The new MINI hatch will use three-cylinder petrol and diesel engines with range-lowest CO2 emissions of 92g/km, but the manufacturer isn’t confirming electric or hybrid versions as yet.
Unveiled on the birthday of Alec Issigonis, at the factory in Cowley near Oxford where all MINIs except the Paceman and Countryman are built, the new car uses no parts from its predecessor and introduces a modular platform and engine range. Order books are already open, with deliveries due from March 2014, and residual values are indicated to be over 50% after three years and 60,000 miles.
At launch, the range will comprise Cooper, Cooper S and Cooper D versions, with further models rumoured to be announced in the near future. For the first time, all engines are developed and built in-house by the BMW Group at its Hams Hall plant in the Midlands, and aren’t shared with other manufacturers. Previous MINIs have used engines from Chrysler and shared with PSA Peugeot-Citroen.
Petrols comprise a 1.5-litre three-cylinder with 136bhp and 2.0-litre four-cylinder with 192bhp, emitting 105g/km and 133g/km respectively. The fleet-favourite Cooper D will use a 1.5-litre, three-cylinder diesel with 116bhp and CO2 emissions of 92g/km. All engines use direct injection, turbocharging and variable valve timing to improve performance and efficiency compared to their predecessors.
New technology also includes variable damping, selectable driving modes and a camera-based accident avoidance and cruise control0 package. The speedometer and rev counter have been relocated to just above the steering wheel, while a central infotainment screen of up to 8.8-inches, ringed by colour changing LEDs showing driving modes, climate control settings, revs and the distance to junctions.
BMW Group has invested £750m in the Cowley plant to build the new MINI, its platform will eventually be rolled out across the familiar family of variants with the option to stretch its wheelbase as required. Depending on demand, production could be extended to BMW Group’s plants in Netherlands and Austria.