Mini has officially released the third-generation model of its modern-age car, and while it is completely recognizable thanks to its globally identifiable design, the car is supposedly all new "from the ground up."
While not immediately noticeable on its own, put it side by side with its predecessor and the new-generation Mini is not only longer (+98mm), wider (+44mm) and taller (+7mm) dimensionally, but its wheelbase (+28mm) and track width (+42mm front and +34mm rear) have increased as well.
Classic styling cues abound in the all-new Mini, like the hexagonal radiator grille, circular headlights, ‘side scuttle’ indicator surrounds, upright rear light clusters, and black lower body edging. The Mini is also supposedly the first car in its segment to have LED headlights for both its dipped and main beam as an option. Surrounding the main headlight is an LED daylight driving ring with the turn signal indicator located in the lower section. The rear light clusters also feature an all-LED design.
Thanks to the larger exterior dimensions, the all-new Mini offers more space for its four occupants and their luggage, with enhanced shoulder space and larger footwells. The front seats have also been given a wider adjustment range, and the base has been lengthened by 23mm for additional comfort and support. Mini claims that it’s also easier than ever for rear-seat passengers to gain access to the back. The rear bench seat back can be split 60:40, with the rear-seat backrest featuring tilt-angle adjustment. Boot volume has been increased by more than 30% to 211 liters.
The Mini sports a new design for its dashboard while still retaining the iconic central instrument display. A new instrument cluster sits on the steering column, with the speedometer, the tachometer and the fuel gauge displayed on horizontally arranged circular dials. The speedometer also includes a color panel for messages and vehicle status displays.
The central instrument display, meanwhile, serves different functions depending on the optional equipment chosen. It can serve as a four-line TFT display as standard or as an optional color screen up to 8.8 inches showing vehicle functions, infotainment, navigation and Mini Connected services.
Three all-new engines will be offered with this new Mini: a three-cylinder 1.5-liter gasoline mill with 136hp and 220Nm for the standard model; a four-cylinder 2.0-liter gasoline engine with 192hp and 280Nm for the S model; and a three-cylinder 1.5-liter diesel with 116hp and 270Nm.
Three transmission choices are also available for the all-new Mini: a six-speed manual, a six-speed automatic, and a six-speed sports automatic that enables even shorter shift times, features rev-matching on downward shifts, and can be operated in manual mode using shift paddles.
The third-generation (modern) Mini is scheduled to go on sale in the first half of 2014.