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BMW cleans up MINI's act

2007-05-28 11:02
The new MINI hatch models are to receive technological revisions later this year, resulting in better performance and efficiency figures.

BMW is to start production of the newcomers in August. According to the German carmaker the fuel-efficient MINIs won't require any alternative fuel sources or hybrid technology.

All model variants will instead be supplied as standard with high-tech engine tweaks, providing better economy and minimal emissions without compromising the MINI driving experience.

The new features include: Brake Energy Regeneration, Auto Start-Stop Function and Switch Point Display.

Brake Energy Regeneration works by using an Intelligent Alternator Control (IAC) and an Absorbent Glass Mat battery to recycle previously lost energy, which saves fuel.

The IAC reduces drag on the engine by only engaging when required to charge the battery, whereas a traditional alternator is always pulling power from the engine. Additionally, the energy generated by the engine on over-run (under braking or descending a hill) was previously wasted. Now this lost energy is utilised by the IAC to charge the battery.

The Auto Start-Stop Function, available with manual transmission cars, automatically switches the engine off when the vehicle is stationary and the driver puts the car into neutral. To restart the driver only need engage the clutch again before pulling away in the normal manner. The system may be de-activated at the touch of a button when not required.

Switch Point Display aids drivers of manual transmission MINIs in selecting the most economical gear in which to drive.

The engine management system analyses speed, road situation and accelerator pedal position and based on this data calculates optimum gearing. The ideal gear is then displayed by number in the cockpit display.

Even without these technology advancements in place, MINI leads the new car market for year-on-year improvements in clean engine manufacturing. C02 output per car has been reduced in the last year by an impressive 14%. Putting that into perspective, the industry average was recorded at a lowly 0.3%.

Mini Cooper S

  • Average fuel consumption down to 6.9 liters per 100km
  • CO2-emission down from 164 grams/km to 149 grams/km.

    Mini Cooper

  • Average fuel consumption down to 5,4 liters per 100km
  • CO2-emission down from 139 grams/km to 129 grams/km

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