Image credits: © MINI.

MSRP: $18,550-30,800
Invoice: $16,695-27,720

2009 MINI Cooper news, pictures, specifications, and information

THE 2009 MINI HARDTOPS - STILL A CLASS OF ONE

MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S

Go-kart-driving fun, an interior that provides the maximum amount of car in the minimum amount of space and a myriad of personalization possibilities keep the 2009 MINI Cooper and Cooper S on top of the small-car premium §egmènt as sales continue to grow, bettering the previous year's.

The body of the latest generation MINI – introduced in 2007 – boasts evolutionary development from the iconic 1959 Classic Mini, while the interior, including styling cues are evocative of the original and contain the latest technological advances found today. And powering either the 2009 MINI Cooper or MINI Cooper S are a pair of four-cylinder engines resembling the original MINI's in cylinder number and placement, transversely over the front axle, but far more efficient, cleaner and powerful.

Performance plays a major role in providing driving fun and the four-cylinder engines of the MINI hardtops deliver. The turbocharged 1.6-liter version in the Cooper S produces 172 horsepower, eclipsing the magical '100-hp-per-liter' measure revered by enthusiasts. This translates into 0-to-60 mph acceleration in 6.7 seconds and a top speed of 139 mph. The naturally-aspirated engine in the Cooper, also 1.6 liters, features variable valve control and accelerates this agile two-door athlete to 60 mph in 8.5 seconds, wîth top speed of 126 mph.

Despite their much higher level of dynamic performance and sporting character, both MINIs return superior fuel economy, wîth the MINI Cooper S having a preliminary 2009 EPA fuel economy estimate of 26 City/34 Highway mpg for a combined preliminary EPA estimate of 29 mpg. The MINI Cooper is even more efficient wîth preliminary EPA 2009 estimates of 28/37 City/Highway for a combined rating of 32 mpg.

Vital Stats
Engine : 1.6 L., 4-cylinder
Torque: 114 ft-lbs

Engine : 1.6 L., 4-cylinder
Power: 172 hp
Torque: 177 ft-lbs

6-speed Manual, 6-speed Automatic
Both engine variants are fitted transversely under the bonnet and power the front wheels. Composite – instead of conventional cast – camshafts and weight-optimized crankshafts are part of the lightweight concept of the aluminum power units. Fuel consumption, in turn, is optimized by a volume flow-controlled oil pump and an electronically-controlled water pump for the coolant circuit – two technical features previously limited to larger and more expensive model §egmènts.


The MINI Cooper and the MINI Cooper S both come standard wîth a six-speed manual transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com) Both models can be ordered wîth an optional six-speed automatic transmission that features a sport mode and includes §teering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

With its low center of gravity and wide stance that moves the wheels to the extreme corners of the car, agile and nimble driving behavior is guaranteed as is that go-kart feeling. The modified structure of the body shell as well as a wide range of safety features, in turn, help to ensure the 2009 MINI meets or exceeds all accident-protection requirements. In a recent NHTSA test, MINI excelled in all aspects wîth four- and five-star ratings.

Compared wîth the MINI Cooper, the MINI Cooper S has a more sporting suspension set-up, and as an option both models are available wîth sports suspension for an even higher standard of driving pleasure.

The EPAS Electrical Power-Assisted Steering helps make the MINI even more nimble and agile on the road, as speed-related assistance ensuring low §teering forces when parking and precise control at high speeds. And when the standard Sport button is depressed, EPAS offers a sportier mode that specifically increases §teering forces for an even more direct driving experience.

Clear look and a friendly face.
'From the original to the original' – this was the philosophy in creating the body design of the second-generation modern MINI. The entire car was redesigned from the ground up, wîth many details and features being modified and enhanced in the process. But in its outer look, the MINI remains unmistakable, the radiator grill and large circular headlights characterizing the front end of the car and giving it the traditional, 'bulldog,' friendly appearance.

Contrary to the grill on the first modern MINI, the new hexagon radiator grill is a single-piece unit. The direction indicator lights on the new MINI are integrated in the headlight units, giving the front end an even greater clarity and more straightforward appearance, wîth just two additional 'beauty marks' instead of the previous versions' four. These are the positioning lights beneath the headlights which also include the optional fog lamps.

This generation's increased length – 2.36 inches – is hardly noticeable, wîth the car's overall proportions remaining smooth, uncluttered and particularly harmonious. The larger exterior dimensions provide more space within the engine compartment, as well as the foundation for the strictest future safety regulations.

The front end and front design of the car also serves to distinguish the individual model variants. One significant difference setting the two variants apart is the more powerful and muscular lòòking hood, which includes an exclusive air-intake scoop, of the Cooper S, some 0.8-inches higher than that of the smooth one on the Cooper.

Taut side-line, powerful rear end.
Seen from the side, the new MINI is firm, taut and striking, resting powerfully on its wheels in a look well-known to friends and aficionados of the brand as the 'stance on the wheels.' Another characteristic is the seemingly uninterrupted 'flow' of windows around the car, adorning the new MINI like a complete, 360-degree band of glass.

The distinct 'shoulders' at the rear of the new MINI forms a counter-element to the longer front end of the car. The well-known MINI proportions are maintained and are faithful to the original Classic Mini.

Iconic center speedometer and toggle switches.
Combined wîth the horizontal geometry of the interior and, in particular, the dashboard, the displays in their purist, round design characterize the overall design theme of the cockpit. The central element is the MINI-signature center speedometer, which for 2009 features a new maximum speed of 160 mph/260 kmh. The displays and controls for the entertainment system as well as the display for the optional navigation system are integrated in the speedometer, while the tachometer remains a separate unit positioned, as befits a sporting car, behind the §teering wheel in the driver's line of sight.

The vertical ventilation control knobs, the two cupholders integrated in the bottom section of the center console and the racing-inspired toggle switches are all typical of MINI. The characteristic toggles operate the optional fog lamps, the power windows – wîth express, one-touch up and down – and central locking are larger than before and, in the new generation, are joined by duplicates in the roof console for sunroof and interior-lighting control.

A round transmitter finished in typical MINI style replaces the conventional door and ignition key, wîth the driver controlling engine operation wîth a start/stop button. All instruments and controls are very smooth and easy to operate, positioned at the right point for optimum ergonomics.

Background illumination in five colors.
The interior lighting reflects typical MINI style and class, wîth the addition of ambient lighting which can be varied in five stages from warm orange to sporting blue. Serving as discreet 'waterfall illumination' from above and as indirect illumination of the roof lining, the door storage bins and the door handle recesses, this illumination scheme creates a unique atmosphere inside the 2009 MINI.

Natural wood, hand-sewn leather, and chrome as special interior options.
The 2009 MINI continues to offer a wide range of options and special equipment to meet the demands and personal preferences of virtually any buyer. Wood, leather, various trim-and-color combinations mean adjusting the interior can be tailored for an 'exact' fit.

The 2009 MINI is offered in 10 body colors wîth six metallics available on the Cooper and seven metallics on the Cooper S. The external look is further customizable thanks to additional color and graphic options for the roof and mirror caps. Optionally, both the MINI Cooper S and the MINI Cooper are available wîth Chrome line interior and exterior options featuring chrome surrounds on the instruments dials, a chrome bar on the lower air intake in the front air dam and chrome rings on the fog lamps on the MINI Cooper, plus, on the MINI Cooper S, chrome bars in the air outlet on the rear air dam and on the rear lid handle.

Complete range of safety equipment.
Benefiting from its strong and stable body structure, the MINI offers a standard of crash safety unique in its §egmènt. In the event of a collision, optimized load paths within the body structure serve to effectively divert forces acting on the car, despite the short overhangs front and rear.

Reflecting the premium standard of the MINI, both models come wîth a wide range of safety equipment, including six standard airbags to enhance occupant safety. New for 2009, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) is standard on all models and offered for the first .time on a MINI product is Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), which is optional on both models (models starting production in December 2008). DTC offers more spirited driving while maintaining electronic stability management systems should the need arise. DTC also includes a new EDLC (Electronic Differential Lock) function that controls wheelspin on the drive wheels during acceleration by using front brake force to manage the speed and torque differential between the wheels.

Active safety is enhanced in critical driving situations by the standard anti-lock brakes (ABS), Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBFD), Cornering Brake Control (CBC), as well as Automatic Stability Control + Traction (ASC+T) control standard on the MINI Cooper S wîth on/off control.

Brake Assist on both models detects emergency operation of the brakes and builds up maximum brake pressure very quickly. Hill Assist start-off assistance, in conjunction wîth DSC, maintains brake pressure for up to 3 seconds after the brake pedal has been released and before the clutch has been engaged, to prevent the car from rolling back when setting off on an uphill gradient.

British heritage at the cornerstone of the MINI's success
The new MINI is built in the British production triangle formed by the BMW Group Plants in Oxford, Swindon, and Hams Hall. In recent years the BMW Group has made major investment in the expansion and modernization of this integrated production network, where the various tasks and functions handled by the plants in Oxford (final assembly), Swindon (press shop) and Hams Hall (body shop) are focused on the requirements of the market. Together, all three plants currently employ some 6,700 associates; the plants' maximum capacity is going to be increased to up to 260,000 MINIs a year in the mid-term.

The market launch of the latest generation of the MINI was November 18, 2006, marking the 100th birthday of Sir Alec Issigonis, the creator of the original MINI, whose concept, philosophy, character and flair all live on in the new MINI.

This revolutionary compact car was presented for the first time in August 1959 to the public: featuring front-wheel drive, transverse engine at the front, short body overhangs, long wheelbase and wide track marked this ground-breaking marque and made the MINI the role model for generations of cars in its §egmènt. The universal appeal, defying marketing norms, and outstanding success in racing quickly made the MINI a genuine milestone in the history of the automobile, wîth production of the classic MINI amounting for almost 5.4 million units by the year 2000.

The creator of the MINI was knighted in 1969 by the Queen and died in 1988 – at a time when production of the classic MINI had already exceeded four million units – at an age of almost 82.

• Exterior Design – A Most Distinctive Look:

The 2009 is immediately recognizable as a MINI from every angle. Thoroughly modern, but nevertheless remains true and faithful to itself. The body designers created a truly authentic design reflecting both the character of the classic MINI and the up-to-date appeal of its predecessor.

This design not only accentuates the individual style and character of the MINI, but also takes the great demands made by a customer of a genuine premium car into account. Superior performance and even higher safety requirements than those which governed the first generation of the modern MINI have at the same time motivated the car's creators to re-interpret its body design wherever appropriate and desirable. However, as the car's proportions have remained the same compared to the previous generation, the MINI remains just as unmistakable as before, retaining the typical MINI character and style.

Authentic design: MINI remains MINI.
'From the original to the original' – this is and was the philosophy from the start in designing the exterior of the 2009 MINI. And following this creed, the car's creators and designers followed an essential step in the process of development along a clearly defined path: 'In its exterior design, this MINI is an evolution of its predecessor', said MINI Chief Designer Gert Hildebrand. For the objective in designing the car was to bring out all signs and features of distinction not only classical, but also typical of the modern MINI, even more consistently and convincingly.

Indeed, even the first generation of the modern MINI already succeeded from the start in suitably adapting the concept of the classical MINI from the year 1959. And now the new model generation is continuing this concept of continuity.

Careful and consistent loyalty in maintaining the design of the car and equally consistent continuity in adhering to the traditional icons in the design of the MINI help to give the 2009 MINI its unique authenticity at very first sight. In its individual and emotional design language, the new MINI is almost carried over from the anatomy and mimicry of the human body, combining these symbols in perfect harmony.

An open and fully alert look characterizes the front end of the car; powerful shoulders give the side view its typical flair and appearance. And smooth, soft contours dominate many features and design elements such as the hood.

The large wheels and elevated window line give the 2009 MINI a firmer and more muscular look from the side, clearly expressing the masculine and mature character of the brand.

Traditional design features, powerful look.
The face of the MINI remains unmistakable and characteristic of the brand in every respect.
This is ensured in particular by three elements: the large front lights, the positioning lights accommodated in the front air dam and the hexagonal radiator grille. The round clear glass headlights have been turned slightly to the outside in order to maintain the well-known and balanced proportions of the front end. The headlights accommodate the direction indicators formerly fitted as separate units. Hence, the lone 'insular' element reminiscent of previous designs is the positioning lights serving as 'beauty marks' in the face of the 2009 MINI and accommodating the optional fog lamps.

The radiator grill is particularly conspicuous in its design. The grill is a single unit and its shape, a modified hexagon grill, is even more reminiscent of the air scoop on the classic MINI. Through its horizontal orientation, the grill serves to further emphasize the width of the car's body, giving the MINI a more masculine look.

Únique appearance: each model series wîth its striking, distinctive style.
The front ends of the MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S differ through a number of details giving each variant a distinctive appearance. On the MINI Cooper, the lower air intake scoop swings up slightly at either side, creating the impression of a 'smiling' car. The grill is formed by three crosswise, chrome-plated ribs and a plastic grid positioned further down, again helping to give the entire front end of the car an elegant and likeable touch.

The front end of the MINI Cooper S is more sporting and dominant in its overall look, wîth the hood being curved up nearly an inch higher than that of the Cooper to accommodate the turbocharged engine. 'And it is a wonderful example of that classic ‘form follows function,' making it quite typical of MINI,' stated Exterior Designer Marcus Syring. 'Authentic design of this kind shows what comes within the car, which is precisely why we have intentionally given the MINI Cooper S an even more powerful and muscular front end.'

The plastic grid within the grill in its chrome surround accentuates this extra size and muscle, the honeycomb-grid pattern taking up the hexagon design of the grill repeated in the lower air intake. As a result, both air intake scoops visualize the power of the turbocharged engine beneath the hood; another sign of distinction on the 2009 MINI Cooper S being the stylized opening in the hood.

The sideline: large wheels, short overhangs.
With its powerful presence, the front end of the car flows smoothly and harmoniously into the flanks of the MINI, creating a particularly firm and taut look from the side. Large wheels and minimum body overhangs front and rear give the MINI 'stance on the wheels' character famous for several decades, as if the car were literally resting on its wheels.

Continuing the reminiscence of this MINI's great-grandfather, launched almost 50 years ago, is the diagonal flow of the body seam between the engine compartment lid and the side indicators – where the classic MINI had a visible welding seam. Further design icons are the chrome-plated door handles and the direction indicator lights accommodated in the front side panels.

Yet another feature characteristic of the modern MINI is the glazed 'band' around the passenger cell or 'greenhouse.' On this MINI it is a dark strip of glass extending around the body. Also covering the roof pillars, this band of glass creates the impression of a roof hovering freely in space, once again emphasizing the muscular stature of the car's design.

The rear end: focusing on the car's horizontal lines.
In creating the modern MINI, the car's designers integrated powerful rear shoulders, maintaining the unmistakable proportions of the MINI's body. These shoulders give the rear end rounded contours as the car is characterized by parallel, horizontal lines at the back.

The §egmènts created wîth these lines build on one another and appear to support each other, forming a gently flowing step structure, the 'cascading' effect and giving it a stable stance from behind.

An additional trim panel near the C-pillar acts as a vertical contour lip to optimize the flow of air at the back of the MINI. And a further feature is the small air flow lip at the rear end of the roof which helps improve the car's aerodynamics: The drag coefficient of the 2009 MINI Cooper is 0.33cd.

The roof spoiler on the 2009 MINI Cooper S increases downforce on the rear axle as well as optimize airflow. Further features carried over in their looks from motorsport are the two tailpipes positioned in the middle, a large air outlet in the rear air dam, and the rear fog light in two separate sections.

Body colors: fresh, classy and sophisticated.
The 2009 MINI is available wîth a choice of 10 colors. On the Cooper, the non metallics are Mellow Yellow, Oxygen Blue, Chili Red and Pepper White. The metallic colors are British Racing Green, Pure Silver, Astro Black, Sparkling Silver, Lightning Blue, and Nightfire Red.

Two further metallic colors, Dark Silver and Laser Blue, are reserved exclusively for the MINI Cooper S and join British Racing Green, Pure Silver, Astro Black, Sparkling Silver, Lightning Blue and the non-metallic colors Pepper White, Mellow Yellow and Chili Red. The customer is able to further increase the range of colors and combinations through the ability to choose a contrasting roof color in black or white.

Starting within the first half of the 2009 model year, two new MINI colors include Midnight Black, which replaces Astro Black, and Horizon Blue, which replaces Lightning Blue. This color change will be for both models.

To provide an even higher standard of customization, both the MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S are available wîth an optional Chromeline package comprising chrome-plated surrounds and, on the Cooper, a crossbar on the lower air intake scoop and trim in the fog lamps and, on the MINI Cooper S, also in the air outlet at the rear end of the car. And last but certainly not least, the grab handle in the rear lid of the MINI Cooper S also comes in a chrome surround.

• Interior Design - More Space, More Style:

The interior of the 2009 MINI is the result of a revolution in design covering all areas and features within the car. The result brings more features and an even wider range of equipment, optimized ergonomics, more space, more sophisticated and stylish materials, and quality of finish reflecting the premium character of MINI. 'Focusing on the interior, we decided to revolutionize the car's design in order to really highlight the sporting and masculine character and technical progress of the new MINI,' said MINI's Chief Designer Gert Hildebrand.

The high shoulder line of the body creates a sporting cockpit ambience within the interior, concentrating the overall look and impression of the car on just a handful of distinctive highlights which again serve to emphasize the new and even more striking character of the interior.

One example is a smaller number of instruments now offer a wider range of functions. And a significant improvement is the driver and passengers' experience of space and roominess within the 2009 MINI, even though the car's exterior dimensions have grown by only about 2.4 inches from the predecessor. 'Enhancing and upgrading the design of the car, we sought from the start to offer maximum interior space within minimum dimensions', stated MINI's Interior Designer Marc Girard. And indeed, the slender centre console provides additional legroom for the driver and front passenger, while the horizontal arrangement of the instrument panel emphasizes the generosity of the interior.

Round air vents moved to the outside serve to accentuate the greater width of the dashboard, emphasizing the horizontal orientation of the cockpit and at the same time acting as a transition leading over smoothly and harmoniously to the door linings.

Excellent ergonomics and easy control.
The car's developers attached utmost importance to simple and ergonomic control by the driver. Hence, all control elements are in strict hierarchic arrangement as a function of their frequency of use and need for operation.

The principal highlight is – of course – the round, center speedometer thoroughly re-interpreted from the ground up, which for 2009 features a new maximum speed of 160 mph/260 kmh. The center speedometer stands out distinctly and underlines the cockpit ambience. Apart from the analog-face speedometer, the center display incorporates the audio controls as well as the optional entertainment and navigation functions. The most distinctive feature, however, is the speed indicator which surrounds all other functions like a 360-degree ring. And wîth the entire unit being placed high up within the instrument panel, all function buttons can be positioned for optimum ergonomic control.

Absolutely unique: center speedometer and toggle switches.
The horizontally-oriented structure of the cockpit is also reflected by the arrangement of the controls and instruments housed within the center console right beneath the center speedometer. Other features typical of MINI are the vertical arrangement of the rotary air ventilation knobs, the two cupholders integrated in the base section of the center console, as well as the toggle switches carried over from decades of racing heritage. Serving to activate the power side windows, central locking and optional fog lamps, these toggle switches serve their appointed functions easily and wîth character. They are matched by toggle switches in the roof console controlling operation of the sliding roof and interior lighting.

Like racing design, the tachometer is directly behind the §teering wheel in the driver's line of vision. Additional information is provided by a supplementary digital speedometer as well as the on-board computer within the tachometer.

The conventional ignition key is replaced MINI by a round, electronic transmitter. Once inserted into the opening adjacent to the §teering wheel, this transmitter enables the driver to start the engine by pressing the start/stop button. And wîth optional Comfort Access, the driver can leave the transmitter in his or her pocket or inside the car to open the doors and start the engine.

Pleasure for all the senses.
Encountering the new MINI is an experience beyond the visual and aural, for within the interior, the discerning customer will find numerous highlights appealing to the senses of touch and smell. 'The touch effect, the impression you get when feeling a material, is extremely important', said MINI's Materials and Color Designer Annette Baumeister. Particularly sophisticated materials, clear structures, and fine surface grain highlight the car's supreme quality. The individual panels and trim surfaces have intentionally been kept small, the rings and surrounds particularly filigree in design in order to emphasize the great attention given to every detail and the sheer value of the materials used.

The design language of 'circular elements' combined wîth horizontal structures shows clearly in the door panels and linings, the elliptical main element on the door lining now extending to the rear. This elliptical frame encompasses the light-lòòking armrest, a door pocket, and the round door openers in one unit.

The wide range of colors for the interior offers the customer a choice of Carbon Black, Tuscan Beige, and Redwood Red, either in harmony wîth the body color and trim chosen or differing as an exciting contrast.

The dashboard is made up of two horizontally separated sections wîth a trim division in between. The plastic surfaces come in particularly fine grain, highlighting the supreme value, class and style of the material.

Authentic and sophisticated: materials in premium quality.
Different seat upholstery also serves to distinguish between the MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S: 'effect-yarn' seams enhance the lifestyle ambience within the MINI Cooper in the 'basic' upholstery. The seat covers on the MINI Cooper S come in a checker design reminiscent of the chessboard pattern of the checkered flag in racing and serving as a graphic element.

The checkered cloth used for this purpose emphasizes the sporting touch of the MINI Cooper S, and may be replaced by a classic pinstripe design combining an elegant and fine woven look wîth leather (available in four colors) on the side panels of the seats.

The wide range of cloth materials, leather, interior colors, panels and trim options offers each and every aficionado of the MINI exactly the right option to personalize his or her car according to his or her individual taste. The ambience thus created within the car ranges from high-class elegance through outright sportiness all the way to superb extravagance. And, quite regardless of the customer's individual choice, premium quality and love for every detail is presented in every 2009 MINI.

The optional Color Line enables even the most discerning customer to individualize the cockpit according to his or her personal taste, color highlights in the lower sections of the dashboard continuing into the door linings and providing a particularly effective and attractive combination wîth the trim materials. Color Line is available in four colors (Dark Grey, Cream White, Pacific Blue and Rooster Red), wîth matching silver trim dash and door trim standard wîth four exclusive trims optional: glossy Piano Black, classic English Oak, sporty Brushed Alloy aluminum and Fluid Silver, a fine glossy surface inspired by the structure of liquid metal.

A further expression of the authentic premium character of the MINI is the use of wood and aluminum, while a fully closed glove compartment or a CD changer may be integrated in the trim surface on the front passenger's side.

• Power Únits - High-Tech for Even Greater Driving Performance:

The MINI Cooper S and MINI Cooper are powered by two different four-cylinder engines boasting a wide range of innovative details. Both power units are made of lightweight aluminum alloy and displace 1.6-liters, benefiting from years of engine development and racing technology.

The engines in the MINI Cooper S and MINI Cooper differ in numerous respects. The MINI Cooper S features a 172-hp turbocharged engine wîth direct gasoline injection, while maximum output of the naturally aspirated power unit in the MINI Cooper is 118 hp, boasting fully variable VALVETRONIC technology.

MINI Cooper S: turbocharged power unit for maximum driving pleasure.
The 1.6-liter turbocharged power unit featured in the MINI Cooper S offers impressive performance on the road. Maximum output of 172 hp and specific output of 109.5 hp/liter are impressive figures for a four-cylinder, light-alloy power unit in this class.

The power unit in the MINI Cooper S achieves its peak output at an engine speed of 5,500 rpm. Maximum torque is 177 lb-ft and is maintained consistently throughout the speed range from 1,600–5,000 rpm. When the engine senses that you are accelerating hard, torque is briefly increased even further to 192 lb-ft by the 'overboost' function where an increase in boost pressure (from 0.8 to 1.0 bar) gives the MINI Cooper S even more powerful 'punch.' And overboost results exclusively in increased engine torque, not horsepower output.

The MINI Cooper S responds instantaneously to the driver's commands, accelerating from 0-60 mph comes in 6.7 seconds, and from 50–75 mph in about 5.5 seconds wîth a manual transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com) The top speed is 139 mph.

Despite their much higher level of dynamic performance and sporting character, both MINIs return superior fuel economy. The MINI Cooper S has a preliminary 2009 EPA fuel economy estimate of 26 City/34 Highway mpg for a combined 29 mpg. The MINI Cooper is even more efficient wîth a preliminary EPA estimate of 28/37 City/Highway for a combined rating of 32 mpg.

MINI Cooper S: direct fuel injection applying the common rail principle.
Like the naturally aspirated version in the MINI Cooper, the new turbocharged power unit offers the highest standard of engine construction. The four valves per cylinder are controlled by two overhead camshafts, roller-type rocker arms optimized for minimum friction, and hydraulic lash adjusters. The exhaust valves are filled wîth sodium in order to meet the greater cooling requirements of a turbocharged power unit. The intake camshaft comes wîth infinite phase adjustment setting the engine's valve timing to the driver's respective power and performance requirements. The result is optimum output and torque on low fuel consumption and emissions reduced to a minimum.

Fuel is injected into the turbocharged four-cylinder by means of common-rail-direct-injection technology. The stainless-steel common rail connecting all cylinders is filled wîth fuel driven by a high pressure pump mounted at the rear of the intake camshaft. Injection valves positioned at the side in the cylinder head deliver fuel within fractions of a second and in exactly the right amounts from the rail directly into the combustion chambers and the combustion trough in the middle of each piston ensuring optimum stratification of the homogeneous fuel/air mixture wîth a lambda factor of 1.0. Running in cast-iron sleeves and operating wîth a compression ratio of 10.5: 1, relatively high for a turbocharged engine, the pistons are cooled by splash oil.

MINI Cooper S: turbocharger wîth twin-scroll technology.
Featuring a twin-scroll turbocharger, the MINI Cooper S comes wîth another feature unique in this §egmènt. Through its underlying philosophy and principle, the twin-scroll turbocharger builds up power and performance wîth unprecedented spontaneity. In both the exhaust gas manifold and the turbocharger itself, the ducts leading to two cylinders at a time are separated from one another. Reducing exhaust-gas counter pressure at low engine speeds, this arrangement capitalizes on the dynamic effect of the pulsating gas columns within the manifold in a special process enhancing the response of the turbocharger and accelerating its charge rotors to an optimum speed of rotation right from the start at low engine speeds.

The charge pressure, limited by a wastegate to 0.8 bar, starts to build at an engine speed of 1,400 rpm, almost eliminating the 'turbo lag' typical of conventional turbocharged engines. As a result, the MINI Cooper S accelerates smoothly and instantaneously; the 1.6-liter turbocharged power unit demonstrating the same kind of response and behavior as a larger normal-aspiration engine.

'The principle to achieve the same output as wîth a larger engine on a smaller and more fuel-efficient power unit is referred to as ‘downsizing,'' stated Erich Sonntag, Drivetrain Project Manager in the development of the new MINI. 'With its specific output of approximately 110 horsepower per liter, the turbocharged power unit of the new MINI is a wonderful example of this philosophy.'

MINI Cooper: powerful but fuel-efficient normal-aspiration engine.
Also displacing 1.6-liters, the MINI Cooper engine combines superior driving pleasure wîth truly outstanding all-round economy. Maximum output of 118 hp comes at 6,000 rpm, wîth the torque curve reaching a significant 103 lb-ft at 2, 000 rpm and continuing to a peak of 114 lb-ft at 4,250 rpm. The wide, useful torque curve is an example this engine combines superior power and performance wîth equally superior fuel economy in a compact and highly efficient power unit.

The 2009 MINI Cooper accelerates from a standstill to 60 mph in 8.5 seconds and has a top speed of 126 mph. Acceleration at speed is just as impressive, wîth the high-torque four-cylinder pushing the MINI Cooper from 50–75 mph in top gear in 9.4 seconds.

MINI Cooper: variable valve management for optimum power and performance.
Fully variable valve control featuring VALVETRONIC technology is one of the innovative technical features incorporated into the four-cylinder. With this sophisticated valve management, the stroke and opening period of the intake valves are adjusted within fractions of a second to the power requirements; the camshaft acting on the valves through an additional intermediate lever adjusted in its pivot point by an eccentric shaft driven by the VALVETRONIC motor. Depending on the position of this lever arm, intake valve lift is varied infinitely between 0.2 and 9.5 millimeters, the entire process of changing over from minimum to maximum valve lift taking about 300 milliseconds.

Over and above variable management of valve lift on the intake side, valve timing on the intake and outlet sides is spread out variably as a function of engine speed. Again, this is also an infinite process switching over when necessary from one extreme to the other in 300 milliseconds.

This fast reaction time is ensured by a high-performance 32-bit processor integrated in the engine control system. Variable valve lift and speed-dependant camshaft control serve to optimize the torque curve and the engine's power output.

Engines wîth innovative design features.
The engines featured in the MINI Cooper S and MINI Cooper are built in the BMW Group's Engine Plant in Hams Hall, Great Britain. Compared wîth the former generation, both engines have been turned around by 180 degrees, wîth the exhaust facing front.

The basic engine block is similar in many respects on both the normally aspirated and turbocharged versions, both power units sharing a distance between the cylinders of 84 millimeters (3.31 inches), bore of 77 millimeters {3.03 inches), stroke of 85.5 millimeters (3.37 inches) and, accordingly, engine displacement of 1,598 cubic centimeters (97.5 cubic inches).

The two-piece bedplate structure of the crankcase is a technology carried over from racing, wîth the cylinder block and bearing housing both made of cast aluminum. Integration of the timing chain within the engine housing helps save weight, reduce running noise, and minimize the number of components.

The camshafts on both engine variants are composite structures, not typical cast units, wîth cam rings made of high-strength stainless steel shrunk-fitted on to the camshaft itself. The camshafts are fine-polished to an accuracy of 1-1000th of a millimeter. The eccentric shaft for phase adjustment is also made in this process, helping once again to reduce weight to a minimum.

Compact dimensions and high efficiency.
The lightweight concept applied in developing the power units for this generation of MINI also involves consistent reduction of frictional losses. This is why the crankshafts on both engines are weight-optimized in design and structure, and come wîth special bearing shells and comparatively small journals measuring 45 millimeters or 1.77 inches in diameter.

On both engines, the alternator and air-conditioning compressor are driven by a single poly-V-belt, while the coolant pump is driven by a friction wheel connected to an electric solenoid that engages the pump when the engine management system deems it necessary. Again, both of these design concepts help make accessory drive system of the 2009 MINI compact – they are among the shortest four-cylinder engines in their engine-displacement class.

A feature unique in the MINI §egmènt is the use of a volume-flow-controlled oil pump. Driven by a chain, this pump delivers as much oil at any given point in time as the engine requires, no more, no less. The result is a reduction in power uptake by the ancillary engine units resulting in approximately 1.68 hp at an engine speed of 6,000 rpm and reducing fuel consumption by about one percent.

The on-demand water pump on the coolant circuit offers a similar effect, cutting in when the engine reaches its operating temperature. This helps to save fuel in the warm-up phase, while at the same time the catalyst reaches the temperature required for optimum efficiency even faster and wîth a better effect.

• Manual and Automatic Transmissions – Precise, Spontaneous:

Both the 2009 MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S come wîth a standard six-speed manual gearbox and offer an optional 6-speed automatic transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com)

The manual gearbox comes in two different configurations: on the MINI Cooper S, the first two gears are synchronized by means of double cones, while the MINI Cooper uses carbon friction linings for the same purpose. All gears on both versions are in helical design and all – including reverse – feature synchromesh, thus allowing for light, precise and efficient gear changes.

The six-speed manual transmission within the Cooper S is available wîth an optional mechanical limited-slip differential that minimizes the drive wheels from spinning on slippery surfaces or in bends. To set off different frictional coefficients, the differential instantaneously feeds more engine power to the drive wheel wîth better traction.

Sport button: even more dynamic gearshift at the touch of a button.
The driver of an automatic-equipped 2009 MINI is able to shift gears by means of Formula 1-inspired paddles on the §teering wheel, allowing him or her to keep both hands on the wheel even during gearshifts.

In the automatic mode, the transmission shifts gears according to the driver's commands wîth virtually no interruption of power and pulling force. This is made possible by a converter activated when setting off and a converter clutch closing immediately after the car has started to move – an operating mode combining supreme comfort wîth a sporting and crisp gearshift. Should the driver wish to enjoy even more dynamic performance, all he or she has to do is press the Sport button for an even faster electronically-controlled gearshift.

• Chassis and Suspension - A New Dimension of Go-Kart Handling:

MINI's innovations in suspension technology enhance the legendary go-kart feeling to an even higher standard which is further benefited from front-wheel drive, a low center of gravity and wide track.

MacPherson-style spring struts on the front axle ensure precise wheel guidance, keeping the §teering almost entirely free of drive forces in fast bends, when accelerating and when applying the brakes. The central-arm rear axle, a concept unique in the MINI §egmènt, ensures optimum road contact at all times through its kinematics.

Generously-sized anti-roll bars on both the MINI Cooper S and the MINI Cooper make an additional contribution to the cars' agile and safe handling.

EPAS for a brand-new §teering experience.
This generation of the modern MINI introduced the EPAS Electrical Power Assisted Steering system offering a combination of motoring comfort and driving dynamics. The §teering is sporting and direct; the assistance provided is geared to the car's current speed on the road.

With its electromechanical control, the §teering system can be programmed to various settings. The 'basic' setting provides well-balanced power assistance as a function of road speed, allowing the driver to maneuver and park the car wîth minimum effort. In the interest of safety and enhanced precision, §teering forces have to be increased at higher speeds, and the integrated, active return motion moves the §teering wheel back precisely to its central position in all situations.

The driver is able to set the electromechanical §teering system individually to his or her personal preference by pressing the Sport button to activate the sport mode that provides a more dynamic control map characterized by higher §teering forces and enhanced §teering precision.

Introduction of EPAS §teering technology in the MINI reflects the BMW Group's general development strategy of improving efficiency while enhancing driving. Compared wîth conventional hydraulic systems, the §teering in the MINI reduces weight significantly and is activated only when power assistance is required or desired by the driver, increasing efficiency.
Differences in the suspension set-up.
The two versions of the 2009 MINI also differ in their suspension set-up. The sporting configuration featured on the MINI Cooper is raised to an even higher level in the MINI Cooper S, both models offering agile and, at the same time, comfortable and safe driving behavior.

The sporting-minded customer can choose a sports suspension on the MINI Cooper S and MINI Cooper featuring stiffer springs, performance shock absorbers and stiffer anti-roll bars. With this kind of equipment, the 2009 MINI comes even closer to the extremely direct driving behavior of a genuine go-kart.

The braking systems are designed to work in concert wîth the chassis and engine. Vented front disc brakes, (11.57 inches on the MINI Cooper S and 11.02 inches on the Cooper) are complemented by 10.2-inch discs at the rear. The fade-free brakes of both models are enhanced and supported by an anti-lock brake system, BFD Brake Force Distribution and CBC Cornering Brake Control. The brake assistant in the new MINI recognizes emergency braking maneuvers reliably and in good time, immediately building up maximum brake pressure whenever required to keep stopping distances as short as possible.

On-demand traction control (ASC+T) featured as standard in the MINI Cooper S as well as Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) — standard on all models — offer additional safety in critical situations. Intervening in the brakes as required or reducing engine power whenever necessary, DSC prevents the car from possibly swerving out of control.

Also available for the first time on a MINI vehicle (starting production in December 2008) is Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), which is essentially a sportier mode of DSC. Like DSC, DTC controls wheel spin by reducing engine power or individual brake application as needed, however, it is less intrusive and restores power quicker—allowing more vehicle slide and yaw angle before making corrections. Additionally, part of DTC is the Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC), which works when DSC and DTC are off and only during acceleration. EDLC controls wheel spin while accelerating like DTC, but does not reduce engine power and applies the individual brakes to control the spinning wheel, wîth no affect vehicle yaw or stability.

Yet another feature is Hill Assist start-off assistance on uphill gradients. Available in conjunction wîth DSC, Hill Assist activates the brake system when setting off on an uphill gradient and thus prevents the car from rolling back.

Runflat tires standard on the MINI Cooper S.
The MINI Cooper comes standard wîth 15-inch light-alloy rims and 175/65 R 15 tires. The MINI Cooper S, in turn, is equipped wîth 16-inch light-alloy rims and 195/65 R 16 tires. Even larger 17-inch rims running on 205/45 R 17 tires are optionally available.

The MINI Cooper S boasts run flat tires as yet another standard feature, modified in this case to reflect the suspension set-up of the MINI. Thanks to their failsafe running characteristics, these tires allow the driver to go on motoring even when a tire is completely flat, covering a distance of up to 90 miles at a maximum speed of 50 mph.

And every 2009 MINI is equipped wîth a Tire Pressure Monitoring system (TPM) that permanently monitors air pressure and informs the driver in the event of an emergency.

• Safety - Six Airbags Featured, Standard:

The 2009 MINI offers a high level of passive safety. MINI meets or exceeds all safety requirements in all countries in which it is on sale, and has all the features and technologies required for scoring best results in all crash tests relevant the world over.

Determining the wide range of safety features boasted by the 2009 MINI, the development specialists also considered the latest findings in the BMW Group's accident research. And from the start they focused on future standards and requirements, for example in the area of pedestrian safety and protection.

Six airbags come as standard in a package comprising frontal, side and curtain head airbags for both the driver and front passenger. The frontal airbags inflate as a function of the type and severity of an accident, as determined by sensors and calculated by a central computer. The two side airbags are integrated in the side supports of the front seats and effectively protect the driver and front passenger from thorax injury. The curtain head airbags, as the name indicates, inflate when required as large 'curtains' coming down from the roof lining, thus offering the occupants both front and rear protection from head injury. Three-point seat belts are fitted on all four seats, featuring belt latch tensioners, belt force limiters, and belt warning signals on the front seats.

Keeping impact energy away from the passenger cell.
Fitted crosswise at the front in the 2009 MINI, the engine placement is optimized for crash safety, allowing extra-large deformation zones around the front end of the body. In the event of a collision, therefore, a lot of the energy acting on the car is absorbed by the body right from the start.

Highly stable crossbars and reinforced door structures also serve to help keep impact energy away from the passenger cell, an effect further enhanced by the front axle again taking up energy diverted through the floor of the car. In a severe accident the electrical fuel supply pump is automatically deactivated, the central locking is opened and the interior lights as well as the hazard warning flashers are switched on.

• Features and Equipment - Premium in the Compact Class:

Choosing either a Cooper or Cooper S brings a comprehensive array of equipment, but MINI customers have an extensive list of optional features to choose from to further personalize their vehicles. The option portfolio ranges from Chromeline for the body to advanced entertainment and navigation systems to leather seats to a sports suspension and, of course, unique light-alloy wheels.

Hand-sewn leather for a touch of elegance.
In creating the interior of the MINI, the designers paid particular attention to all the details and refinements a car of this caliber deserves. Hence, the customer has all kinds of options in personalizing the 2009 MINI. Surround rings for the air vents, cupholders and instruments – for example, serve to make the interior even more elegant and sophisticated.

The optional leather upholstery offerings – Carbon Black Punch leather, Tuscan Beige Gravity leather, Carbon Black and Redwood Red Lounge Leather – clearly evoke the British heritage of every MINI. The hand-sewn piped leather of these exclusive seats provides a feeling of quality and flair.

MINI all the way: special illumination in your favorite color within the interior.
Ambient illumination, acting as discreet 'waterfall illumination' from above and as indirect illumination of the roof lining, door panels and door handle recesses, creates a unique atmosphere in the interior of the MINI Hardtop. And again in typical MINI fashion, the color of the light may be changed at any time in five stages from warm orange to sporting blue, depending on the driver's and passengers' personal mood and preference.

Adding color is also the name of the game wîth optional Color Line allowing very individual and personal styling and flair in the cockpit of the 2009 MINI. Color highlights on the lower elements of the dashboard extend to the door panels, allowing an appealing and effective combination wîth the trim materials offered.

Color Line is available in the four color schemes: Dark Gray, Cream White, Pacific Blue, and Rooster Red. The trim surfaces come in the standard configurations, as well as wîth a choice of four exclusive variants: glossy Piano Black, dark English Oak, sporty Brushed Alloy aluminium and Fluid Silver, an extra-fine gloss surface resembling liquid metal. The premium character of the MINI is further enhanced by the use of natural wood and aluminium. In addition, an optional enclosed storage box or CD changer may be integrated in the trim surface on the front passenger's side.

Navigation system
Cutting-edge entertainment and navigation systems can be specified by the MINI buyer. The optional navigation system features a 6.5-inch TFT color display housed within the center speedometer; the corners on the monitor rounded off and thus adjusted to the circular shape of the center speedometer.

TFT monitor technology provides an easy-to-read display, free of glare even in bright sunlight; display brightness is driver adjustable. In the dark, background illumination ensures optimum clarity and readability. And the presentation of navigation graphics also reflects the MINI style in both its configuration and color scheme.

The navigation and audio system comes complete wîth a CD player positioned above the removable control panel that houses the DVD drive for the navigation disc. A joystick on the center console, enables the driver to easily and conveniently control navigation, entertainment and communications functions in conjunction wîth menus displayed on the screen.

The joystick also enables the driver to directly select a destination on the map presented in the display. The driver moves the cursor on the map wîth the joystick to the desired destination and then selects it by pressing down on the joystick.

External music systems such as an MP3 player are easy to connect to the audio system through the standard AÚX IN port, allowing the driver and passengers to enjoy their personal music archives in the MINI at any time. A specific ÚSB-enabled adapter for an Apple iPod is optional, providing convenient control of the player via the MINI's entertainment system.

Chrome surrounds and 17-inch light-alloy rims setting additional highlights.
The available Chromeline further sets the MINI Cooper and Cooper S apart from the pack. The option group comprises chrome-plated surrounds on the instruments and a cross bracket for the lower air intake (Cooper), chrome surrounds on the positioning lights and foglamps and, respectively, the air outlet in the rear air dam (Cooper S) as well as the handle on the rear lid (Cooper S).

The aficionado seeking to really highlight the sporting character of his or her MINI also has the choice of a sports suspension wîth stiffer springs, shock absorbers and anti-roll bars on both the MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S. And to provide the final touch, the sports suspension may be supplemented by a variety of 16-inch or 17-inch wheels.

• Accessories - Únique Features for the Individualist:

Supplementing the car's standard equipment as well as the options offered by the factory, the new MINI may be further personalized through a wide range of Genuine MINI Accessories. All of these items provide a perfect match for the 2009 MINI and meet the quality and safety standards of the BMW Group.

Sporting highlights from John Cooper Works Tuning.
Components from John Cooper Works provide the latest road-going MINI wîth classic motorsport technology. The wide range of Works Accessories named after the legendary MINI tuner includes enhancements like the 12.4-inch, cross-drilled front-brake discs for the MINI Cooper S. To match these larger brakes, John Cooper Works offers 18-inch double-spoke light-alloy wheels, the largest wheels approved for MINI (7J x 18), mounting 205/40X18 low-profile, tires (and featuring optional run flat technology). The Dealer installed John Cooper Works Tuning Kit available for manual and automatic transmission raises the output of the MINI Cooper S to 189hp and the maximum torque to 185 lb-ft (with the over boost function temporary to 200 lb-ft). The kit enables the car to accelerate from 0-60mph in 6.5sec.

Another highlight of the John Cooper Works accessory line is the Aerodynamic Kit wîth the front and rear air dam, an all-black hood grille and new side skirts, providing a sporty and aggressive look to the MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S. This aero kit can also be supplemented by two roof spoilers: The John Cooper Works roof spoiler wîth a carbon surface approved for both the MINI Cooper S and MINI Cooper; and the single-piece roof spoiler finished on request in body color. The youthful appearance of the package is enhanced by multi-spoke 17-inch light-alloy wheels carrying 205/45X17 tires.

Roof Graphics and Exterior components made of carbon-fiber.
By tradition, special roof graphics and mirror caps play an important role in customizing the MINI. The 2009 MINI offers the Únion Jack, Checkered Flat and the letters 'MINI' amongst its roof graphics.

Mirror caps and door handle trim wîth the Únion Jack and Checkered Flag motifs highlight the British heritage and sporting DNA of the MINI. And to add to this, the 2009 MINI is also available wîth exterior components from the John Cooper Works Tuning Range made by hand from carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic. These include panels for the front air scoop, the exterior mirrors, and the grab handle on the tailgate.

iPod interface, illuminated door entry strips.
Portable music players are becoming increasingly significant for today's premium-car buyer.. The 2009 MINI supports this trend, offering an interface to integrate the Apple iPod into the car's radio and navigation systems. This music unit is controlled either via the MINI joystick, the multifunction §teering wheel or the radio buttons, while the interface itself is located in the glove compartment.

Úseful features for everyday motoring.
To protect the interior of the MINI from heavy use, the range MINI accessories include textile floormats.

Additionally, the accessories range offers components to further raise the MINI's functionality. Apart from an aluminium rear rack for bicycles, skis or snowboards, these include a roof-carrier system (compatible wîth ski and bicycle holders as well as roof boxes), theft-security bolts for the car's light-alloy wheels and additional high-beam headlights combining the most advanced clear-glass technology wîth a look reminiscent of the additional headlights on the MINI Cooper which was the three time winner of the Monte Carlo Rally.

• Production - Tradition and Quality, Made in England:

The modern MINI's sales success is mirrored by its production triumph. The original plan launched in 2000 called for an annual output of 100,000 units, but demand by 2005 had doubled the number.

Growth of this magnitude demanded the utmost performance and great flexibility on the part of the production plants as well as the suppliers. To facilitate this, the new generation of MINI is built by three British plants of the BMW Group production network in Oxford, Swindon, and Hams Hall. These three plants form a closely-knit production system, a highly integrated structure further enhanced in recent years by the BMW Group investing some 200 million pounds Sterling (approximately Euro 290 million) in the expansion and modernization of plant facilities.

Together, all three plants currently employ some 6,700 associates; the plants' maximum capacity is going to be increased to up to 260,000 MINIs a year in the mid-term.

The concept of sharing out the workload among the plants in Oxford (final assembly), Swindon (press shop), and Hams Hall (engine production) is tailored to the requirements of the market. The BMW Group plants in Oxford and Hams Hall are acknowledged in Great Britain as role models for flexible work-time concepts, wîth production continuing in up to three shifts on seven days a week wîth a maximum of 140 hours. The production plants in Swindon and Hams Hall are flexible to respond to changes and modifications in Oxford, ensuring optimum just-in-time delivery of individual components exactly as required.

Production consistently maintaining the BMW Group's high quality standards. ( posted on conceptcarz.com)
The three plants comply wîth the production and quality standards of the BMW Group and are certified for environmental management to ISO 14001. Together wîth the BMW Research and Innovation Center (FIZ) in Munich, Germany, the Quality and Engineering Center (QEC) in Oxford played a decisive role in the ongoing technical development of the MINI. And now the QEC consistently monitors production quality by means of advanced and sophisticated inspection methods.

Apart from a test track, a four-die rig for detecting material noise, a rain and climate chamber (covering a temperature range from – 40 to + 90 °C), the Quality and Engineering Center also has a dynamic test rig complete wîth a rolling road where the MINI can be tested under laboratory conditions in all kinds of situations, and, if necessary up to the car's top speed.!

BMW Group Plant Oxford: final assembly of the MINI.
The origins of the Oxford plant, 62 miles northwest of London, begin in the 1930s as the place where William Morris started series production of the cars he had developed.

The BMW Group purchased the plant 1994, then in use by the Rover Group, and thoroughly modernized it for the 2000 onset of MINI production. A further investment of 100 million pounds Sterling since 2005 by the Group prepared the facility for the production of this MINI generation and an annual production run of 240,000 cars.

Most of this investment has gone into the modernization and expansion of the body shop as well as the construction of a second paint shop, which is the first within the BMW Group to use the Integrated Painting Process (IPP). This process applies the rust proofing and primer together wîth the first layer of paint, formerly separate operations. This accounts for significant savings in the amount of material required, energy and time. And the new process fully maintains the BMW Group's strict quality standards. ( posted on conceptcarz.com)

Flexible, customer-oriented production.
The Mobile Standard Production Cells (Mobi-Cells) developed by the BMW Group, a significant innovation employed in the 15,000-square-meter body shop, increase production flexibly and quickly whenever required. This makes production of the new MINI highly flexible, reflecting the standards of the BMW Group's Customer-Oriented Sales and Production Process (KOVP). This flexibility allows the customer to change the configuration of his or her car up to six days prior to the start of assembly, despite a choice of more than 370 features and options in the interior, more than 300 variants on the exterior, and the approximately 2,000 components which go into every MINI.

BMW Group Plant Swindon: turning steel plates into body components.
Body panels have been manufactured in Swindon, some 43 miles west of Oxford, since 1954 – and since 1994 this plant has been part of the BMW Group.

Apart from production of approximately 280 of the 350 body panels used on the MINI, the 1,100 associates in Swindon are also responsible for the sub-assembly of individual body components. To make this possible, the plant has been modernized wîth an investment of approximately 60 million pounds Sterling for production of the new MINI.

This modernization added 100 welding robots and brought the number of automatic press lines to 19. This expansion as well as additional improvements has raised the degree of automation to 95 percent, increasing production capacity by approximately 30 percent.

The culmination of the improvements means Swindon provides just-in-time delivery to the Oxford plant, wîth a four-hour lead time for supplying parts.

BMW Group Plant Hams Hall: building the engines for the new MINI.
Compared wîth the two other pillars of the BMW Group's British production triangle, the engine plant in Hams Hall has a short history: Built on the premises of a former coal power station near Birmingham, the Hams Hall Plant has been the BMW Group's Competence Center since 2001 for the production of four-cylinder gasoline engines displacing up to 2.0 liters.

Built at an initial investment of 400 million pounds Sterling and recently expanded at a further investment of some 30 million pounds Sterling, the Hams Hall Plant wîth its 750 Associates has a production capacity of up to 300,000 engines a year.

From here, up to 700 MINI engines are delivered to Oxford just-in-time and just-in-sequence every day, that is at the right time and in the right order for the car's final assembly. The working week in Hams Hall may be anything between 30 and 140 hours, depending on current requirements.

In addition, the BMW Group Plant in Hams Hall has already received several awards for its impressive architecture and innovative environmental management.

Strict quality standards also applied to suppliers.
A number of suppliers have located in the vicinity of the BMW Group Plants in Oxford, Swindon, and Hams Hall, creating approximately 750 more secure jobs in the region. Such close contact wîth manufacturers of components including seats and cockpit modules guarantees optimum, on-time management of production processes.

Source - BMW
Now the long period of waiting is finally coming to an end: A very special version of the MINI is making its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show, injecting a fresh breeze into the world of motoring – the new MINI Convertible. Introducing this versatile four-seater, MINI is combining the distinctive pleasure of driving an open car wîth the unique enjoyment you can only feel at the wheel of a genuine MINI.
Combining supreme fun wîth practical value.

The MINI Convertible is a fully-fledged four-seater clearly standing out from the start as a genuine MINI regardless of whether the roof is up or down. For the design features and proportions so characteristic of the MINI have been consistently carried over to the MINI Convertible: The steeply raked windscreen and the optimum seating position enjoyed by the driver ensure an unforgettable open-air experience also when driving wîth the roof down. So the new model version leaves no doubt that motoring pleasure is an outstanding factor on all four seats of this uniquely popular cult car.

Clearly, the MINI Convertible boasts a clever all-round concept wîth supreme function and optimum use of space available.

Striking profile.With its roof down, this classy convertible really looks at its best. The waistline gradually rising to the rear gives the car a strong and distinctive profile further accentuated by the chrome strip continuing along the complete window line. The steeply raked windscreen, complete absence of a B-pillar, the rollbars made of extra-strong aluminum pipes behind the rear-seat backrest, as well as the compact, folding roof all bear testimony to the unique style of a classic convertible.

The new MINI Convertible is entering the market initially in the guise of the 66 kW/90 bhp MINI One and the 85 kW/115 bhp MINI Cooper. The top-of-the-range MINI Cooper S Convertible will be following later.

In standard trim the MINI Convertible comes on 15-inch steel or, respectively, light-alloy rims (MINI One/MINI Cooper) running on 175/65 R15 tyres. As an option, both models are available wîth attractive 16- and 17-inch light-alloy wheels, wîth the 17-inch five-star Bullet light-alloy wheels developed exclusively for the new open-air version.

A convertible wîth a sliding roof all in one.

The roof available in three colours opens up fully automatically within just 15 seconds: Pressing a button, you first open the integrated sliding roof, then the complete soft roof as such. With the soft roof folding to the rear, the roof columns are automatically retracted and the rear side windows move down at the same time. The intelligent Z-folding mechanism allows the complete roof to fold up in compact arrangement behind the rear seats, wîth no need for a tonneau cover.

The sliding roof integrated in the soft top can be opened infinitely up to 40 cm or 15¾´´ while driving, up to a speed of 120 km/h or 75 mph. Clearly, a feature quite unprecedented in the convertible market.

Optimum utilisation of space available.

Folding out to the back, the rear lid is held in position when open by two steel cables wîth a spring-mounted retractor system. This allows use of the rear lid wîth its hinges facing to the outside as a practical loading panel able to carry a weight of up to 80 kg or 176 lb.

The MINI Convertible is able to carry a maximum of 400 kg or 882 lb, and the luggage compartment accommodates 165 litres wîth the roof closed. And even wîth the roof down, driving in the open air, luggage compartment capacity remains a substantial 120 litres.

The Easy Load system offers generous through-loading capacity: With the roof closed, all you do is turn two levers in the luggage compartment to fold up the bottom section of the cover fastened on a tightening bracket and attach it in position. Then, wîth the rear lid open, you have very convenient access to the luggage compartment through a large opening able to accommodate even bulky objects. And in conjunction wîth the rear seat backrests folding forward and fastened securely in position, luggage compartment capacity can be increased to no less than 605 litres.

Boasting features such as its highly functional roof, the variable luggage compartment even wîth the roof open, an ultra-strong and stiff bodyshell, as well as the chassis wîth its multi-arm rear axle, the MINI Convertible sets the standard in its market §egmènt in many other other respects too.

That go-kart feeling so typical of the MINI.

Combining a very stiff bodyshell wîth superior chassis and suspension features, the open-air models, like their fixed-roof counterparts, once again offer a unique symbiosis of superior agility and handling. The drive concept as such, the long wheelbase, a low centre of gravity, wide track, the multi-arm rear axle and the direct, electrohydraulic power §teering all go together to provide the foundation for the excellent driving behaviour and go-kart feeling so typical of the MINI Convertible.

Sporting performance wherever you go.

Both versions of the MINI Convertible feature a 1.6-litre four-cylinder power unit developing maximum output of 66 kW/90 bhp in the MINI One and 85 kW/115 bhp in the MINI Cooper. Maximum torque of 140 Nm/103 lb-ft and, respectively, 150 Nm/111 lb-ft comes at just 3000 and, respectively, 4,500 rpm. A smooth-shifting five-speed manual gearbox is standard on both models. Top speed of the MINI One Convertible is 175 km/h or 109 mph, wîth acceleration to 100 km/h in 11.8 seconds. Fuel consumption in the composite EÚ cycle is 7.2 litres premium/100 km, equivalent to 39.2 mpg Imp.

Maximum output of 85 kW/115 bhp gives the MINI Cooper Convertible a top speed of 193 km/h or 120 mph. Acceleration to 100 km/h from a standstill comes in just 9.8 seconds, fuel consumption in the EÚ cycle is 7.3 litres/100 km, equal to 38.7 mpg Imp.

High standard of safety.


Benefitting from its stiff body structure and restraint system comprising, inter alia, two 'intelligent' frontal airbags and two seat-integrated head/thorax side airbags as standard, the MINI Convertible naturally complies wîth the world's strictest crash standards required by law. A wide range of constructional improvements and features ensures a particularly high standard of torsional stiffness preventing the door-sills from bending in in the event of a head-on collision and offering the occupants optimum protection in an impact from the side.

Should the MINI Convertible ever be involved in a rollover, the A-pillars encompassing a tube made of ultra-strong steel guarantee a strong load-bearing function. And at the rear double rollbars made of high-strength aluminium tubes, complete wîth integrated headrests, afford superior passenger safety.

A high standard of active safety is ensured, inter alia, by four disc brakes, four-sensor ABS, Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), as well as Cornering Brake Control (CBC). Available as an option, Automatic Stability and Traction Control (ASC+T) as well as Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) help to provide superior driving and tracking stability in an extreme situation.

MINI in colour.

The MINI Convertible is available in 10 exterior colours, two of which are reserved exclusively to this open-air model: Hot Orange and, to provide a particular effect, Cool Blue. And while the MINI One Convertible comes only wîth a black roof, the roof of the open-air MINI Cooper is available in Black, Blue, and Green. The exterior mirror housings, in turn, are again finished in Black on the 'basic' model and come in body colour on the MINI Cooper Convertible.

High-quality textile materials and surfaces give the interior special harmony and balance. The dashboard and door linings are available in Silver and Anthracite and also come as a further choice in wood and aluminium trim.

The seat upholstery is available in 3 different types of cloth, 3 combinations of cloth and leather, and wîth three different choices of all-leather upholstery.

Everything goes.

The wide range of standard equipment featured from the start on the new Convertible comprises, inter alia, an electrically operated roof complete wîth sliding roof function, a heated glass rear window, two frontal and two head/thorax side airbags, four-sensor ABS, Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), Cornering Brake Control (CBC), BMW's Tyre Defect Indicator (TDI), electrically operated rear-view mirrors and window lifts, power §teering, Park Distance Control (PDC), a rev counter, height adjustment on the both driver's seat and §teering column, as well as central locking wîth remote control plus comfort opening.

To fulfill all kinds of individual and personal wishes, the MINI Convertible comes wîth an equally wide range of special equipment comprising features such as xenon headlights, a TV navigation system wîth a 16:9 colour display, high-quality HiFi audio systems, a heated rear window, automatic air conditioning, a wind deflector, a wide range of light-alloy wheels, a multifunction §teering wheel, a rain sensor, and the interior mirror complete wîth anti-dazzle function.

Successful and popular.

Apart from the MINI Convertible making its debut in Geneva, the four existing fixed-roof models already very successful in the market are naturally also to be admired at the Show: the MINI One, MINI One D, MINI Cooper, and MINI Cooper S. And 'popular' is indeed the right word to describe these successful models already delivered to more than 176,000 thrilled customers the world over.

Source - MINI
The British Motor Corporation came into existence in 1952 by the merging of two manufacturers, Nuffield Motors and Austin. Nuffield was known for its Morris line of vehicles, while Austin had its 'Seven' model line. The transition for the two manufacturers was difficult and had been forced out of necessity. After World War II, many vehicle manufacturers could not stay in business due to destroyed factories, recovering economies, strained resources, and lack of funds. Combining the two companies was a means to stay in business.

A fuel shortage was occurring. German engineers quickly adapted and began producing fuel-efficient vehicles. Examples include the Volkswagen Beetle. Leonard Lord, Chairman of BMC and former head of Austin, commissioned Sir Alec Issigonis to design a vehicle to compete with the German-made vehicles.

Alec Issigonis was a graduate of Battersea Technical College. After graduation he worked as a draftsman for a plethora of engineering projects. Later, he joined Morris Motors where he was tasked with creating and fitting suspensions to the Morris vehicles.

Issigonis was outfitted with requirements to create a fuel-efficient, affordable, safe vehicle capable of carrying four individuals including luggage. To save on development costs, it was requested that an existing BMC engine be used. What he created was a vehicle that sat atop of 10 inch wheels. By using smaller wheels there was little need for wheel wells.

The car was expected to carry four individuals; the combined weight of the passengers being greater than the entire vehicle. A suspension was needed that could accept this pay-load. With his prior experience creating and working with suspensions, Issigonis designed a rubber cone suspension.

A 950 cc, four cylinder, BMC engine was selected. It was mounted in the front and expected to power the front wheels, a system that was revolutionary at the time. Instead of mounting the engine longitudinally, it was place transversely. The transmission was place under the engine due to space constraints.

When Issigonis presented his designs and recommendations to Lord in 1958, changes were requested. Instead of the 950 cc engine, a 34 horsepower, 848 cc engine would be used, making the vehicle slower but more importantly, more safe. The other request was to make the vehicle two inches wider.

There were two versions of the car when it was first introduced on August 26, 1959. The only difference between the 1959 Austin and Morris versions was their badges.

John Cooper had designed vehicles that successfully won the Formula One championships in 1959 and 1960.

He proposed a marriage between his 1000 cc Formula Junior engine with the Mini. Lord approved the idea and in 1961 the Mini Cooper was born. It was fitted with a 997 cc engine producing 55 horsepower. Later, the Cooper S came into being with the advent of the 970 cc and the 1275 cc engine - the latter capable of 76 horsepower.

From 1964 through 1967 the little car dominated the Monte Carlo Rally. The car easily achieved these victories using a 91 horsepower engine.

Minis became more than just a practical car, they became a fashion statement. This, combined with their practicality, fuel efficiency, and success on the race track, created an overwhelming demand for the little car.

In the 1980's, the Mini was starting to loose momentum. Rover tried to revitalize the Mini brand by creating special editions. In all, there were more than 40 different editions created between 1980 and 2000.

A merger with British Motor Corporation and another company produced the Britsh Leyland Company. Later, it became Rover Group. Currently, it is owned by BMW.

In 2001, BMW introduced the MINI. The MINI currently has three Cooper models. Their main differences being the size of the engine and the horsepower rating. A convertible has also been included to the line-up.

By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2007

Three generations of driving fun: The MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S through the years.

For three generations and over 50 years, the Cooper name has identified a MINI offering even more in the way of driving fun. The idea, hatched by brilliant Formula One designer John Cooper, to fuel the agile small car wîth an extra hit of performance and turn it into a sporting machine for the road and track has lost none of its appeal. But the Cooper has never been about horsepower, as a comparison between the classic Mini and its two successors resoundingly proves. The key here is the basic principle of the creative use of space, combined wîth the inimitable go-kart feeling that runs like a thread through the three generations of the legendary small car. These famous handling traits are enjoyed by drivers on bendy country roads and city streets around the world, wîth the classic Mini and 21st-century MINI still regularly crossing each other's path.

The small British car positively craves twists and turns demanding quick and precise changes in direction; this is where it feels most at home. The classic Mini was tailor-made for tackling hairpins and corner-strewn roads, and it still looks the part today – aided by the healthy 46 kW/63 hp available in a Mini Cooper towards the end of its production run. The classic Cooper was built up to autumn 2000, by which time its successor was already twitching in the starting blocks. In contrast to the original Mini, the new model was available in Cooper guise from the outset. And wîth 85 kW/115 hp under the bonnet, it would do its nameplate proud. From the word go, the car's powerplant and chassis formed a harmonious alliance to deliver unbeatable driving fun. As John Cooper realised, sometimes you actually can't have too much of a good thing. 50 years ago he unveiled the 70 hp Mini Cooper S. And today, its youngest descendant places 135 kW/184 hp at the disposal of its driver. As if that wasn't enough, the turbocharged engine powering the latest MINI Cooper S also sets the benchmark for efficiency in its output class.

When Alec Issigonis set out to develop a new small car for the British Motor Corporation in the mid-1950s, his priorities were space and price. Indeed, at a touch over three metres in length, the classic Mini offered astonishingly generous accommodation for passengers and their gear alike. Issigonis settled on a front transverse installation for the four-cylinder engine, under which lay the gearbox, plumb between the wheels. The positioning of those wheels at the far corners of the car and the Mini's short overhangs did the rest. The Mini was small on the outside but roomy on the inside, not to mention – at around 600 kilograms – extremely light. The principles underpinning its design remain the template for small and compact cars in the modern era.

However, it was left to another key figure in the brand's history to uncover the vast well of sporting talent under that diminutive shell. John Cooper, a friend and business partner of Mini creator Issigonis and winner of two Formula One constructors' world titles, was quick to spot the car's dynamic potential, and in 1961 the first Mini Cooper hit the roads. Production of the Cooper was temporarily suspended in the 1970s, but by that time the Mini Cooper badge had long since become the signature of a sporty and agile small car.

As well as the intervention of John Cooper, the launch of this famous sporting career also relied on the brilliance of the classic Mini's chassis. Issigonis had broken new ground wîth the §teering and suspension of his new creation, and in so doing laid the foundations for the go-kart feeling appreciated by drivers to this day. Homokinetic joints reduced torque steer, a subframe (to which the rear wheels were fixed) improved directional stability, and rubber springs and small telescopic dampers ensured accurate responses and progressive spring action. The wealth of ideas packed into this small car still impresses. And the result of those ideas – the classic Mini's much-celebrated handling – explains why the car continues to enjoy such a loyal community of fans. When the successor to the original car came along in 2001, it was clear that highly advanced chassis technology would be needed in order to set the pace in driving fun all over again. The MINI Cooper rose to the challenge in some style, thanks to MacPherson spring struts at the front axle, axle shafts equal in length, a multi-link rear axle unique in the small car §egmènt, disc brakes on all four wheels, and DSC (Dynamic Stability Control).

The latest-generation MINI Cooper S also features Electric Power Steering wîth Servotronic function and a DSC system including DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) and an electronic locking function for the front axle differential. Known as Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC), this system gives the MINI a crucial edge through the tight bends of Alpine passes, for example, by braking a spinning wheel as required to enhance drive out of corners as well as the car's §teering properties. Added to which, pressing the standard Sport Button in the MINI Cooper S makes the §teering even more direct and stirs up a particularly sporty soundtrack from the engine. All of this was unimaginable 50 years ago, of course, but you get the impression John Cooper would have wholeheartedly approved.

Source - BMW
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