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by Tim Beissmann

The forthcoming Mini Cooper five-door hatch has been spied in seemingly production-ready form, signalling the impending expansion of the iconic small car family.

Despite the camouflage, the latest images – captured by CarAdvice’s spy photographers in Germany – provide a clear impression of the overall shape and dimensions of the five-door body style that has been designed to rival conventional hatchbacks like the Volkswagen Golf.

The all-new Mini Cooper five-door rides on a stretched version of BMW Group’s new ‘UKL’ architecture, which debuted beneath the third-generation Mini three-door at last week’s Los Angeles auto show.

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The longer wheelbase – to be shared with the new-generation Mini Clubman and Countryman variants, among others – promises a larger cabin with more room for rear-seat passengers and a bigger boot.

Despite the addition of two extra doors, Mini’s designers have managed to retain the basic shape of the three-door. The car’s front and rear styling and roof and sill lines carry over to the longer body style, though the back half features a more heavily raked rear windscreen and a longer overhang.

The bonnet scoop, unique front bumper, sporty alloy wheels and rear diffuser with twin mid-mounted exhausts confirm the spied prototype is the more powerful Mini Cooper S grade.

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The five-door range will feature the new three- and four-cylinder turbocharged petrol and diesel engines of the third-generation Mini family, including the 100kW/220Nm 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol, 85kW/270Nm 1.5-litre three-cylinder diesel, and the 141kW/280Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder in the Cooper S.

The Mini Cooper five-door hatch is expected to enter production during the second half of next year, and is tipped to go on sale in Australia in 2015.




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