The new third-generation MINI, due to be launched at the MINI Plant in Oxford on 18th November, will come with a new range of BMW developed TwinPower turbocharged petrol engines.
Future MINIs will be powered by three and four-cylinder engines, including 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre turbocharged units, which BMW say will “set new standards in terms of output, performance, comfort and reliability.” MINI’s diesel engines have also been overhauled with a 1.5-litre three-cylinder diesel unit that is 7 per cent more fuel efficient than its predecessor.
The new engines are a direct result of BMW’s development expertise in the area of drive technologies and will be shared with the next generation BMW 1 Series, both engines rev to 6,500 rpm however their performance characteristics will be noticeably different, with MINIs retaining their own unique driving experience.
Another innovation to feature in the new MINI is the introduction of electrically adjustable dampers – these use electric control of the damper valves to vary the damper’s responsiveness on uneven road surfaces.
Two different settings will be available at the flip of a switch which activate their own unique characteristic curves, biased either towards a sporty style of driving or one which is more balanced and comfortable.
Sounds like MINI have finally paid heed to the complaints of customers who’ve become tired of the overly-jiggly ride quality of its cars.
It is likely that the new 2.0-litre TwinPower turbo engine will be used for Cooper S and Cooper S Works models, while the 1.5-litre engine will replaced the 1.6-litre naturally aspirated engine used in the current MINI Cooper. The 1.5-litre three-cylinder unit will produce 134bhp and 162 lb-ft (with 170 lb-ft available on overboost), while the 2.0-litre four-cylinder until will produce 189bhp and 206 lb-ft (with 221 lb-ft on overboost).
MINI’s new 1.5-litre three-cylinder diesel unit with common rail direct injection produces 116bhp and a peak torque of 199 lb-ft. Both petrol and diesel engines will be available with automatic stop-start and power the front wheels through newly developed manual and automatic gearboxes.
Despite growing larger in its third-generation guise, MINI say the new model will be lighter, more agile and better to drive. This is enhanced by its wider track, low centre of gravity and short overhangs.
Its chassis has been completely redesigned, although it continues with a single-link spring strut axle at the front and a multi-link setup at the rear. Nevertheless, unsprung weight has been reduced with dampers uncoupled from the bodywork by means of complex struts – this results in improved agility and ride comfort.
With each new development in BMW’s electronic power steering (EPS) it gets closer to the feel and accuracy of the hydraulic systems of yesteryear. MINI’s new system is speed-dependent and features a new “torque steer compensation system” which is said to drastically counteract the tendency towards self-steering in powerful front-wheel drive vehicles.