Fresh from it’s launch, the British premium brand provides one of the outstanding highlights at the 2013 Los Angeles International Auto Show with the North America premiere of the new MINI Hardtop. The presentation in the Californian movie capital takes place just days after the official world premiere of the new model in the UK – the home country of MINI. This makes the Los Angeles International Auto Show the setting for the car’s first ever auto show appearance. From November 22nd to December 1st 2013, visitors will be able to see how the model’s design has been further evolved and take a close look at its expanded interior space and new display and operating concept, as well as finding out more about an entirely new generation of MINI engines, completely revised suspension technology and the very latest innovations in the field of driver assistance systems. The debut of the new MINI Hardtop is supplemented with an extensive presentation of the brand’s other models. Those on display will include the latest all-wheel drive models – the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman ALL4 and the MINI John Cooper Works Paceman ALL4. (ALL4 only available on S models in the US, only JCW Countryman and Paceman will be on display in LA)
The new MINI Hardtop features an instantly recognisable upgrade in terms of product substance that benefits its sporty, agile handling, ride comfort and efficiency as well as enhancing its unmistakable character, functionality and premium style. New engines with MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology and likewise newly developed transmissions increase the car’s sprint capabilities while at the same time reducing fuel consumption. Efficiency is significantly boosted by the extensive MINIMALISM technology, consistently optimised weight and improved aerodynamic properties.
The sophisticated technology of the new MINI Hardtop, unparalleled in the small car segment, is also reflected in numerous innovative features. For the first time ever, a MINI can be fitted with adjustable dampers. The new MINI Driving Modes allows the car to be driven in GREEN mode, including coasting function with decoupled drivetrain. Another unique feature in this class of vehicle are the optionally available LED headlamps. Meanwhile, the range of driver assistance systems and MINI Connected Services has been significantly expanded. New features in his area include the MINI Head-Up-Display, parking assistant and rear view camera.
Hallmark proportions, optimised space.
This latest evolutionary stage in the development of MINI enhances not only driving fun but also the car’s quality feel, space on all four seats and level of safety. The new MINI is 98 millimetres (114 mm, 4.5 inches) longer, 44 millimetres (1.7 inches) wider and 7 millimetres (0.3 inches) higher than its predecessor. The wheelbase has been extended by 28 millimetres (1.1 inches) while the track has been increased by 42 millimetres (1.7 inches) at the front and 34 millimetres (1.3 inches) at the rear. Cornering agility and ride comfort benefit from these new dimensions as do the amount of space available to occupants and the luggage compartment volume, which has been increased by 51 litres (1.8 feet3) to a total of 211 litres (7.5 feet3).
Like its proportions, the evolutionary refinement of the model’s design ensures that characteristic features are retained. The three-section body structure continues to define the car’s distinctive look in the new MINI. The main body of the vehicle, the greenhouse glass section encompassing the entire car and the roof on top are clearly separated from each other in visual terms. The wide track and short overhangs emphasise the striking expression of the vehicle’s body, seated powerfully on the wheels. The athletic stature of the new MINI is also highlighted by prominent lines in the side view. Traditional design features such as the hexagonal contour of the radiator grille, the side indicator surrounds known as side scuttles, the circular headlights, the upright rear light clusters and the black periphery around at the bottom edge of the body are reinterpreted and given additional emphasis by means of a high-end surface design in each specific area.
The MINI Cooper S draws its model-specific sporty flair from such features as a radiator grille with honeycomb pattern, an additional opening in the bonnet, brake air ducts integrated in the lower air inlets and a separate rear apron with exhaust tailpipes arranged at the centre. In addition to the side scuttle elements, the radiator grille of this model variant now also bears an “S” logo with chrome surround.
Unique in the segment: LED headlamps with adaptive light distribution.
The new MINI is the first car in its segment to offer the option of LED headlamps. The bright white LED units are the light source for both low and high beam. They are also surrounded by an LED daylight driving ring, of which the lower section reaches down to the white turn indicators. Another option is an adaptive light distribution function that ensures optimum illumination of the road surface and roadside – depending on situation and route profile – and also includes a turning light. The optional fog lamps are likewise available in halogen or LED, according to preference. In conjunction with the LED headlamps, the rear light clusters also come as LED units.
High-end interior with new display and operating concept.
The design of the interior likewise combines hallmark brand styling with an optimised premium look and feel. A key element here – in addition to the high-quality selection of materials and colours – is the new display and operating concept. One of the most important new features is the instrument cluster on the steering column. Road speed, engine speed and fuel supply are displayed on vertically arranged circular instruments. The speedometer scale includes a colour display for Check Control messages, vehicle status displays and visual indicators relating to currently activated driver assistance systems.
With its new indicator elements and extended functionality, the typical MINI central instrument intensifies interaction between driver and car. As an optional extra, the interior of the LED ring can also act as an on-board monitor. The color screen – measuring up to 8.8 inches – is used along with the MINI Controller on the centre console to operate vehicle functions, infotainment, communication, navigation and MINI Connected Services. This allows for intuitive, safe and convenient operation based on the principles of the BMW iDrive system – a ground-breaking force throughout the entire automotive sector.
The innovative display and operating concept is supported by a lighting design in the area of the central instrument which is unique to MINI. LED units around the outer edge of the circular instrument – available in six colours – can respond to the current situation on the road or else to specific operating steps as the driver prefers.
The increased interior space available and a wide range of clever details make for further advancements in the area of functionality. The split rear backrest is not only foldable, its tilt angle can be adjusted too. Numerous cupholders and storage facilities make it easy to take drinks and travel utensils along in the car, and there is an additional storage compartment behind the decor strip on the passenger side.
New engines with MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology.
The new MINI lines up for its launch on the US market in two model variants: the MINI Cooper and the MINI Cooper S. Both are powered by newly developed engines featuring MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology, including a turbocharging system, petrol direct injection, variable camshaft control on the intake and exhaust side (double VANOS) and fully variable valve control in the form of VALVETRONIC, as patented by the BMW Group. The engines are combined with a 6-speed manual transmission as standard, with the option of a 6-speed automatic transmission.
The new MINI Cooper S is powered by a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine with a peak output of 141 kW/192 bhp (189 bhp in US) which goes on stream between 4 700 and 6 000 rpm, delivering its maximum torque of 280 Newton metres (207 ft-lbs) at 1 250 rpm. Torque can even briefly be increased to 300 Newton metres (221 ft-lbs) by means of an overboost function. As a result, acceleration from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) takes just 6.8 seconds (automatic: (6.7 seconds), while the top speed is 235 km/h (146 mph) (233 km/h)(145 mph). This fascinating sporty flair goes hand in hand with further optimised efficiency. The combined range of the new MINI Cooper S is 28 mpg (automatic: 32 mpg).
The 3-cylinder engine in the new MINI Cooper – also newly developed – delivers an output of 100 kW/136 bhp (134 bhp in US) from a capacity of 1.5 litres and between 4 500 and 6 000 rpm with a maximum torque of 220 Newton metres (162 ft-lbs) (230 Nm with overboost(170 ft-lbs in US)) at 1 250 rpm. With this increased performance the new MINI Cooper sprints from standing to 100 km/h (62 mpg) in 7.9 seconds (automatic: 7.8 seconds), while its top speed is 210 km/h (130 mph) in each case. In spite of these increased performance figures, the new MINI Cooper Hardtop likewise demonstrates a reduced level of fuel consumption. Its combined range is 34 mpg (MINI Cooper Hardtop with automatic transmission).
MINI Driving Modes: sporty flair and efficiency and turn of a switch.
For the first time, the MINI Driving Modes option is now available for the new MINI Hardtop, allowing the driver to select a preferred set-up. A rotary switch at the base of the gear or selector lever is used to activate either the standard MID mode, SPORT MODE or GREEN mode. The MINI Driving Modes influence the characteristic curve of the accelerator and steering, as well as shift properties of the automatic transmission and the damper set-up where applicable.
In GREEN mode – supporting a relaxed and more fuel-efficient driving style – the energy used by electrically powered comfort functions such as the air conditioning and exterior mirror heating is reduced. In cars fitted with automatic transmission it is also possible to use the coast function. Here the drivetrain is decoupled at speeds of between 50 and 160 km/h (31 and 99 mph), enabling the driver to remove their foot from the accelerator pedal.
Optimised suspension technology: less weight, more go-kart feeling and adjustable dampers for the first time.
The refinement of suspension technology in the new MINI aims to intensify experience of the car’s agile handling properties, commonly known as the go-kart feeling. Virtually all parts have been modified at the front and rear axle so as to reduce weight and increase component rigidity. The set-up of the wheel suspension, body mounting, suspension, damping, steering and brakes has been adapted to the increased engine output and to the typical MINI concept consisting of front-wheel drive, transversely mounted engine at the front, low centre of gravity, short overhangs, wide track and rigid, weight-optimised body structure.
The optionally available adjustable dampers are another novel element in the range of MINI equipment features. Two characteristic lines are available for damper set-up, allowing activation of either a more comfort-oriented or a direct, sporty response to road surfaces, depending on the given situation. The electromechanical power steering has also been subjected to extensive further development and includes the speed-related assistance function Servotronic as standard. DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) – likewise a standard feature – now also features a dry brake function, fading compensation, a drive-off assistant and the traction mode DTC (Dynamic Traction Control). Meanwhile cornering agility is enhanced by means of Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC), and the new MINI Cooper S additionally features System Performance Control.
Innovative driver assistance systems increase convenience and safety.
Further evidence of the technological progress ushered in with the new MINI Hardtop is to be found in the program of driver assistance systems. New features include the MINI Head-Up-Display which shows information relevant to the driver on an extendible monitor in the upper section of the dashboard between the windscreen and steering wheel. A rear view camera and parking assistant are also available for the new MINI. The rear view camera, housed underneath the tailgate handle, transmits video images to the on-board monitor in the central instrument. The parking assistant automatically identifies suitable parking spaces at the roadside and takes care of all the steering movements required to park the car.
A wide range of other high-end options in the areas of comfort, functionality and individuality are also available to allow drivers to style the new MINI according to their own detailed personal preferences. In addition to the standard air conditioning systemthere is also a 2-zone automatic air conditioning system, seat heating for driver and front passenger, a panorama glass roof, rain sensor and automatic light control, the harman kardon hi-fi speaker system and a sports leather steering wheel including optional multifunction buttons and cruise control.
Other options include Comfort Access, Park Distance Control, roof rails and electrically heatable and folding exterior mirrors as well as interior and exterior mirrors featuring automatic anti-dazzle function. For customisation of the exterior and interior in hallmark brand style, options also include a rear spoiler in John Cooper Works design as well as various roof and exterior mirror decors, bonnet stripes, seat upholsteries, interior surfaces, Color Lines and the lighting package with LED interior lighting and ambient lighting.
MINI Connected: Apps now also available for Android smartphones .
The option MINI connected is also available in conjunction with the Radio MINI Visual Boost and the MINI navigation system. It offers extensive integration of smartphones in the car and therefore the use of internet-based services in the areas of infotainment, communication and driver experience. These are provided via apps whose functional diversity is being continuously expanded. In future, both the MINI Connected App and the so-called MINI Connected ready Apps supplied by third-party providers will be available not just for the Apple iPhone but also for smartphones using the Android operating system.
MINI in the USA: the success story goes on.
The 2013 Los Angeles International Auto Show provides the perfect setting for the first auto show appearance of the new MINI Hardtop. For years now, the USA has been the most important market for the small cars and compact models of the British premium brand. The 500 000th MINI was supplied in the United States earlier this year, and nowhere in the USA is the MINI Community larger than in the Californian entertainment capital. The British brand reaches its highest nationwide market share in Los Angeles.
The best-selling model in the USA continues to be the iconic body version, also known as the Hardtop. The new MINI now has everything it takes to carry its predecessor’s success story forward with fresh impetus. But the continuing growth of MINI is also due to the consistent expansion of the model range. So MINI will not just be showing the model family’s new arrivals in the South Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center but will display as diverse a selection as possible of the driving fun, premium quality and individual flair which is typical of the brand.
The MINI family has continuously grown over recent years to reach its current range of seven models. Hallmark brand qualities are to be found in the classic MINI vehicle concept just as they are in the MINI Clubman, which offers the additional feature of expanded space. As a purebred two-seater, the MINI Coupé embodies a thoroughly sporty style. With the MINI Convertible and the MINI Roadster, motorists are offered two ways of enjoying the brand’s typical driving fun in an open-top premium small car. And there are also two models now representing the brand’s venture into a new market segment. The trailblazer here was the MINI Countryman, the first model of the brand to be fitted with four doors, a large tailgate and space for up to five occupants. As of this year, this agile all-rounder is now joined by the MINI Paceman, the world’s first ever Sports Activity Coupé in the premium compact segment. The ALL4 all-wheel drive system specially developed for MINI is also available for the MINI Countryman and the MINI Paceman.With supreme traction and enhanced agility on bends, it adds yet another distinctive touch to the authentic driving fun offered by MINI.
In the USA, too, the aspirations of especially high-performance MINI models are addressed by the extremely sporty John Cooper Works versions. The range of top sports cars in the small car and compact segment has now reached a total of seven models. With their drive and suspension technology derived directly from motorsport, an aerodynamically optimised exterior and specific interior styling, the John Cooper Works models generate an authentic race feeling. In the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman and the MINI John Cooper Works Paceman, the enormous power of the 4-cylinder turbo engine is transferred to the road by the standard ALL4all-wheel drive system to adapt to driving conditions.