Morning guv’nor. Say hi to the new third-generation Mini and immediately it looks more like a biggie. Which it should since it’s 98mm longer, 44mm wider and 7mm taller than the current Mini.
Despite growing in size, the engine sizes have decreased all in the name of better power to economy ratio. The Mini now utilises BMW’s new three cylinder engines. The Cooper gets a 134 bhp 1.5 three cylinder petrol while the Cooper D has a 114 bhp 1.5 three cylinder diesel. The range topper at launch, Cooper S, has a 2.0 four cylinder turbo with 184 bhp. All engines get a choice of with a. 6-speed auto or manual. Good to see Mini still offering a manual.
This new Mini really is all new. Underpinning it is BMW’s new UKL platform which will be the basis for all new Minis and the 2-Series Tourer. Mini claim the traditional go-cart handling will remain despite the growth in size. You can even option it with damper controls.
In fact, in typical BMW/Mini fashion, you can option the new Mini to the moon in back. The idea is that no two Minis should ever be the same.
But most controversial is the new face. I like the current Mini. I didn’t think it needed replacing. It still looked fresh. Thankfully the third-gen carries over a lot of the current Mini’s styling. It’s not too fussy (apart from the chin on the Cooper S) and is a good evolution of the new Minis. No it’s not as iconic as the original but nothing ever will.
Rather than continuously comparing it to the original, compare it to its contemporary peers. It’s a fashion car. It should appeal to its target market today, not 50 years ago. You don’t compare an SLS with a 300SL.
The new design might a grower. These will always prove to be popular because the Mini badge is one of the most desirable at the moment. So maybe once you see them on the road that new face might start to look nice.
Now if only you can get the Cooper S with the standard car’s chin. Hopefully the JCW will have a unique bumper.