The new engines for the next Mini haven’t been finalized yet, but you can expect to see two turbocharged units that will replace the normally aspirated and supercharged four-cylinder 1.6-liter engines in the current Mini Cooper and Mini Cooper S. The Cooper will get a major power boost to 143 hp from today’s 115-hp engine. And, while the power output of the Cooper S stays the same at 170 hp, the turbocharged engine promises a big improvement in power delivery over the current supercharged setup.
Secondly, the next big thing is the body style. Just as we were getting used to seeing the Mini Convertible, along comes a longer-wheelbase version including (gasp!) a five-door with more rear legroom and cargo area.
The stretched Mini features a more upright rear hatchback, along with a pair of rear-hinged doors for easier access to the rear seats. (Remember “suicide doors?) The rumor is that the five-door arrangement will likely feature a Rolls-Royce electronic locking system that will allow the rear doors to open independently of the front ones—so if someone in the back wants to jump, he won’t inconvenience the front–seat passengers.
Outside, a new front end will feature bug-eyed headlights and a more upright design to satisfy new European pedestrian-protection laws. (Apparently they’re always running into pedestrians over there and something had to be done to facilitate their collision projection over the top of the bonnet so as to Minimize potential damage to the car.) Inside, the interior will look new but still feature a centrally mounted speedometer. The dash will be available in wood trim as well as matching body color.
That’s the skinny for now. Cheers!
About The Author Chris Bartow and the team at MiniCarParts.net are Automotive Enthusiasts dedicated to bringing you the latest news, events, club happenings, parts and accessories for newer-model Mini Coopers, 2001 and up. MiniCarParts.net is a division of Atlantic British, Ltd. © 2005 Atlantic British Ltd.