The new Mini has been officially unveiled, and the company claims the new model is more efficient, more refined and more spacious than the outgoing model.
The Mini has grown in all directions in comparison to its predecessor, being 98mm longer, 44m wider and 7mm taller.
The wheelbase has been stretched, too, by 28mm, while the track increases by 42mm at the front, and 34mm at the rear.
Traditional Mini styling cues such as the shape of the radiator grille, the circular headlights and the rear light clusters all remain, although the new headlight treatment gives the Mini a somewhat surprised look to our eyes.
Those headlights are available with full LED illumination as an option, with the outer ring acting as a daytime running light.
Five new colours have been added to the shade chart, while the roof and door mirrors are now available in contrasting black or white as a no-cost option. Roof rails now appear on the options list for the first time, too.
Inside, the front seats have a greater range of adjustment and gaining access to the rear seats has been made easier. Boot space increases by 30% to 211 litres.
The instruments have been rearranged with speed, revs and fuel gauges now housed in a pod attached to the steering column in front of the driver, while the central display – available in a variety of formats depending on options chosen – is ringed by LED lights which change colour depending on conditions. For instance, the display changes from green to yellow to red during parking as the distance to the obstacle decreases, while the illuminated area shrinks during route guidance as the car gets closer to the required turn-off.
Other cute touches include a start/stop toggle switch in the centre console that pulses like a heartbeat before the engine starts.
Key-less entry is now standard across the range, while some of the minor switchgear has been relocated, most notably the electric window switches which are now on the doors.
Three engines are available, all turbocharged, two of which are three-cylinder units.
The 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine in the Mini Cooper develops 134bhp and 230Nm of torque on overboost, while returning 62.8mpg and CO2 emissions of 105g/km.
The Mini Cooper D is powered by a 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbodiesel with 114bhp and 270Nm, and is said to be able to achieve 80.7mpg with emissions of 92g/km.
The faster Mini Cooper S uses a four-cylinder 2.0-litre unit producing 189bhp and 300Nm with overboost. It is expected to return 49.6mpg and 133g/km.
A six-speed manual transmission is standard on all models, and incorporates a new rev-matching system for downshifts. A six-speed automatic gearbox is an option for all models.
The suspension has been heavily revised, and now features Variable Damper Control as an option to provide a choice of comfort or sport-oriented driving modes.
The new Mini range, which be built at the company’s plant in Oxford, will be launched globally in spring 2014.
Prices will start from £15,300 for the Mini Cooper Hatch, £16,450 for the Mini Cooper D, and £18,650 for the Mini Cooper S.