2014 MINI COOPER REVEALED
More than a year's worth of spy photos, renderings, reports and rumours heralded its coming, but now it's out: MINI's 2014 Cooper has been revealed.
Making its international debut in three-door form, the all-new (yes, all-new) 2014 range kicks off with the base Cooper and powered-up Cooper S.
What's changed? You'd be forgiven for thinking "very bloody little", but you'd also be quite wrong. The new Cooper is again a case of 'evolution, not revolution' in its styling, but you'll find change all over.
For starters, it's bigger. Quite a bit bigger, in fact. The new Cooper is 98mm longer than its predecessor and rides on a wheelbase stretched 28mm beyond the old model's underpinnings.
It's 44mm wider, and the track has grown 42mm at the front and 34mm at the rear.
So of course, passenger space is improved, and - for what it's worth - rear storage space has grown 51 litres to 211 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats in their upright position.
On the styling front, the iconic MINI look dominates the design pages, but it's all tweaked. It's a little curvier, and all of its features are larger. There's a bigger grille, bigger headlights and bigger tail-lights.
So really, it's like a big toy. And that's how the Cooper should be; a big, retro-styled, fun-to-look-at, toy.
A fast toy, too. There's one diesel and two petrol engines available in the new MINI line-up, all making the little hatch sharper than before.
A new turbocharged 1.5 litre three-cylinder petrol drives the regular Cooper model, while the Cooper S gets a 2.0 litre turbo four. Both are direct-injected.
Replacing the 90kW/160Nm 1.6 litre mill of its predecessor, that three-cylinder engine offers a handy 100kW and 220Nm (the latter from 1250rpm).
Mated to the new six-speed manual transmission, the new base Cooper promises a 0-100km/h time of 7.9 seconds - down from 9.1 seconds, and less than a second off the time of the outgoing Cooper S.
With the six-speed auto, the sprint drops slightly to 7.8 seconds.
Jump into the new Cooper S, and there's a 141kW/280Nm 2.0 litre turbo four replacing the 135kW/240 1.6 litre turbo engine in the old model.
The six-speed manual gifts the new Cooper S with a 0-100km/h time of 6.8 seconds - a slight improvement over 7.0 seconds for the previous S - and the auto lists 6.7 seconds.
The regular Cooper lists fuel use at 4.5 to 4.6 l/100km (from from 5.8), while the Cooper S is rated between 5.7 to 5.8 l/100km (down from 6.3).
Helping to achieve those significant fuel savings are weight-optimised internals, including pistons and conrods. Both new twin-scroll turbo power plants are EU6 emissions-compliant.
UPDATE: MINI One added to range.
Entering below the regular 100kW/220Nm 1.5 litre Cooper, the petrol-powered One gets a turbocharged 75kW/180Nm 1.2 litre three-cylinder engine.
MINI says the petrol One will hit 100km/h in a still spritely 9.9 seconds in six-speed manual form (10.2 with the six-speed auto), and fuel use is listed at 4.6 to 4.9 l/100km.
A diesel option is again featured, with the new Cooper D's 85kW/270Nm turbocharged 1.5 litre three-cylinder engine replacing 82kW/270Nm 1.6 litre four-cylinder diesel in the old D.
In international markets, the new D lists fuel consumption figures between 3.5 and 3.6 l/100km (down from around 3.8 l/100km).
UPDATE: MINI One D added to range.
The One D, sliding in below the Cooper D, also gets a 1.5 litre engine but with output tuned down to 70kW and 220Nm.
Available in manual and auto form, the One D lists fuel use at 3.4 to 3.5 l/100km. The 0-100km/h run is covered in 11 seconds flat.
New Driving Aids
MINI has also introduced electrically-adjustable dampers in its cars for the first time, allowing the driver to switch between sports ride and handling, or a more comfortable and compliant setting.
Dynamic Stability Control, Dynamic Traction Control and Electronic Differential Lock Control are all standard.
The cabin of the new Cooper range is again a familiar environment, dominated by a large ringed console in the dash centre, while bringing a more upmarket look than in the previous model.
New features include a brand-new display in that centre ring - as large as 8.8 inches, depending on the model - along with a new jet fighter-like head-up display.
There's also Driving Assistant with camera-based active cruise control, collision and pedestrian warning with auto-brake, roadsign detection, parking assistant and a rear-view camera.
The infotainment system allows connectivity with both Apple and Android-based devices, providing a suite of apps to boost the in-car usefulness of both platforms.
Speaking with TMR today, MINI Australia's Scott Croaker confirmed the new Cooper range will arrive around the end of the first quarter in 2014.
Watch for local pricing and specs to be confirmed closer to that date.