The fifth-generation MINI Cooper has made its debut with an all-new design that the company says sees a “maximum reduction to the essentials.” Still a three-door hatchback, the latest Cooper is being introduced with two electric powertrains.
Focusing on the exterior first, the new Cooper maintains a familiar profile but you’ll notice some of the details seen on its predecessor have been removed, including the fender flares and side scuttles. MINI’s characteristic three-part paint scheme with different hues for the vehicle body, window area and roof are brought back, accompanied by flush door handles that contribute to the low drag coefficient of 0.28.
At the front, the Cooper sports a new octagonal-shaped grille with a Vibrant Silver surround as well as circular headlamps that no longer come with chrome trim. The latter features distinctive daytime running light elements which include a ring around each cluster as well as two horizontal bars on cars specified with the Essential Trim.
As an option, the daytime running lights can be switched to create three adjustable light signatures, and all light modes have a welcome and goodbye animation. At the rear, the triangular taillights also come with different lighting modes like the headlamps. Rounding off the simplified exterior is black trim that runs along the bottom of the bumpers and sides of the vehicle.
In addition to the Essential Trim, there’s also the Favoured Trim that includes an optional Spray-Tech design of the multi-tone roof with a combination of three different colours. There’s also the John Cooper Works (JCW) Trim that comes with more prominent front and rear ends, along with a high-gloss black grille frame and logo as well as bonnet stripes in red or black.
Inside, the redesigned Cooper looks to the classic Mini designed by Alec Issigonis for inspiration, with the standout item being a round 9.4-inch OLED touchscreen on the dashboard that also doubles as the instrument cluster. The carmaker refers to the display as the MINI Interaction Unit, and it is powered by MINI Operating System 9 that offers a myriad of configurability.
Regardless of what’s being display on screen, be it a speedometer, map or any of the available widgets, drivers will always have on-screen buttons for navigation, media, phone and climate functions. There are also seven MINI Experience Modes that each have a specific user interface design that also affects the lighting inside the vehicle.
While most vehicle functions are accessed via the touchscreen, MINI has retained the toggle bar that now accommodates the gear selector, engine start turn key, experience mode toggle and volume control. With no gear lever, the centre console gets an enlarged cup holders and open storage compartment, with a wireless charger located at the front.
Depending on the chosen trim, the interior is dressed in a variety of upholsteries and panel surfaces, including textile options for the first time. A head-up display is also available if you prefer not to adjust your vision each time to know how fast you’re going, and you can minimise physically touching the display by engaging with the MINI Intelligent Personal Assistant.
A part of MINI Operating System 9, the voice recognition system responds to ‘Hey MINI!’ and allows driver to control numerous functions using their voice. This is visually represented by a stylised MINI logo or a virtual companion known as ‘Spike’.
The infotainment software is based on an Android Open Source Project (AOSP) software stack and can be updated with new features over time. Connected services are part of the software suite thanks to optional 5G connectivity, along with in-car gaming through the AirConsole app.
On the driver assistance side, 12 ultrasonic sensors and four surround-view cameras support the Cooper’s Parking Assistant and optional Parking Assistant Plus systems. There’s also the usual suite of autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and other functions available. One feature MINI is keen to point out is Remote 360 that lets owners see the surroundings of a parking vehicle and even the interior thanks to a camera inside the cabin.
In terms of powertrains, the range includes the front-wheel drive MINI Cooper E and MINI Cooper SE – the previous MINI Electric only came in one variant. The specifications for the new all-electric MINI Cooper are as follows:
MINI Cooper E
- Electric motor output: 184 PS (181 hp or 135 kW) and 290 Nm
- Battery capacity: 40.7 kWh
- 0-100 km/h time: 7.3 seconds
- WLTP range: 305 km
MINI Cooper SE
- Electric motor output: 218 PS (215 hp or 160 kW) and 330 Nm
- Battery capacity: 54.2 kWh
- 0-100 km/h time: 6.7 seconds
- WLTP range: 402 km
For charging, both versions support a maximum AC input of 11 kW as well as DC fast charging, the latter being up to 75 kW for the Cooper E and 95 kW for the Cooper SE. MINI says with a compatible DC charger, the batteries of the two will get from a 10-80% state of charge in just under 30 minutes.
If we compare the Cooper E to the previous-generation MINI Electric we have here, the new model more torque (+20 Nm), more range (+73 km) and more DC charging capacity (+25 kW). These gains are more substantial when the Cooper SE is brought in for comparison, offering even more power, range and DC charging capacity.
What do you think of the all-new MINI Cooper? Does the new design work for you? Do the improved powertrains make it more appealing than its predecessor? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
* This article was originally published here
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