The Mini Cooper has gotten a little less mini with BMW rolling out its first 5-door version of the premium compact. Having launched its new Mini line last year, BMW is following up with four petrol and diesel-powered variants that boast not only an extra pair of doors, but also a longer wheelbase, more interior room, and a redesigned central instrument cluster for better at-a-glance feedback.
Technically, this isn’t the first 5-door Mini. In 2007, the Mini Clubman sported five doors, though that’s in the “sort of” category of car design. The Clubman got its five doors by splitting the hatchback into two doors and the right-hand door into a bi-parting side door.
The new 5-door has two proper rear doors, thanks to extending the wheelbase by 72 mm (2.8 in) to 2,567 mm (101 in). This allows for three rear seats, and in order to maintain the Mini Cooper’s familiar proportions, the glasshouse needed to be raised and the rest of car needed to be enlarged as well. This provides room for three rear seats, more foot space and legroom, and 67 more liters (2.3 cubic ft) of boot space than the 3-door Mini.
Aside from a bit of stretching and enlarging, the styling of the 5-door Mini remains largely the same except for a few tweaks of the lines and around the hexagonal radiator grille and headlamps. The latter sees an overwhelming use of LEDS, including not just LED headlamps, but LED driving lights, LED rear lights, LED turn lights, LED fog lamps, and LED interior lighting.
The Mini 5-door comes in four variants; two petrol engined and two with diesel engines. Each uses MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology, which includes turbocharging, direct or common rail injection, fully variable valve control, and variable camshaft control. These include:
Each of these engine variants feeds into a standard 6-speed manual gearbox, though a 6-speed Steptronic or Steptronic sports gearbox is available as an optional extra. These include the “MINIMALISM” technology with a Green mode and an auto start/stop function to conserve fuel while idling at traffic lights.
BMW is keen to preserve the Mini’s “go-kart” performance in the 5-door version and has adjusted the suspension accordingly, with a single-joint spring strut front axle and multilink rear axle designed with a suitably high degree of stiffness. There’s also standard electromechanical power steering with Servotronic function. To keep things under control, the 5-door Mini has as standard the Dynamic Stability Control system that includes Dynamic Traction Control. Modes include Mid, Sport, and Green.
Another feature of the 5-door Minis is a new instrument cluster on the steering column that displays driving and system information, such as road and engine speed. It has a 4-line TFT display as standard, or an optional color display up to 8.8 in, which controls the navigation system, mobile phone, and general infotainment. It also includes a new visual feedback system that allows the driver to assimilate information at a glance, such as the LED ring around the display indicating the remaining distance to a street turn.
In addition, the 5-Door Mini has a suite of driver-assist systems, including camera-based cruise control, collision and pedestrian warning with automatic braking, and the ability to detect and interpret road signs for the driver. The system can also accept a permanent SIM card that allows the car to integrate with smartphones as well as providing information to emergency services in the event of an accident, real-time traffic information and connecting to social media.
The Mini 5-door will be available in Europe this (Northern Hemisphere) Autumn ranging in price from £15,900 to £20,050 (US$26,600 to $33,570). It will be available in January 2015 in the US, where it will be known as the Mini Hardtop 4 door and priced $1,000 more than the Mini Hardtop 2 door.
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