Meet the the new MINI, the new Cooper S, and the new John Cooper Works
When the first MINI rolled out of the factories in 1959, it was a curiosity in the motoring world. And while it was originally built as an economy car—compact, efficient, and easy to operate—it was its looks that would catch on and make it an icon. There was something about it that captured the era’s minimalist, functional attitude, and it’s something that carried it to popularity across the world.
62 years since it first hit the roads, the original MINI’s grandchildren are still coming out of the assembly lines. And while they do bear the iconic silhouette of the original MINI, there’s a lot more to them now as well.
The fourth generation of the modern MINI comes in seven variants, and all of them share a few things in common. The front and rear have been redesigned, giving them a new look. The side scuttles (that’s the stylized bits near the doors) also come in new styles.
Stepping inside, there’s a lot that’s new as well. The steering wheel has seen a redesign, with new spokes, leather trims, and refined panels for the multi-function controls. The dash has a simpler layout, and there’s much less chrome going around. The popular MINI infotainment system now stands at 8.8 inches, surrounded by a laser-engraved LED ring. The system can display two colorways, which you can switch up in the menu.
Overall, the new MINIs are sleeker, more dynamic, and feel decidedly more high-end.
“The new MINI design is more modern, fresher and clearer,” says Oliver Heilmer, Head of MINI Design. “All innovations follow a common mission: Purify MINI! Less complexity, more individuality.”
And this does ring true. Even with all the re-engineering that these cars went through, the familiar design cues which make them essentially “MINI” are all there. It’s just much easier to see and feel now.
Still, each of the new models has its own appeal and would suit different sorts of drivers.
The 3-door MINI would be ideal for someone looking for a compact car that can zip through traffic, while the 5-door gives you more space to carry stuff around. The Convertible, on the other hand, is meant for leisurely drives and country holidays. All of the new MINIs run on a 1.5-liter 3-cylinder engine throwing out 136 hp and 220 nm of torque.
The Cooper S likewise has 3- and 5-door variants and weighs in with a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, throwing out 192 hp and 280 nm of torque.
The 3-door and convertible John Cooper Works models, meanwhile, are top performers in the new MINI range, running 2.0-litre four-cylinder engines with MINI TwinPower Turbo technology. These engines throw out a maximum of 231 horses and a max torque of 320 Nm. The John Cooper Works 3-Door can do the century sprint in just 6.1 seconds, while the Convertible does it in 6.5 seconds.
Whichever flavor you’re interested in, the new MINI range retains the go-kart driving experience, and given the new purist approach, this could just be what’s needed during the times. Something simple and straightforward to use, but with lots of personality to go around.