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Mini prices get maxi cuts

Minimum prices: Mini Cooper prices have been dropped with the arrival of the third-generation of the iconic British hatch.

All-new Mini Cooper priced from $26,650 as BMW’s baby hatch gets serious

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3 Apr 2014

MINI Australia will slash $5000 from the price of entry to its Mini range with the arrival of its all-new, bigger and faster third-generation Cooper hatchback from the end of this month.

Prices of all three new Mini Cooper hatch variants have been chopped, with the Cooper S dipping $3750, to $36,950 (plus on-road costs), and diesel Cooper D down $3000 to $31,800.

But the biggest price cut comes on the base 1.5-litre three-cylinder Cooper, which will enter the market at $26,650 – $5000 cheaper than the previous 1.6-litre four-cylinder equivalent.

Although Mini Australia is not talking prospective sale volumes for the new range at this stage, the pricing indicates a serious intent to inject the British-made three-door sports hatch range into the mainstream, undercutting cars such as the larger Nissan Pulsar SSS while also competing against rivals such as the Audi A1 and Citroen DS3.

Mini Australia describes the pricing for the first of the new Mini variants to land on our shores as “razor sharp”, especially as the new-generation model boasts a range of new technologies and features.

General manager Kai Bruesewitz said the new Mini had higher levels of refinement.

“At the same time, we’ve retained the engaging ‘go-kart’ driving style this iconic vehicle is known for, but the best news for Australian Mini fans is that we have been able to reduce the pricing of the all-new Mini, making it more accessible than ever before,” he said.

While the number of cylinders and engine sizes might have been reduced on the Cooper and Cooper D, power and performance are up on all models.

The Cooper’s newly developed base three-cylinder TwinPower turbo-charged direct-injected petrol engine bangs out 100kW of power and 220Nm of torque – 10kW and 60Nm more than the four-cylinder engine it replaces.

A new six-speed manual gearbox is offered, alongside an optional six-speed automatic transmission.

Although the new Mini is larger than before, at 98mm longer and 44mm wider, the feisty new-generation engine powers the Cooper from standstill to 100km/h in 7.9 seconds – 1.2 seconds faster than the previous generation.

Cooper D’s new three-cylinder turbo diesel engine is slightly more powerful than the previous four-cylinder diesel – up 3kW to 85kW – while torque remains static at 270Nm. Nevertheless, the diesel Mini does the 0-100km/h sprint in a sharper 9.2 seconds (down 0.3 seconds).

Naturally, the quickest of the new Minis is the Cooper S that gets a new four-cylinder 2.0-litre turbo-charged engine producing 141kW – up 6kW – and 280Nm – up 40Nm.

The sprint time for the ‘S’ drops significantly, from 8.0 second to a sharp 6.8 seconds.

Fuel-saving measures such as idle-stop and greater use of aluminium and high-strength steel has helped to slice fuel consumption on all models.

The most frugal Mini is the Cooper D, sucking just 3.7 litres per 100km (down 0.1) on the official combined fuel consumption cycle and emitting just 97 grams of CO2 (previously 99g).

The three-cylinder petrol Cooper drinks 4.7L/100km – a big improvement of the 6.4L/100km of the previous model – and emits 110g/km.

The flagship Cooper S is slightly less thirsty than before, consuming 5.9L/100km – down 0.4 – and emitting 138gm of CO2 (down 8g).

Among the new technologies on offer are electronically controlled variable driving modes, fitted as standard on the Cooper S. The three modes – Mid, Green and Red – not only adjust driving controls such as the accelerator curve, automatic transmission shifts and steering weight but also the ambient lighting, instrument display and – where fitted – dynamic damper settings.

This system is controlled by a knob at the base of the transmission shift.

The revised steering system includes torque steer compensation to reduce that tugging feeling at the steering wheel under acceleration, while also including BMW’s Servotronic speed-related steering assistance system for greater ‘feel’ in spirited driving.

Standard equipment also includes keyless engine start, and a new instrument cluster directly in front of the driver.

Optional gear available for the first time includes head up display, camera-based adaptive cruise control collision and pedestrian warning system, automatic high beam, rear view camera and parking sensors.

Mini claims its Cooper is the first in class to offer optional LED headlights, along with LED turning lights.

2014 Mini Cooper hatch pricing*
Cooper $26,650
Cooper D $31,800
Cooper S $36,950
*Excludes on-road costs.

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