spacer.png, 0 kB

Our Newsletter







spacer.png, 0 kB
spacer.png, 0 kB
Welcome arrow Articles arrow Car Reviews arrow New Mini for 2007
New Mini for 2007 PDF Print E-mail

There is a new Mini due to arrive in major markets before the end of the year. Thailand may have to wait a little longer, of course, but the 2007 Mini is definitely on its way, says its makers BMW.

Image

 

The next generation car does not, on the face of it, appear significantly different to the existing one, but under the skin there are a number of changes, most notably the power plant. Out goes the joint-venture engine built in Brazil, and in comes a range of Peugeot-sourced petrol engines. The Mini motors, however, will be assembled at BMW?s Hams Hall engine plant in Birmingham, central England.

The Brazilian engine plant, named Tritec, is at Campo Largo and was a joint venture established initially by BMW and Chrysler, before the 1998 merger with Daimler-Benz, which, of course, owns BMW?s arch-rival Mercedes-Benz. End of harmonious JV.

The original Alec Issigonis-designed Mini was launched in August 1959 to great acclaim. Here was a small, affordable car, with a wheel at each corner, a transverse engine with the gearbox located in the sump and rather strange, rubber suspension. But in no time at all, the Mini became a classless icon, with pop stars, actors, top models and other celebrities all driving one. Moreover, for the man-in-the-street, it meant economical motoring with space for the family and even their luggage, as the trunk lid hinged at the lower edge allowing extra bags to be carried.

The modern Mini was introduced in 2001, after BMW had disposed on its shareholding in Rover to the infamous ?Gang of Four? in Britain for a token ?10. But wisely, so it transpired, BMW retained the Mini design and brand. Manufacturing was moved from the Longbridge, Birmingham site to a more modern facility at Cowley, Oxfordshire, where last year the company produced 205,000 Minis. Before the launch of the new version, BMW will revamp the factory to permit around 240,000 cars a year to be built by 2008.

Image

 

Despite the visual similarity to the outgoing model, BMW maintains that every body panel is different. While the 2001 Mini was essentially designed by top stylist Frank Stephenson, who also had a hand in the 1999 BMW X5 SUV, he has now moved across to head up Maserati?s design studio and the new Mini is more of an in-house committee expression.

The new 1.6 liter gasoline engines are offered in normally aspirated form, producing 120 bhp, or turbocharged developing an impressive 175 bhp. Torque output of both power plants is strong: 160 Nm and 260 Nm respectively. More importantly, excellent low-speed torque comes in as low as 1,600 rpm on the turbo model, 2,000 rpm on the regular version.

Fuel consumption on both models has improved dramatically, while CO? emissions have also been reduced. Although no details have been released yet, a new 1.4 liter gasoline model will be introduced next year, along with a diesel Mini.

The interior has had the biggest makeover, with a number of major changes. The most striking feature, the center speedometer, now comprises not only the analogue instrument itself but also all entertainment, while below this the center console is narrower to give more room in the driver and passenger footwells.

There is an optional futuristic internal lighting system, whereby the color of the roof lights, the door storage compartments and grab handle recesses may be changed at any time in five stages, from warm orange to sporting blue. No longer is an automobile merely to get from A to B; it is now an entertainment feature all on its own.

The 2007 Mini will go on sale in the UK and other major markets well before Christmas.

 
spacer.png, 0 kB
spacer.png, 0 kB
© 2018 Jeff Heselwood. All rights reserved.
spacer.png, 0 kB