New Mini to be cheaper and faster

Mini’s biggest, fastest and boldest Cooper hatchback will also be its cheapest yet, carving $5000 off the price of the model it will replace, along with a cylinder from the engine.

The all-new – though difficult to distinguish from the old – Mini is due on sale later this month, with three variants initially being offered: an entry-level petrol-engined Cooper, a mid-pack diesel-engined version, and the range-topping (for now) turbocharged petrol Cooper S.

But it is the entry-level pricing of just $26,650 that headlines the new Mini’s arrival later this month, well down on the $31,650 that the current model commands.

The standard Mini saves money by shedding a cylinder, moving away from its traditional 1.6-litre atmo four-pot to a 1.5-litre turbocharged triple.

In terms of performance, the new Mini produces 10kW more power than before at 100kW, with 220Nm of torque, up by a hefty 60Nm (or 70Nm when calling on the overboost function).

The three-pot engine cuts more than a second off the Cooper’s 0-100km/h sprint time to 7.9sec.

Fuel use, meanwhile, improves to 4.7 litres per 100 kilometres, down from 5.8L/100km.

The $31,800 Cooper D ($3000 cheaper than the old model) also uses a turbo three-cylinder engine, with the 1.5-litre unit producing 85kW – almost the same as the old Cooper’s petrol engine – and 270Nm, accelerating from 0-100km/h in 9.2sec, only 0.1sec outside the old petrol-engined car’s figure.

Its 3.7L/100km official fuel figure shames even Toyota’s environmental poster car, the Prius, but because it burns diesel fuel it is not as clean as the petrol-electric hybrid.

The $36,950 Cooper S (down $3750) remains as the only Cooper, for now, to feature a four-cylinder engine under the bonnet.

Its turbocharged 2.0-litre powerplant – up from the old engine’s 1.6-litre capacity – produces 141kW/280Nm (up from 135kW/240Nm), with an overboost function delivering bursts of up to 300Nm of torque.

Using only 5.9L/100km, the new Cooper S lopes from 0-100km/h in 6.8sec, knocking only 0.2sec off the time despite the bigger displacement.

Mini’s latest Cooper also promises to turn the three-door hatchback into even more of a driver’s car. According to the brand, this generation of the car adds features such as variable driving modes and electronically adjustable dampers for the first time.

Sign up here to receive the latest round-up of Wheels news, reviews and video highlights straight to your inbox each week.

Want free access to 5 years of Wheels archive content? Sign up now!