Look twice, and a third time if you have to. This is a brand-new car, a new generation of Mini even trainspotters may struggle to pick as anything other than a British-branded hatch built some time in the last several years. But the third-generation Mini does have a number of key stylistic changes both inside and out that cloak its all-new underpinnings.
Mini accurately describes the car’s styling as “evolutionary” with new headlights and LED taillamps at either end of a body that is now 98 millimetres longer, 44 millimetres wider and seven millimetres higher than its predecessor.
Mini assures us that the new model will retain the outgoing car’s “go-kart” handling despite its growth in size.
Designers have done away with the ergonomically challenged, centrally-mounted speedo in favour of a conventional intrument in the driver’s eyeline. while in some models it will be augmented by a nifty heads-up display.
A plate-sized central display has been retained for use with audio and climate control systems as well as optional extras such as satellite navigation or a reversing camera.
Mini says there is more room in the interior thanks to a wheelbase stretched by 34mm, along with an extra 51 litres of cargo capacity at the tail end.
The big change is under the bonnet, where the Cooper S’ 1.6-litre motor has made way for a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit that makes 141kW and 300Nm, along with claimed fuel use of less than 6.0L/100km.
Drivers looking to save fuel would be better off with the standard Cooper, which now has a three-cylinder 1.5-litre motor that uses less than 5.0L/100km and makes 100kW and 220Nm. The real star in the economy stakes is the diesel-sipping Cooper D, which produces 85kW and 270Nm while using as little as 3.5L/100km, which is better than Toyota’s hybrid Prius.
The new Mini should arrive in Australia in the first quarter of 2014, followed by the return of theMini cabrio in 2015.
You must be logged in to post a comment.