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New SA-bound Mini hits showrooms

2014-03-14 11:28

HEADED FOR SA: The new Mini Cooper will arrive in South Africa in May 2014. Image: Mini

  • Improved features and quality
  • New three-cylinder engines
  • Next-generation technology
  • Interactive central display
LONDON, England - The new Mini goes on sale in the UK this weekend (March 15) and it will arrive in South Africa in May 2014.

The automaker says every component of its new Mini has been sent "back to the drawing board" to optimise its function, performance and style.

Wheels24 editor LES STEPHENSON attended the global unveiling of the car in November 2013.


Improvements have been made to technology, engine efficiency and power, driving dynamics, quality and personalisation.

The new Mini is 3.82m long, 1.72m wide and 1.41m tall. This makes it 98mm longer, 44mm wider and 7mm taller than its predecessor. The wheelbase has been extended by 28mm, while the track width has been enlarged at the front by 42mm and at the rear by 34mm. 

Subtle tweaks have been made to the radiator grille, headlights, indicator surrounds, rear light clusters and body.

There are five new body colours, while the roof and exterior mirror caps can be finished in a contrasting colour. Roof rails are now available for the first time.

Image gallery: 2014 Mini Hatch

Inside, says Mini, the car is quieter than the outgoing model, with improvements to acoustics. It sports a new central LED display.

The automaker said the front seats have been given a wider adjustment range, and the base has been lengthened by 23mm for additional comfort and support. Upholstery is available in a choice of fabric or leather, or a combo of both.

The iconic central instrument cluster now has extended functionality, depending on the optional equipment chosen. It can serve as a four-line display as standard or optional 22cm colour screen showing vehicle functions, infotainment, navigation and Connected services.

Keyless-go is now standard across range and the stop/start toggle switch now features a “heartbeat illumination” which pulses before the engine is started. Several switches have been relocated for improved usability, including those for power windows, which are now integrated into the door trim – Yay, at last!


The range comprises of  three new engines, each featuring twinpower turbo technology.

The new Cooper has a three-cylinder petrol engine producing 101kW while the Cooper S is powered by a four-cylinder petrol capable of 143kW.

The third model is called the Cooper D Hatch powered by a three-cylinder diesel engine capable of 86kW.

According to Mini South Africa, the local range will initially comprise of the Cooper and Cooper S models.

Engines are mated to a six-speed manual while a six-speed auto gearbox is available as an option.

The new Mini features Intelligent Emergency Calling (E-call), a first in the premium compact car segment. In the event of a crash, the system automatically detects vehicle location, severity of the incident and contacts a call centre to initiate fast and effective assistance.

The Cooper S has a performance control system, which counteracts any tendency to understeer prior to reaching the threshold level, supporting an agile yet neutral driving response in corners.

Pricing for the new Mini starts at the equivalent of R274 100 in the UK. More details for the South African market will follow closer to the local launch in May.

Read more on:    mini  |  launch  |  england  |  hatch  |  new models  |  cooper

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