When the new MINI Cooper by BMW was released, we had to refer to the old school model as the old MINI or old school MINI, and the new MINI Cooper as the new MINI or BMW MINI. BMW adds to our confusion with this 2nd generation new MINI Cooper, but nevertheless we petrol heads welcome it with open arms. So what’s new with the new new MINI Cooper? Check it out after the jump!
The MINI Cooper has attained overwhelming success since it’s introduction in 2001, and over 800,000 units have been sold worldwide, with 25% in UK alone. Now, BMW reveals the details of it’s successor, the 2nd generation MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S, with the MINI One to come later. Major highlights are a slightly larger body longer by 60mm, and a new turbocharged engine!
BMW has redesigned every body panel on the car, but it still retains the classic MINI shape that everyone has grown to love. To be honest, it’s the only cute car in the world which will not result in you being called a sissy. Nissan has a lot to learn from BMW in this case, look at the March! To maintain the MINI look, BMW has given the new longer car a stronger front end with a higher curvature as well as a shoulder line that’s higher by 18mm, and a rounder contour at the rear. The car remains as a front engined, front wheel drive unit.
To me, the highlight of the car is definitely the new engine. The previous MINI Cooper used a Tritec engine designed almost entirely by Chrysler (and used in the Chrysler/Dodge Neon as well as the Chery A160), and the MINI Cooper S used a supercharged version of the engine. The new MINI Cooper will use a new engine developed by BMW together with PSA Peugeot Citroen. The new BMW-PSA 1.6 litre engine features BMW’s fully variable valve control technology – VALVETRONIC. Intake lift and opening times are fully adjustable by the ECU, and this system also eliminates the need for a throttle butterfly. In addition to that, the outlet valves have variable valve opening timing.
How does these improvements on paper translate to real world improvements as compared to the previous engine? Horsepower is up to 120hp, fuel consumption is down by up to 20% depending on driver behaviour and emmissions have been reduced to 139g/km for the MINI Cooper and 164g/km on the MINI Cooper S – a drop of 43g/km.
For the MINI Cooper S, the power boost is provided via turbocharging instead of supercharging. The new engine makes 175hp with the help of it’s intercooled twin scroll turbocharger, up 5hp from the previous supercharged engine. The max power of 175hp peaks at 5,500rpm, with peak torque of 240Nm constant between 1,600rpm and 5,000rpm. This is a testament that engine technology especially with forced induction has advanced so much that torque curves are most of the time more appropriately called torque plateaus instead.
This new engine is paired to either a six-speed manual or six-speed Tiptronic automatic gearbox on both the MINI Cooper and the MINI Cooper S. Tiptronic functions are controllable through paddle shifts on the steering wheel.
Speaking of steerings, the new MINI Cooper gains an EPAS system – Electric Power-Assisted Steering. The system offers low steering forces when parking and better feel at highway speeds. This is the standard setup, but there is a sports setup steering control map which is activated when the Sport button is pressed. This causes the steering to be more direct. Other than that, the Sports button also gives a more instant accelerator response.
The MINI Cooper is shod with with 15 inch alloy wheels wrapped with 175/65/R15 tyres while the MINI Cooper S takes it a level higher with 16 inch alloy wheels and 196/65/R16 tyres. The supplied tyres are run-flat tyres, much like the new BMW X5‘s. It allows journeys of up to 145km at speeds of up to 80 km/h.
Safety features include 6 airbags – front, side, and extra large curtain-head integrated in the roof lining of the car. Active safety features include ABS, EBD, CDC Cornering Brake Control on the MINI Cooper. The MINI Cooper S has everything plus additional ASC+T (Automatic Stability Control + Traction), and optional Dynamic Stability Control. ASC+T can be controlled via a switch that lets you turn it on and off. This improved DSC includes Hill Assist for cars equipped with manual transmission. This automatically applies brakes when setting off on a hill to prevent the car from sliding backwards.
With the introduction of the 2nd generation new MINI Cooper, this signifies that some of us not so wealthy people can begin dreaming of getting a used first generation new MINI Cooper. I have not driven one before, but I’ve heard it goes like a go kart.
The MINI Cooper S
Nice twin tailpipe exhausts on the MINI Cooper S