The new MINI receives its world debut today at the Mondial de l’Automobile in Paris, Europe’s biggest motor show of the year. The global unveiling previews the new MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S, which go on sale in the UK on Saturday 18 November 2006. The all-new MINI features a completely new body design, a striking modern interior and brand new performance engines with lower fuel consumption and significantly reduced emissions.
The exterior design of the new MINI has remained true to its phenomenally successful forbear, yet every body panel is different. The MINI design team rightly deemed evolution preferable to revolution and MINI’s styling remains instantly recognisable. The new MINI has a ‘stronger’ front end due to the creation of more space for the engine and to fulfil future safety requirements. The shoulder line is 18mm higher and visually accentuates the powerful stance of the car’s body. The round, clear-glass headlights are now fixed to the body and have been turned slightly to maintain the geometry of the car. The new radiator grille is reminiscent of the air intake scoop on the classic MINI and there will be 12 body colours available to choose from, seven of which are brand new.
The new MINI features an all-new interior that aims to mix MINI’s unique style with improved quality and greater comfort. There is more usable space for both front and rear seat occupants and owners will be able to choose from an even wider range of colours, interior specifications and options in order to personalise their car.
Still the most striking feature is the centre speedo. It now comprises not only the analogue speedometer, but also all entertainment and as an option, navigation functions.
Under the skin, the new MINI range reveals more radical change. Highlights include completely new four-cylinder 1.6-litre petrol engines featuring a wealth of innovative technical features, and new suspension designed to deliver a more comfortable ride without losing the trademark MINI ‘go-kart’ experience.
The 1.6-litre naturally-aspirated engine in the MINI Cooper features fully variable valve control, based on BMW Group’s unique VALVETRONIC system. This innovative system adjusts intake, valve-lift and opening times within fractions of a second to meet the power and performance requirements of the driver.
The MINI Cooper S engine is a Direct Injection petrol power unit. Intake air is pre-compressed by a twin-scroll turbocharger, complete with intercooler. The high performance is further enhanced by advanced valve management - four valves per cylinder being operated by two overhead camshafts.
The new MINI will be built at Plant Oxford, which is currently gearing up to increase its capacity to 240,000 by 2008 as part of a £200m UK investment by BMW Group. The new BMW-designed engines will be assembled at Hams Hall in the Midlands and the body panels and sub-assemblies will come from Plant Swindon. This ‘MINI production triangle’ in the UK is one of the true automotive UK success stories of recent years.
The new MINI One and a diesel-powered variant will follow in the first half of 2007.Published 28 September 2006