MINI models are to benefit from a wide of technical advances and personalisation options with effect from spring 2010. At the top of the list are a new range of petrol engines that offer more power and torque while reducing both emissions and fuel consumption. In addition, a new MINI One Convertible will bring the thrill of open air MINI driving to a wider audience. MINI is also raising the customisation possibilities by offering a range of unique Rainbow colour options and an extension to the MINI Graphite Special Edition model range to include Clubman models.
“Hot on the heels of the launch of customer field trials for the electric MINI E, MINI is introducing this array of new technology and features for the new decade,” said Jochen Goller, Director of MINI UK. “Once again, our dedication to continuous improvement will bring substantial benefits in both efficiency and performance to our customers. Better still, there will be no price increase when the new models go on sale in March 2010.”
New petrol engines
A new and improved version of the MINI petrol engine will be fitted to all First, One, Cooper and Cooper S models in the Hatch, Convertible and Clubman ranges. The MINI First and One models will now be fitted with a 1.6 litre engine, replacing the 1.4, and VALVETRONIC valve operation that delivers more torque and better fuel consumption. All MINI petrol-engined models will conform to European EU5 emissions standards or ULEV 11 in the USA.
VALVETRONIC variable valve timing delivers a five per cent improvement on its own while an on- demand, map-controlled oil pump achieves a further 2.5 per cent fuel saving. An improved, low friction engine vacuum pump accounts for another one per cent and a map-regulated water pump working on a pulsed cycle (rather than simply on or off) saves 1.2 per cent fuel.
Reduced friction from polished camshaft and main bearings, improved heat management and the specific features above combine to contribute more efficient use of energy by the new MINI range.
The fuel consumption improvements have been made despite the fact that the testing procedures under EU5 reduce certified gains.
The entry level MINI, MINI First, receives a new version of the 1.6 litre four cylinder engine that produces 75 hp, the same as its predecessor. The extra capacity has been designed to produce more torque which is higher by almost 17 per cent at 140 Nm. As a result fuel consumption in the EU cycle is 52.3 mpg and CO2 emissions 127 g/km. Top speed of MINI First is 109 mph while the 0-62 mph acceleration takes 13.2 seconds.
The new engine enables MINI One to increase both power (by three per cent to 98hp) and torque (by nine per cent to 153 Nm at 3,000 rpm). The efficiencies achieved through this new technology also deliver consumption of 52.3 mpg on the combined cycle while emissions fall to127 g/km. On the road the true spirit of MINI is revealed with top speed rising to 116 mph and zero to 62 mph acceleration taking just 10.5 seconds, a 0.4 second improvement.
The MINI One Clubman benefits from the same powertrain improvements and offers 0-62 mph in 11.1 seconds and a top speed of 115 mph. EU cycle fuel consumption falls to 51.4 mpg (combined cycle) and emissions to just 129 g/km.
MINI One Convertible
Since its launch in 2009 the enduring appeal of the MINI Convertible has been proven by strong demand. So far it has only been possible to buy a Cooper, Cooper S or John Cooper Works Convertible, so the introduction of a One Convertible provides a much lower entry point for keen fresh air fans.
The MINI One Convertible shares the new 1.6 litre VALVETRONIC engine of its Hatch and Clubman cousins, and produces the same 98hp and 153 Nm of torque all for a sub-£15,000 price tag. The new model accelerates from 0-62 mph in 11.3 seconds and goes on to a top speed of 112 mph. Despite this it brings fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions to a new level in the convertible market, recording 49.6 mpg (combined cycle) and 133 g/km respectively.
The open top four-seater features a fabric roof that opens and closes electro-hydraulically at the touch of a button up to 20 mph. Designed as a Convertible from the outset, MINI Convertible offers a torsionally-stiff body that allows it to capitalise on cutting edge chassis technology to release that special MINI go-kart feeling. Naturally the MINI One Convertible has a high standard equipment list including air-conditioning and is equipped with all the sophisticated active safety features of the Cooper and S including EPS electromechanical steering, DSC stability control, four airbags and the rear rollover bar behind the rear seats that pops up automatically in the event of a rollover incident.
MINI One Convertible can, like all MINIs, be specified with a wide range of options to personalise it to an owner’s taste. These include a wide range of exterior paint colours, interior design choices, hood colours and the ‘Openometer’. This MINI Convertible-specific option records the amount of time spent with the roof down. It is, after all, the principal purpose of owning a soft-top MINI
The on-the-road price for MINI One Convertible is £14,995.
MINI Cooper S
The iconic Cooper S model also gets more ‘poke’ with less ‘smoke’. It is equipped for the first time with a twin-scroll turbocharger, direct petrol injection and fully variable valve control. The variable valve control is based on BMW’s familiar VALVETRONIC system that adjusts valve lift and opening times in direct relationship to the driver’s command on the throttle pedal.
The result is the most efficient hot hatch in its class: the 1.6 litre unit produces 9 hp more peak power at 184 hp while peak torque is 240 Nm, delivered from as low as 1,600 rpm through to 5,000 rpm. This flexibility is enhanced by an Overboost function that delivers 260 Nm for short periods when it is most needed, for example when overtaking. The Cooper S Hatch sprints from 0 to 62 mph in exactly 7 seconds on its way to a top speed of 142 mph, But it’s not just about ‘go’. It delivers improved EU cycle fuel consumption of 48.7 mpg (combined cycle) lower by 3.1 mpg, while CO2 emissions are now 13 g/km lower at 136 g/km.
All three models are equipped as standard with a six speed manual gearbox or, optionally, a six speed automatic gearbox with shift paddles on the steering wheel. Manual Cooper S models will be fitted with a new self-adjusting clutch with carbon coated linings that reduces service costs and maintains consistent pedal feel but also improves gear synchronisation.
At the heart of the MINI range the largest-selling model, the MINI Cooper, also benefits from the new engine enhancements. A power hike to 122 hp (+3 hp) and peak torque of 160 Nm @ 4,250 rpm help the Hatch to 62 mph in 9.1 seconds and a top speed of 127 mph. Sharing all the new engine features of the Cooper S except the turbocharger, the Cooper achieves 52.3 mpg (combined cycle) and emits only 127 g/km of CO2.
More beef but it won’t cost a bean
Not only will customers feel these improvements in their pockets through lower fuel and taxation charges, they will sense them through the accelerator pedal too…but MINI will ask no price increase for the enhanced MINI models – not a sausage!
More lead in your pencil
Launched in April 2009 the MINI Hatch Graphite Special Edition model has proven to be a huge hit with MINI fans. Resplendent in its special Dark Silver metallic livery and offering unique alloy wheels, white indicator lenses, piano black interior trim, bonnet stripes and special ‘Graphite’ badging as standard equipment, this special edition stands out from the crowd. It also stands out in the used car market offering the highest residual value position of any current MINI model.
In February 2010 this hugely successful model will be joined by its larger and more practical counterpart, the MINI Clubman Graphite Special Edition model. Available on MINI One, Cooper and Cooper D variants, the MINI Clubman Graphite offers the same Dark Silver paintwork (normally only available for Cooper S models) and the same enhanced level of standard equipment as on the Hatch. The raised level of standard specification is priced at a discount of 25% versus the normal ‘single’ option costs so, as is often the case, MINI owners can have their cake and eat it.
A new level of exclusivity for MINI / Somewhere over the rainbow
From April 2010 MINI will introduce a new level of customisation and expression for those who want to take personalisation to a new level. Three new Rainbow paint options will offer a deeper dimension of reflective quality than ever before seen on a MINI. A water-based basecoat colour produces an amazing rainbow effect in bright sunlight that changes the character of the MINI completely. Available in three different colours – Sunlight Metallic, Asteroid Metallic and Nightlife Metallic – these unique paint finishes open a new chapter in MINI personalisation. Prices will be announced in March but, rest assured, it won’t cost the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
“These Spring changes, available in March 2010, will enhance MINI’s attractiveness as we start this new decade,” said Goller, “but it is only just the start. There are many exciting things happening at MINI during 2010 and there is much more fun on the way,” he concluded.