RAC Cars News


New Mini To Be Faster And More Efficient

By raccars Published

The Mini is scheduled for cosmetic updates next year, but BMW is also treating it to some pretty serious technical overhauling at the same time, according to details released recently. The third generation BMW Mini is shaping up to be a technological tour de force, with features such as GPS operated gear selection and some very modern three and four cylinder engines.

While official pictures have yet to be released, the new shape has been seen in spy shots. Now the technical details are being made available.

The engine line up includes the following: Cooper models get turbocharged three cylinder units, a 134bhp petrol and a 114bhp diesel, while the Cooper S gets a 189bhp 2.0 litre petrol unit, retuned to produce 220bhp for the hot John Cooper Works variant. Not only will the new engine range make the third generation Mini faster, it will also be more efficient, using high strength, light weight steel construction methods and stop/start technology.

There will be two new gearboxes available to complement the updated engine range, a six speed manual with some posh BMW rev matching technology and an automatic that accomplishes gear selection via GPS in the style of the Rolls-Royce Wraith, programming the most appropriate shift movements according to the approaching road layout.

Handling has been given some attention too, with the introduction of adaptive damping. Sport and Comfort driving modes allow the driver to select between a racier or softer feel on the road. The earlier car's multilink rear suspension set up remains but has also received a revamp, resulting in more room at the rear end and better boot access.

The next Mini will be built on the new UKL1 platform, with a slightly wider track and variable electric powered steering, for a better feel at lower speeds and parking. The high performance John Cooper Works models will be made easier to handle, with new Active Rotational Damping to compensate for torque steer.

Furthermore, there will be some extra safety technology on board, with a beefed up passenger cell, bigger crumple zones at each end and an intuitive, sensor activated bonnet release, automatically raising to reduce pedestrian collision impact at speeds from 12-34mph.

The car will see a public release on November 18th, by which time Mini should have given some economy and performance statistics. The usual hatchback, convertible, Countryman etc. model line up will apply, but rumour has it BMW will be taking advantage of the scalable new platform to extend the Mini range, quite literally, with the possibility of stretched out variants down the line.

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