Sunday, June 22, 2014
The New Original: 2014 MINI Launched (w/ Specs)
The Mona Lisa, The Beatles, The MINI—how do you improve on the original? This is a common conundrum facing instantly recognizable, unequivocal classics. In the case of the MINI, a car with a long and storied history, they have taken not just the car’s DNA, but its very spirit and crafted something new and yet familiar at the same time. It begins with a clean sheet design where each and every surface is made sleeker and curvier. And then, it goes to the interior, with a new man-machine interface that puts the driver in unparalleled control. Finally, under the body, a new drivetrain developed from the ground-up to give the most smiles per kilometer. In short, to say that the 2014 MINI is all-new is an understatement; yet a passing glance is enough to say, this is a MINI through and through. Meet the all-new MINI, the new original.
Underpinning the 2014 MINI is an all-new platform. All of the key aesthetic features are present from the round headlights, “floating roof”, and compact proportions, but with more practical proportions. The all-new MINI is larger in every dimension compared to its predecessor. In Cooper form, it’s 3,821mm long (+98mm vs predecessor), 1,727mm wide (+44mm vs predecessor) and 1,414 mm high (+7mm vs predecessor). The wheelbase is 2,495 mm (+28mm vs predecessor), while the track width has been enlarged to 1,501mm (+34mm vs predecessor). Meanwhile, in Cooper S trim, it’s at 3,850mm (+121mm vs predecessor) and has a track width of 1,485mm (front +32mm and rear +24mm vs predecessor).
Knowing that a lightweight body is key to driving fun, the MINI has kept its mass in check despite the enlarged proportions. In fact, it’s lighter in just about every configuration compared to before. Upfront, it employs aluminum swivel bearings along with axle supports and wishbones made of lightweight, high-strength steel. Tube-shaped stabilizers on both ends also contribute to the weight reduction.
Together with its diet regimen, the all-new MINI employs a new family of powerful, fuel-efficient engines featuring Twin Power Turbo technology. Available in both 3- and 4-cylinder configurations, these gasoline engines has direct-injection, variable camshaft and valve control, and turbocharging to improve driving performance while reducing fuel consumption and emissions by as much as 27 percent. The MINI Cooper now has 136 horsepower (up 14 horsepower) and a maximum torque of 220 Nm available from as low as 1,250 rpm. This 1.5-liter 3-cylinder engine rockets the Cooper from 0-100 km/h in just 7.8 seconds to a top speed of 210 km/h. Meanwhile, the Cooper S gets the potent 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with a peak power of 192 horsepower and 280 Nm of torque. This results in a 0-100 km/h time of just 6.7 seconds and a top speed of 233 km/h.
Both models are equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission that gives improved efficiency, enhanced shift control, and better shift dynamics thanks to optimized hydraulics together with a new transmission control system. The more efficient transmission is combined with a new automatic engine start/stop function, a first for MINI, to prevent unnecessary fuel consumption while idling in congested traffic. And with MINIMALISM technology, the all-new MINI also has brake energy recuperation and needs-oriented control of the fuel pump, coolant system, and even the electromechanical power steering to make it as energy-efficient as possible.
For the Cooper S, MINI debuts Dynamic Damper Control which can change the car’s set-up from a comfort-oriented response to a more direct, sportier one with just a switch. This is done through the electrical control of the compression and rebound of the EDC valves.
Inside, the larger proportions of the all-new MINI promotes larger space for better comfort. Upfront, the seats feature extended adjustment range with a seat surface lengthened by 23mm together with perceptibly more shoulder room. At the back, the MINI has an optimized entry for better ingress/egress along with more foot space. Finally, the luggage compartment has increased 25 percent to 211 liters.
Apart from the larger space, better fit and finish, and more standard equipment than ever before, the all-new MINI debuts the new MINI Driving Modes that provides for an excellent basis for fuel efficiency or sporty driving. A rotary switch at the base of the gear selector allows the driver to switch between Sport or Green mode. This alters certain parameters in the car including the response of the steering, accelerator, and even engine acoustics. The MINI Driving Modes also influences the ambient lighting in the center instrument cluster.
The 2014 MINI also has an extensive suite of safety-related optional features available, most of which are new to the brand. Features such as the MINI Heads-Up Display, Driving Assistant (camera-based cruise control, distance control function, and pedestrian warning system), and rear view camera are available.
Designed to be bigger, better handling, and packed with more technological innovations than before, the all-new MINI continues to be the leading original in the premium small car segment. The all-new MINI is available for viewing at MINI Global City and MINI Cebu. The MINI Cooper retails for P 2,100,000 while the Cooper S goes for P 2,600,000.