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Mini sets date with all-new Cooper hatch

Almost unzipped: The new Mini will be disguised for not much longer.

Next Mini’s world premiere set down for November 18 in UK, just ahead of show debuts

Mini logo8 Aug 2013

By TERRY MARTIN

THE new-generation Mini Cooper hatch will be presented to the world on November 18 at a special event held at the company’s factory in England, where the car will be built.

To make an almost simultaneous public debut at the Los Angeles and Tokyo motor shows two days later, the third-generation modern-era Mini will have its first outing in Oxford on the day that marks 107 years since the birth of the original 1959 Mini’s designer, Sir Alec Issigonis.

Previewed by the recently released ‘Vision’ concept and certain to retain its trademark design, the new Mini will be released in Europe early next year and is due to launch in Australia in the second quarter.

As GoAuto has reported, the new-generation hatchback will be based on parent BMW’s new ‘UKL’ front-wheel-drive small-car platform, which as well as underpinning a host of new BMW models will spawn a family of redesigned and possibly all-new Mini models across a range of body styles.

These currently include hatch, coupe, roadster, convertible, the Clubman wagon (and Clubvan commercial not sold here), the Countryman crossover and the sportier Paceman spin-off.

A new entry-level sub-Cooper model, as previewed by the 2011 Rocketman concept, is understood to be on the drawing board, while overseas reports indicate that yet more crossovers, a people-mover and even a sedan are in the works.

Mini says that the world premiere at the factory, which will coincide with a party in London, will pay tribute to the Mini’s origins – the Oxford site has been building cars for more than 100 years – as well as the creator of the original icon.

“The concepts Issigonis introduced in the Mini became the foundation for many generations of small and compact cars,” the company says.

“In their most modern form, those principals will continue to live on in the new Mini. Completely new engines and chassis technologies, Mini Connected innovations and refined premium quality will make it the new benchmark for driving enjoyment in its class.” Powertrain details are still to be divulged, but reports suggest a new series of 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol and diesel engines will be in the mix, with higher-performance models – including the continuing John Cooper Works variants across the range – to benefit from BMW’s 2.0-litre TwinPower turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

There is no word yet on a hybrid version of the next Mini, but the all-electric Mini E, which has been running around in pilot programs over the past five years, is almost certain to figure in the BMW Group’s new electrified vehicle program that will reach the market soon with the all-new i3.

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