MINI has confirmed that launch date of the new MINI. The hatchback will be launched at the firm’s Oxford factory on November 18, the 107th birthday of the original Mini’s designer, Sir Alex Issigonis. A new set of photos of the 2014 MINI being filmed for a TV advertisement have also surfaced.
The new model will also debut a new generation of three and four-cylinder engines. The engines are said to set new standards in terms of output, efficiency, comfort and reliability.
At launch, a 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine that generates 100kW (136bhp) of power and 220Nm of torque, and a 2.0-litre four-cylinder with 141kW (192bhp) and 280Nm will be on offer.
A common feature of the new drive units is the MINI TwinPower turbo technology, which optimises both performance and efficiency. This technology package includes turbocharging, direct fuel injection, variable camshaft control on the intake and outlet sides (dual VANOS) and, in the more powerful versions, fully variable valve control according to the model of the BMW Group’s patented VALVETRONIC system.
A range of diesel engines will also join the range, all with a turbocharger and the latest generation common rail direct injection system.
At the head of the pack in the new generation of engines is a three-cylinder diesel model, which uses a capacity of 1.5 litres to generate a maximum output of 85 kW (116bhp) and a maximum torque of 270Nm. This engine is said to produce a tangible advantage in terms of driving pleasure and measurable consumption benefits that add up to a more than 7 per cent reduction in comparison with the previous drive mechanism.
All new engines were designed for the transverse configuration typical of the MINI and feature a compact and lightweight design. They also comply with exhaust standard EU6. Both the petrol and diesel versions of the engine are equipped with aluminium crankshaft housing in a closed-deck configuration. A forged steel crankshaft with integrated balancing shaft drive, weight-optimised piston and forged conrod contributes to the high level of performance within the engine through reduced frictional coefficients. The three-cylinder engines each have a countershaft to enhance smooth operation, while the four-cylinder model has two such shafts that counter-rotate. The cylinder head in all engine variants is made of aluminium. There are further similarities in terms of the layout of the ancillary units and the design of the map-regulated oil pump and the mechanically activated coolant pump. As the coolant pump supports both the generator and the climate compressor, the drive units have a more compact design.
There are also newly developed manual and automatic transmissions that further enhance the efficiency of the drive technology. The new manual gearboxes feature an innovative gear sensor which adapts the engine speed when gear-shifting. This permits especially fast and sporty shifting with always the right engine speed available during gear shifts.
The automatic start-stop function can also be used in future MINI models in conjunction with the automatic gearbox, avoiding unnecessary fuel consumption when stopped at junctions or when caught in heavy traffic. In addition, for cars equipped with a navigation system, gear selection can be adapted to the current route. In this way for example the suitable gear is selected before reaching junctions or before cornering.
Thanks to the continued optimisation in the area of wheel suspension, spring system, damping, steering and braking, driving pleasure looks set to become an even more intense experience in future MINI models. In combination with the features characteristic of the MINI pedigree, such as the vehicle’s low centre of gravity, wide track gauge, short overhangs, transverse engine, particularly rigid bodywork and intelligent lightweight design, innovative detailed solutions in the chassis area make for even more precise and sporty handling. The agility that characterises all MINIs is also combined with further advances in the area of driving comfort. This is the first time that MINI is to offer electrically adjustable dampers that can be used to optimise sportiness and driving comfort.
The new-generation MINI will also be lighter, thanks to high-strength steel construction and welding methods.