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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

2014 Mini Cooper

PRICE : For 2014 Mini Cooper $19950

New engines, a new chassis, larger dimensions and interior refinements mark the most important changes for the 2014 Mini Cooper, the third-generation model of the iconic hatchback. Other changes are more subtle. The body-colored bumper that split the previous grille makes way for a black piece that creates the look of a single, gulping grille. The hood is higher, the windshield more raked. LED headlight rings give the Cooper somewhat unsettling bug eyes.

The new Cooper rides on a new front-wheel-drive platform that will be shared with BMW's future 1 Series models. Although the wheelbase is only 1 inch longer, overall length grows by nearly 4.5 inches, and width expands by 2 inches. The suspension design remains the same -- front struts and rear multilink -- but the Cooper's increased size forces a thorough retuning. Adaptive dampers will be an option for the Cooper S model. We only hope the Mini will still want to bend into and spring out of corners like before.

A new engine lineup should aid the handling cause. The base engine is a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder -- yes, three -- that generates 134 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. Think of it as half of BMW's traditional 3.0-liter six-cylinder design. The Cooper S, meanwhile, gets a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that puts down 189 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque, more torque than even the outgoing John Cooper Works high-performance model.
All Mini Coopers are front-wheel drive and come standard with a six-speed manual transmission. 

A six-speed automatic is optional, and the S model even offers a "sport" version of the automatic, with snappier shift times and steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
Mini styling makes its largest leap inside, although form still trumps function. The comically large center stack now houses radio controls and a color display up to 8.8 inches wide, while the speedometer shrinks and joins a half-moon tachometer gauge in a free-standing cluster atop the steering column. BMW touches abound in new seats with thigh bolsters and a multimedia button/dial controller similar to iDrive in the center console.

Though we wonder if a longer Mini can still be as quick on its feet, there's no arguing with some of the benefits. Cargo capacity, for example, increases to 8.7 cubic feet (up 3 cubic feet), and rear legroom grows by an inch.

The 2014 Mini Cooper goes on sale by next March. Expect all of its variations -- roadster, coupe, five-door Countryman and four-door Clubman, possibly an electric -- to follow throughout the year. Check back for a full review of the new Cooper hatchback, including specs, driving impressions and buying advice as it becomes available.


A quick glance at the new Mini Cooper may lead you to believe that this new generation is little more than a refresh, but upon further inspection, you will find out that despite keeping the usual elements, like the snappy proportions, short overhangs and hallmark "stance on the wheels," the Mini Cooper has improved significantly. In addition to a refined look, the Mini Cooper is also 4.5 inches longer, 1.7 inches wider and 0.3 inches higher than the outgoing Cooper.

The 2014 Mini Cooper gets a revised grille with a smooth, one-piece chrome frame. The headlights were also revised and received new graphics and clearly structured inner workings. The biggest change is the overall shape of the nose, which is far less upright than the previous generation, making the Cooper look more masculine than it ever has.

The radiator grille, lights and door handles all feature chrome elements, while the flanks now feature a new design language and a slightly downward-sloping roofline.Around back, the Mini retains the upright lighting, but the taillights are now larger and feature a greater presence, thanks to the chrome ring surrounds that now they extend into the rear hatch.

Customers can choose between 12 exterior colors, including five completely new shades: Volcanic Orange, Moonwalk Grey, Blazing Red, Deep Blue and Electric Blue.


Just like with the exterior, the interior also received lots of updates, starting with a new instrument cluster positioned ahead of the driver on the steering column, directly in the line of vision. The analogue speedometer was dropped and replaced with a graphics-based element displaying various functions, like the navigation systems and other infotainment features. There are four individual seats, giving the Cooper a sporty, four-seat configuration.

For the interior, there is the choice of five colors, ten seat-cover designs and other optional trim surface variants. Additionally, there are two new color and material worlds – "Off-White" and "Dark Cottonwood" – available as part of the MINI Yours interior style packages.


 Transmission:6-speed manual
 Horsepower @ RPM:134 @ 4500
 Torque @ RPM:162 @ 1250
 Displacement:1.5 L
 0-60 time:7.8 sec.
 Top Speed:130 mph


The features and equipment category is the only one that sees any real change for the 2014 MINI Cooper lineup. 

While prices remain identical to last year's for Clubman, Hardtop, Convertible, Coupe, and Roadster, a rearrangement of equipment packages leaves just one Premium Package option, including the dual-pane panoramic sunroof, rain sensing automatic headlights, and automatic climate control for $1,250. 

A new City Pack package includes an alarm system, power-fold mirrors, heated mirror and wash jets, auto-dimming interior and exterior mirrors, and rear park distance control. The City Pack also costs $1,250. 

In base form the MINI Cooper is a simple vehicle: standard equipment includes power windows, locks and mirrors; an AM/FM/CD audio system with auxiliary input; ambient lighting; and keyless ignition. Upgrades available include a 10-speaker audio system; a joystick-controlled navigation and infotainment system (itself upgradeable to include Apps capabilities); and of course the packages listed above as well as an abundance of interior and exterior appearance and materials choices. 

USB and iPod connectivity, as well as Bluetooth phone connectivity, were made standard for 2013 and continue into 2014.


The MINI Cooper range, is, well, pretty mini. But don't let that make you think it's not well-suited to people of all sizes. 

Why? Because it really is, at least in the front row. Head room is very good in all but Coupe and Roadster models, where the lower, sportier roofline does reduce space somewhat. Leg room is great up front in all MINI models, and there's more hip and shoulder room than you'd expect, too. In Cooper Hardtop (hatchback) and Clubman models, there's even a fair amount of cargo space in the back--particularly in the Clubman. Even the standard hatchback offers 23.3 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. 

Convertible, Coupe, and Roadster models of the MINI Cooper are much more limited in overall space, however, as the small trunk of the convertible and the lack of rear seat space in the Coupe and Roadster leave no room for expansion. The rear seats in any model, except the Clubman, are too small to be useful for long trips, but are more than mere vestigial appendages. In the Clubman, the rear seat is actually human-sized, if only just. 

The Clubman's center-opening rear hatch and odd three-door passenger entry arrangement make it unique, if a bit unusual at first.

We continue to find ergonomics puzzling in the Cooper and Coupe lineups, and they're clearly cases of fashion over function. Some common-use items are located out of reach, or in odd locations; seat adjusters are on the inboard sides, for instance, and infotainment controls are placed low on the center tunnel. But once you're used to it, these models are quite functional.

Firm-riding and yet comfortable, sporty and practical, the MINI Cooper range provides a fun balance as a daily driver. Wind and road noise can intrude on the cabin experience, however.


The MINI Cooper range offers three primary types of performance: standard, Cooper S, and John Cooper Works. 

The standard model uses a 1.6-liter normally aspirated four-cylinder engine rated at 121 horsepower. That's not much, but the base MINI weighs just over 2,500 pounds, so it's still plenty for some pep. The base MINI also gets the best gas mileage of the bunch. Light, comfortable, but still tossable, the standard MINI isn't quite a hot hatch, but it's a fun hatch.

For those with a taste for snappier acceleration, the Cooper S and its 181-horsepower turbocharged version of the 1.6-liter engine might be more attractive. It only loses about 2 mpg for the extra 60 horsepower, and it's a much more engaging drive, especially on a windy back road where you'll enjoy the extra pull out of the corners--corners you can take a bit more aggressively thanks to the upgraded Cooper S suspension. This is the sweet spot of the hot side of MINI.

The John Cooper Works substitutes a 208-horsepower version of the four-cylinder engine and a much stiffer, more performance-oriented suspension. The result is a hot little hatchback that's rewarding and fun to drive hard, though that spirit comes at the cost of a bit of day-to-day comfort. For those seeking every last edge, the MINI Coupe JCW is the fastest of the group, clocking 6.1-second 0-60 mph runs and a 149-mph top speed--with an active spoiler that rises about 50 mph and recedes under 37 mph.

Since the 2013 model year, all three flavors of the MINI range are available with either a six-speed manual (standard) or a six-speed automatic. 

All of the MINI models pack the fun and feel of a car that's built for something more than mere transportation--the question is just how much of that sense you're after.


The three cylinder motor found under the hood of the new MINI is the first of its kind put in a production car by BMW Group.  Automotive news( had driven the 1.5 liter cylinder engine when it was still undergoing testing and development.  We were mightily impressed back then. In the new MINI Cooper, the three cylinder motor is tuned more for fuel economy and the 1.5 liter TwinPower single turbo makes 134 hp and a max 170 ft-lbs. The MINI Cooper is good for a 0-60 time of 7.4 seconds in the manual and 7.3 in the automatic.

The base Cooper we drove was a six-speed manual and though the car didn’t have an abundance of power, the slick shifting six stick was a pure joy to row while keeping up with the other MINI Cooper and Cooper S cars during our test drive. The three pedals are laid out perfectly for heel and toe’ng.   The three-cylinder Cooper is rated at 42 mpg.

The sportier Cooper S gets a four-cylinder, 2.0 liter engine that makes 189 hp and a max of 221 ft-lbs of torque. The “S” gets from 0-60 in 6.4 seconds with the automatic and 6.5 seconds with a manual transmission. The Volcanic Orange Cooper S we drove had a six speed Steptronic automatic transmission with paddle shifters. If anything I was more impressed how useable the power coming out of the three cylinder is and somewhat surprised the S model wasn’t more powerful, a sentiment shared by many journalists here.

Both motors use direct fuel injection, variable valve timing and turbocharging in order to be more efficient.  Auto Start/Stop is standard but easily disabled should you choose.  These motors are so fuel efficient, that I suspect they could erode the market for diesels in the United States. As far as weight goes, the new Cooper weighs 2,605 lbs, while the Cooper S weighs 2,760 lbs. Both up from the last generation Coopers by just under 100 lbs.   Brake energy regeneration and energy efficient oil pumps are standard as well.


For the first time variable dampers via Dynamic Damper Control are available for a mere $500. The DDC allows you to switch from “Green and Sport Modes.” The “green mode” optimizes the car for fuel efficiency by changing shift points and adding a coasting feature in the automatic.

The suspension is softer also. Want a stiffer, sportier ride, select “sport mode” and the MINI will be set to its most aggressive capabilities. This stiffens up the ride quite a bit and changes the throttle tip in. During my tI found the test drive mode to be harder to smoothly roll on the throttle coming out of tight switchbacks. A small tip in of the throttle resulted in an exaggerated amount of power. Switch to “Mid-mode” for when you want an in-between classic MINI feel that’s about halfway between Green and Sport for a “happy motoring medium.”

The route we drove in Puerto Rico lent itself well to evaluating the suspension. Tight switchbacks, narrow roads through the local mountains with plenty of bumpy roads. There was absolutely no cowl shake. Imperfections were soaked up in, if I dare say, a BMW like manner.  In many ways the suspension seems to have grown up and is more mature and composed. It was a pure blast to run it in the mountains trying to keep up with Jorge Koechlin, former Formula 1 driver, turned automotive journalist, who was driving the more powerful Cooper S while I was in the less powerful Cooper .

I would dare say that the three cylinder motor in my test car is broken in now.
Further, I can assure you that the brakes are up to the task because the occasional Ferrel dog would wander out in to the road triggering threshold braking exercises. We did not get to drive on a track so I didn’t have a change rotating the car, but some of the journalists there felt the ride was a little less tossable than the last generation MINI Cooper.  In my case, I’m willing to trade that off for the wider track and stability, but I can see why it might bother some hardcore MINI enthusiasts. The electric steering has perhaps less feel but was well weighted and accurate. It’s a very well sorted out chassis which retains that go-kart feel.


The 2014 MINI Cooper family hasn't been through crash testing by the safety agencies yet, but the 2013 model earned a mark of "Good" from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), and "Acceptable" in the side-impact and roof-strength tests. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also gave the 2013 model a five-star rollover rating. The 2014 model is structurally identical to the 2013 model. 

Standard safety equipment includes six airbags, stability and traction control, anti-lock brakes, hill-start assist and more. Available safety-related options include parking sensors and xenon headlamps.


The 2014 MINI Cooper range is, on the whole, an example of how well gas mileage and fun-to-drive qualities can be melded when weight and size are kept to their minimums. 

The 2014 MINI Cooper offers impressive figures in base form, as high as 29 mpg city and 37 mpg highway with the manual transmission. With the automatic, the base model scores 28 mpg city and 36 mpg highway. 

Step up to the Cooper S and you'll find 27/35 mpg ratings with the manual or 26/34 mpg with the automatic, while the potent and punchy John Cooper Works reduces the figure just a tick to 26 mpg city and 33 mpg highway with the manual or 26/34 mpg with the automatic. 


Video by : Motorweek


By : Automotive News & Super Modified Sports Cars

= Shahen Tharammal


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