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Spyshots New Mini 2007

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Spyshots New Mini 2007
Under the hood
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The new mini, with new engines.
Text: Motortrend / Pictures: Rogier Lony

BMW AG and Peugeot-Citroen PSA have revealed their new joint-venture engine family, which includes a motor that'll make its debut in the 2007 Mini, launching in late summer of 2006. The car will be all-new, but instantly recognizable as a Mini.
Great handling and roadholding remain a priority, but the current multilink rear axle will be simplified for cost-saving and extra rear-seat room. Increased wheel travel is designed to allow better ride quality.

The two-door hatchback is the first of an expanded range of body styles, with a four-door arriving in a later model year. It may or may not be separate from a slightly longer station wagon; Mini heritage includes woody "Traveler" versions, and BMW has been threatening to revive the style. A new convertible will arrive a couple years into the program, but a Mini minivan is unlikely. Although the compact-van segment is on fire in Europe, and Mercedes will bring its new B-Class to the U.S., the Mini has to look like a small car, so it won't join in.


If you wanted a four-cylinder engine a decade ago, would you have gone to Chrysler? Somehow, BMW did, but by late 2006, it'll be out of the Brazil-sourced joint venture with Chrysler. The new engine's sophistication comes from BMW, and its frugality comes from cooperating on purchasing and design with Peugeot-Citroen, French master of cost savings. The other priority was fuel economy. Corporate Average Fuel Economy regulations commence in Europe in 2008, and the current Mini is thirsty for what it does.

The entry-level Mini One, not for U.S. import, will have a 114-horsepower 1.6 with a version of BMW Valvetronic in place of direct-injection and the turbo. Peugeot-Citroen will offer a variable-timed 1.4-liter version of the engine in 74 and 94 horsepower in its small cars.

Under the hood: Aluminum 170-horsepower, 1.6-liter direct-injection turbo four, with 10.5:1 compression ratio, more low-down torque, and freer revving up top, replaces current 168-horse iron lump. The twin-scroll turbo uses alternating exhaust pulses, the manifold pairing up cylinders one and four, two and three. BMW expects 15-percent-better fuel economy, which would be nearly 29 mpg and 37 mpg on the U.S. EPA cycles. The standard Cooper motor is a detuned direct-injection turbo making about 141 horses. Trannys are five- and six-speed manual and conventional automatic (no more CVT).

Nose: Design chief Gert Hildebrand regards these design cues as sacred: bug-eye headlamps, grille shape, clamshell hood with a central bulge. Headlamps fixed to fenders rather than integrated in hood to cut costs.


Tuning potential: John Cooper Works is aiming for 230 horsepower from its Works kit car.
Wheels: All-wheel drive is added a few years after the 2007 model release, either as handling aid or for more rugged driving (think "rally").
Profile: "Floating" roof with gloss-black pillars, rounded shoulder line, faux-chrome bumpers remain. Tiny overhangs and big wheels reinforce the car's small proportions.
Last Updated on Saturday, 20 August 2005 05:41  

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