The Mini Cooper is a truly unique vehicle - and not just because of its size. Since hitting the market 50 years ago, this minimalist and quirky automobile has continued to surprise consumers with customizable features and unusual driving dynamics. With the launch of the car's third generation, it appears as if the Mini is getting even more interesting. This 2014 edition maintains the important aspects of the original while adding a number of notable updates that could minimize required vehicle maintenance and auto repair. Here's a glimpse into this iconic vehicle:
One of the most noticeable differences in the 2014 Mini Cooper is that it grew - in fact, the car's name may not fit anymore. Motor Trend magazine reported that the automobile is now 4.5 inches longer, 1.7 inches wider and .03 inches taller. While this only puts the automobile's dimensions at 151.1 inches long, 68 inches wide and 55.7 inches tall, it's still debatable whether the car can be deemed "mini." There's a reason behind the bigger size, however. According to Motor Trend, innovative engineering such as the larger wheelbase and track have allowed for 8 cubic feet of additional space in the interior and 3 cubic feet more room in the luggage compartment. The exterior panels grew as well, and additions such as optional LED headlights and tail lights lend a sleek, modern appearance to the car that mimics parent company BMW's design. Meanwhile, the white rood, blacked-out B pillars and other recognizable features from the original model remain.
Drivers will also notice that certain displays and other aspects have moved. For example, the speedometer is no longer mounted on the middle of the dash - it's now located behind the steering wheel. The oversized gauge is still situated on the center stack, but instead of the speedometer, it contains an 8.8-inch display screen that gives motorists a crystal clear navigation image in addition to maps, infotainment options and climate control.
Enhanced power and performance
Most importantly, though, Motor Trend noted that the Mini Cooper's performance has improved - particularly due to the direct fuel injection and the inclusion of turbochargers in the engines. The base-model Cooper includes a 1.5L three-cylinder engine that achieves 136 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque, which can reach 169 in overboost mode and can also be joined to an automatic or six-speed manual transmission. What's the result of all this additional power? In just 6.4 seconds, the Mini can go from 0 to 60 mph.