Press Report : New MY11 MINI range revealed

John McIlroy, News Editor, Autocar, 27th June, 2010

MINIs will sneak beneath 100g/km of CO2 emissions when the facelifted MY11 range gets BMW’s own 1.6-litre diesel engine this autumn.

Designed to bolster BMW’s baby in the face of increasing competition from the Audi A1, Fiat 500 and Alfa MiTo, the revised MINI focuses on improving fuel economy, reducing CO2 emissions and extending the buyer’s scope for personalisation.

The chief technical change is the switch from a PSA-sourced oil-burner to a smaller-capacity version of the engine already used in the BMW 116d.

Available in two specs — the 89bhp MINI One D and 110bhp Cooper D — it returns slightly improved economy of 72.4mpg and cuts CO2 emissions from 104g/km to 99g/km, making the car road tax-free under current VED rules.

The Cooper D has 199lb ft between 1750rpm and 2250rpm. It can reach 62mph in 9.7sec and a maximum speed of 122mph. The new diesel powerplant is also available in the Clubman and the Convertible, the first time an oil-burner has been offered in the drop-top model. Its CO2 performance is blunted slightly in both cars, though – it emits 103g/km in the Clubman and 104g/km in the Convertible.

The visual elements of the modest facelift include more chrome around the front grille area, a revised front bumper designed to improve the Mini’s performance in pedestrian impact tests, and LED tail-lights on all models.

Inside, the cars get revised controls for the audio systems and air-con, new colours for seat upholstery and trim elements, and a revised stereo for all cars that offers MP3 compatibility and an aux-in connection.

The MINI Connected system has also been enhanced. It offers iPhone users the chance to view video files and album artwork on an onboard monitor that can also display Facebook and Twitter posts via an external application.

MINI says the new options list will offer customers more choice than ever — but it has also put together three ‘design worlds”, packs of paint and roof colours, wheel design, upholstery, trim elements and other features chosen for what the firm calls ‘their coherent character”.

Intriguingly, the three specs have been called Scene, Classic and Rally. The last of those could be a reference to MINI’s much-anticipated, but as-yet-unconfirmed World Rally Championship campaign.

MINI has also released the first images of the next-gen John Cooper Works. Powered by the same 208bhp engine as the current car, it gets black sports seats with stitching in Chili Red, which is available as an external colour exclusively on the JCW.

Other features on the range-topper include 17in wheels that can be specced in black at no extra cost, and anthracite-coloured instrument dials.

The revised MINI range is due on sale on 18 September. Prices have yet to be confirmed but are likely to stick closely to the current cars’.

[Source: Autocar]

Clive Goldthorp

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