BMW has revealed the first details and pictures of the all-new Mini, due to hit showrooms by the end of this year.
The tiny retro supermini has been a huge sales success since it went on sale in 2001, and is one of the most popular cars in its class among Which? readers — but BMW has decided to refresh it inside and out, and introduce more powerful and fuel-efficient engines.
On the outside, only Mini aficionados may spot the changes — although the company says all the body panels are brand new. The indicators are also integrated into the headlights, and there are some other minor tweaks to the bumper and grille.
However, the car has grown by 6cm in length to improve safety, according to BMW — which means pedestrian protection should improve over the current model’s disappointing one star in Euro NCAP’s pedestrian test. Six airbags will also come as standard (two more than on the existing car) — the company tells us it hopes this will help the car achieve the coveted five-star crash-test rating.
Inside, the cabin design has also evolved and there is more concession to modern gadgetry, with the stereo and (optional) navigation controls being built into the central speedo.
First to arrive will be the mid-range Cooper and the rapid Cooper S models, which both employ a brand new 1.6-litre petrol engine developed jointly by BMW and PSA (Peugeot-Citroen). In the Cooper, this unit will deliver 120bhp (0-62mph in 9.1 seconds), while in the turbocharged Cooper S it’s tuned to produce 175bhp (0-62mph in 7.1 seconds). Power is up by around 5bhp over the outgoing models in both cases but the sprint times are virtually unchanged.
More impressive are the manufacturer’s claims for lower fuel consumption and emissions — never the strongest points of the current Mini. The official figures state that the Cooper will return 48.7mpg combined (versus the outgoing model’s 40.9mpg), while the Cooper S should be noticeably less thirsty at 40.9mpg (formerly 32.8mpg). Carbon dioxide emissions are down to 139g/km in the Cooper and 164 g/km in the Cooper S (37 and 43g/km less, respectively). Not only does this bring the Mini more in line with its rivals, but it also means drivers will fork out around £50 to £65 a year less in road tax.
Two other models will follow in spring next year. The entry-level Mini One will be powered by a new 95bhp 1.4 petrol engine, while a diesel model will also go on sale at the same time.
Prices are expected to start at £11,595 for the Mini One (a rise of £600 on the current model), while prices will rise by a similar amount for the Cooper and Cooper S, which will cost from £12,995 and £15,995, respectively. While it’s unlikely you will get a discount when the new Mini first goes on sale, now is the time to haggle for a deal on the outgoing model.