New MINI: preview images and info

Production Cars 3 Aug 2006
New MINI: preview images and info

MINI has released some preview images and illustrations of its second generation model, together with the first information about the styling changes and technical improvements.

After more
than 800,000 units sold, the MINI range will soon be renewed with many styling and technical enhancements.

New Mini - cutaway illustrationThe second model generation of MINI is making its debut with brand-new power units, an upgraded interior, and evolutionary body design with appropriate modifications wherever required.

The new model naturally retains all the main features of the MINI and is still clearly recognisable at very first sight. This applies both
to the silhouette of this compact two-door and to the car’s driving characteristics.

The power units and transmissions, suspension and steering, brakes and safety systems are all brand-new developments from the ground up, aiming at giving the new MINI the legendary go-kart feeling.

The new MINI is entering the market with the MINI Cooper
(88 kW/120 hp) and MINI Cooper S (128 kW/175 hp). The MINI One “basic” version will follow later.

The new MINI
will also be available with a turbodiesel offering a particularly high standard of all-round economy in the drivetrain.

New MINI - Body in White
New MINI - Body in White

From the official Press Release:

Exterior Design

The new MINIThe revised body design of the new MINI not only considers the even stricter safety standards to be observed in future, but also – with the car’s dimensions increasing only slightly, for example with exterior length up by approximately
60 millimetres – accentuates the proportions and design features so typical of the MINI.

As a result, the new MINI not only retains the proportions so typical of the car, but naturally also boasts characteristic features such
as the hexagon grille, large headlights, the diagonal joint between the engine compartment lid and side direction indicators as a clear reminiscence
to the welding seam on the classic Mini stretching out over exactly the same connection line in the past, and the upright rear light clusters.

From the side, the car is naturally still dominated by glazing all round the passenger cell, the extremely short body overhangs both front and rear,
and the extra-large wheels, all of these features once again accentuating
the masculine “stance-on-the-wheels” character so typical of the MINI.

Interior Design

The new MINI“Evolution on the exterior of the car is supplemented by revolution in the interior”, states MINI’s Chief Designer Gert Hildebrand. So reflecting the formula of offering “maximum car on minimum space”, the interior of the new MINI looks even lighter than before, but is even more generous in its features. Moved far to the outside, the air vents accentuate the horizontal orientation of the dashboard and create a harmonious transition from the cockpit to
the door lining.

Through its separate elements and dividing lines, the dash­board allows superior customisation with inserts more sporting, technical
or elegant, depending on the colour and material chosen. And last but not least, the decal elements may be supplemented by up to 16 chrome-plated trim surrounds on the instruments and air vents themselves.

Now even larger than before, the Center Speedo, a MINI icon in the cockpit, comprises all entertainment and, as an option, navigation functions over and above the analogue-face speedometer. Through its high, central position, the Center Speedo allows optimum ergonomic control by both the driver and front passenger.

Metallic toggle switches again typical of MINI are featured not only in the centre console, but also as function switches to be found for the first time in the roof lining. The conventional ignition key, in turn, has been replaced by
an electronic signal transmitter enabling the driver to start the engine simply by pressing the Start/Stop button after having inserted the round chip sensor in the opening next to the steering wheel. Again, features of this calibre enhance the character of the interior cockpit to an even higher standard.

New Engines

The new MINI Cooper and the new MINI Cooper S come with two four-cylinder petrol engines each displacing 1.6 litres. They each come with two overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder driven by a chain. The engine block and cylinder head, in turn, are cast out of a special aluminium alloy.

The MINI Cooper features a normal-aspiration power unit developing maximum output of 88 kW/120 hp at 6,000 rpm and peak torque of
160 Nm/118 lb-ft at 4,250 rpm. The intake valves are controlled in a fully variable process by the BMW Group’s absolutely unique VALVETRONIC technology, allowing the engine to breathe freely, without the usual
restrictions imposed by a throttle butterfly.

The engine featured in the new MINI Cooper S is
a turbocharged power unit with direct gasoline injection. Turbocharging is provided by an elaborately designed twin-scroll turbocharger fed with a separate flow of exhaust gas from two cylinders each. Benefiting from this configuration, the turbocharger cuts in right from the start at low engine speeds, almost completely eliminating the so-called “turbo gap” when accelerating.

Maximum torque of 240 Nm or 177 lb-ft comes at just 1,600 rpm, maximum output of this turbocharged four-cylinder is 128 kW/175 hp at 5,500 rpm.

(Source: Mini)


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