R56 LCI Hatch
1 Nov 2010
In late 2010, BMW launched its Audi A1 spoiler in the guise of a subtly modified MY11 Mini Cooper range, bringing better equipment levels, improved efficiency, stronger performance, and greater visual differentiation between some models.
Prices rose between $400 and $1000 depending on the model, but more standard features were added, including Bluetooth connectivity. But a keen eye is necessary to spot the changes, which include a bigger and more pedestrian-impact friendly bonnet, redesigned grille choices, reshaped bumpers, revised tail-light lenses, and a fresh colour palette, with the latter forming part of a larger personalisation and options program than before that includes restyled wheels.
Under the bonnet of the Mini D is a new diesel engine – a 1.6-litre four-cylinder unit offering 82kW of power at 4000rpm and 270Nm of torque between 1750-2250rpm. Aiding its improved economy are a bunch of emissions reducing tech bandied as ‘Minimalism’ – brake energy regeneration, idle-stop, gear shift display arrow, electromechanical power steering and what BMW calls “need-based ancillary componentry”.
The other engine choices – 80kW/160Nm 1.6 atmo and 128kW/240Nm 1.6 turbo tied (like the Mini D) to six-speed manual or ZF six-speed autos – remain the same.
As before, MacPherson struts and a central arm rear axle form the suspension set-up, while the steering is a rack and pinion set-up.
Moving inside, there has also been a fettling of the cabin trim, resulting in refreshed materials and colours designed to bring a ‘premium nature’ to the interior.