences Matter

No matter which you prefer, it’s clear to see that the J01 is simpler and more minimal in its overall design language. But what you only get after repeated views is how many small but important differences there are. The higher belt-line makes the car look more aggressive and upright as does the taller but more angular hood.

Also interesting are the lights. The J01 does away with the surrounding trim yet they somehow look smaller because of how simply they are in comparison. They also sit slightly higher on the car and thus feel more upright.

Then there’s the clean sides which have real curve to them vs the very flat F56. The J01 introduced dimensionality we’ve never seen on a Cooper before. The result is a car that looks more athletic with being overly aggressive as so many modern cars are.

Around back things get pretty interesting. We’ve had the luxury of time with the J01 so the rear lights don’t look so shocking to us anymore. Maybe because of that we actually like the fact that they’re smaller and simpler than what those on the F56. We also prefer how angular they are compared to the F56’s which are a bit bulbous in comparison. But that’s only been made possible but being hands-on with the car and seeing it for the last few months.

What do you think? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Is the J01 a worthy successor or has MINI gone too far?

An Entire New MINI Family is Coming

The new J01 MINI Cooper electric and U25 MINI Countryman (electric & ICE) will publicly debut at the Munich Motor Show next week. While MINI hasn’t confirmed production timing, our sources have confirmed that the J01 will go into production this fall in China and will be sold in Europe, Asia and South America initially. Plans for North America are still being finalized as are plans for UK production. Both should be announced shortly.

The J01 MINI Cooper electric and U25 MINI Countryman will be followed by the internal combustion U25 Countryman which will be shown later this year. Then we’ll see the heavily revised F56 morph into the F66 internal combustion MINI Cooper. This will be MINI’s answer to all those who want a Cooper but aren’t ready for electric. Finally we’ll see the all electric MINI Aceman crossover which effectively takes the place of the beloved MINI Clubman. The Aceman will be a small crossover roughly the size of the original MINI Countryman and will be released late next year.

The New MINI FamilyDrivetrainPricingStart of Production
J01 MINI Cooper EElectric32,900€ 11/2023
J01 MINI Cooper SE Electric36,900€ 11/2024
U25 MINI Countryman CICE (Petrol)39.900€ 11/2023
U25 MINI Countryman D ICE (Diesel)42.900€ 11/2023
U25 MINI Countryman E Electric43.500€ 03/2024
U25 MINI Countryman S ALL4ICE (Petrol)45.900€ 11/2023*
U25 MINI Countryman SE ALL4Electric49.500€ 03/2024*
U25 MINI John Cooper Works Countryman ALL4ICE (Petrol)56.500€ 03/2024*
F66 MINI CooperICE (Petrol)TBD07/2024*
F66 MINI Cooper SICE (Petrol)TBD07/2024*
F66 MINI Cooper JCWICE (Petrol)TBD11/2024*
F65 MINI Cooper 5 DoorICE (Petrol)TBD07/2024*
F65 MINI Cooper S 5 DoorICE (Petrol)TBD07/2024*
F67 MINI Cooper ConvertibleICE (Petrol)TBDTBD*
F67 MINI Cooper S ConvertibleICE (Petrol)TBDTBD*
J05 MINI AcemanElectricTBDTBD
J05 MINI Aceman SElectricTBDTBD
* Available in the US at launch

For more coverage of the new generation MINI released today, check out the following articles and videos.

MINI Cooper EV: Premier | MINI Cooper EV: Hands-On Review | MINI Cooper EV: Video Review

MINI Countryman EV: Premier | MINI Countryman EV: Hands-On Review | MINI Countryman EV: Video Review

New MINI Family: 1st Look Video | MINI Circular Display & MINI OS9 Hands-On Review