After months of speculation, BMW has finally revealed its all-new Mini Cooper and Cooper S models, unfortunately, they are almost identical to the old ones.
In a Porsch-esque masterstroke of styling, the new Mini looks almost completely identical to the existing model, despite claims of a “completely new body design” and “striking modern interior”. As you can see from the snaps, this might be a slight exaggeration as, apart from a narrower window here and a curvier bumper there, it’s not the most radical redesign in automotive history.
However, the "if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it" attitude is understandable given the massive cross-over success of the relaunched Mini since it’s inception in 2001. Underneath, change is more radical. The Mini gets a brand new 1.6-litre petrol unit, sharper power steering and fresher, softer suspension that is designed to improve the choppy ride without compromising on handling.
The new Cooper produces 120bhp, accelerates from 0-62mph in 9.1 seconds and reaches a top speed of 126mph. The MINI Cooper S is powered by an intercooled and turbocharged version of the same power unit and produces 175hp. It covers the 0-62mph sprint in just over 7 seconds and can go on to a top speed of 140mph. Economy has improved on both models, too. The combined cycle for the Cooper is now 48.7mpg (formerly 40.9) and Cooper S 40.9mpg (formerly 32.8). CO2 emissions have also been reduced meaning that both models will move two places in the car tax ratings.
The traditionally cramped interior gets a smidgen more space with improved comfort levels and a wider range of colour and spec options.
Both Coopers will be available before the year’s end, while the new Mini One will be around next year with a 1.4-litre engine pumping out 95bhp. But we can’t wait for the racing boffins at the S Works division to get hold of the new engine - expect 250bhp. In a front-wheel drive car. Mummy.