Mini Cooper three-door (March)
The arrival of the all-new Cooper hatch in March marks the introduction of the third generation of new Minis, following the launch of the first-gen in 2001 and the outgoing second-gen in 2006. The new Mini has grown in all directions, most significantly in length (up 98mm to 3821mm), and in the boot (rising 51L to 211L). It will launch with three new stop-start-equipped turbocharged engines: a petrol and a diesel in 1.5-litre three-cylinder configurations, and a 141kW/280Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol for the Cooper S. The new Mini debuts Driving Modes as an option, allowing drivers to customise the characteristics of the accelerator and steering, as well as the auto transmission shift properties and the new adjustable dampers where applicable. Head-up display, adaptive cruise control, road sign detection, high-beam assistant, auto reversing parking and rear-view camera tech also join the Mini line-up for the first time.
Mini Cooper five-door (second half)
We’ve only seen spy shots at this stage, but Mini’s all-new five-door hatch looks set to become the first alternative body style to join the regular three-door in Australia from the second half of 2014. Designed to rival conventional hatchbacks like the Volkswagen Golf, the Cooper five-door rides on a stretched version of BMW Group’s new ‘UKL’ architecture; its longer wheelbase promising a larger cabin with more rear-seat legroom and a bigger boot. Despite the addition of two extra doors, Mini’s designers have managed to retain the three-door’s basic shape. 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. Expect an identical engine line-up to the three-door and a small price premium for Mini’s new five-door family.