Mini has followed the unveiling of its one-off Superleggera Vision roadster concept at the recent Villa d'Este Concourse d'Eleganza in Italy with this, a five-door hatchback production model.
The new Mini model shares its front-wheel drive mechanical package with the latest three-door hatchback launched earlier this year but aims to provide additional space and greater everyday practicality than its popular sibling through a combination of extended external dimensions and a pair of stubby rear doors.
As these first official photographs reveal, the Mini 5-door, as the new model is officially named, mirrors the appearance of the recently introduced third-generation Mini 3-door with characteristic retro-inspired proportions, styling and detailing.
At 4005mm in length, 1727mm in width and 1425mm in height in initial top-of-the-line Cooper S guise, Mini's latest model is 184mm longer but the same width and 11mm higher than its traditional three-door hatchback sibling.
The added length is largely concentrated within the wheelbase, which has grown by 72mm over its sibling to accommodate the rear doors. A longer rear overhang also provides the scope for a larger trunk, which is increased by 67 litres in capacity over the three door model at a nominal 278 litres.
Mini also claims its new five-door hatchback offers greater interior accommodation than the three-door, with 15mm of additional headroom, 61mm more elbow room and 72mm more rear legroom.
The increase in dimensions has added 60kg to the curb weight, with the 5-door tipping the scales at 1145kg in Cooper guise.
Power for the first ever five-door version of the modern day Mini hatchback comes from a new range of transversely mounted three- and four-cylinder engines – as recently unveiled in other models from the famed British car maker. They are mated to either a standard six-speed manual or option six-speed automatic gearbox – the latter available with steering wheel mounted shift paddles.
Heading the line-up is a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol unit. With 141kW and 280Nm at 1250rpm (300Nm on overboost), it propels the Cooper S from 0-100kmh in 6.9sec and to a top speed of 232kmh when combined with the manual gearbox. At the same time, it is claimed to return combined cycle consumption of 5.9L/100km on the European test cycle.
Joining it from the outset of sales will be a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol unit with 100kW and 220Nm at 1250rpm (230Nm on overboost) in the Cooper. It delivers 0-100kmh acceleration in 8.2sec, a top speed of 207kmh and combined consumption of 4.7L/100km in manual form.
The petrol engines are supported by a pair of frugal diesels powerplants. They include a turbocharged 2.0-litre four cylinder that provides the Cooper SD with 125kW and 360Nm of torque at 1500rpm and a compact 1.5-litre three-cylinder with 85kW and 270Nm at 1750rpm in the Cooper D – the latter of which is claimed to achieve combined consumption of just 3.6L/100km for an average CO2 emission figure of 95g/km.
While initially tipped to replace the Clubman, the new 5-door is described by Mini has an additional model.
According to Fairfax Media sources at parent company BMW, the Clubman will be succeeded by an even larger model previewed in lightly veiled form by the Clubman concept at the Geneva motor show last March.
It is planned to eschew the quirky single rear hinged rear door for a more conventional layout featuring two front hinged rear doors and the Clubman's traditional barn style rear doors.
- Sydney Morning Herald