Mini / BMW pulled back the curtain on the all-new 2014 Mini Cooper. Outwardly, it’s clearly a Mini, and that’s good news indeed. It looks great – it’s just a modern evolution of the traditional Mini that we all know and love. It did grow in every dimension, which is much less good. It’s 4.5 inches longer and 1.7 inches wider than the outgoing model. It’s also just a hair taller. I love the bigger Mini variants, but I’m not thrilled with a growing Cooper. With BMW using this platform for both the Mini and the new BMW 1 series, it was inevitable.
There’s some more room inside, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. Most of it is in the cargo area, which increases to a whopping 8.7 cubic feet. That’s three cubes more than the current model, which is a pretty significant jump. You can travel in a Mini, but you’ll need to pack light. That isn’t going to change.
The giant, useless, inexplicably awesome speedometer is gone. Mini has joined the modern age, and there’s now a giant LCD screen front and center. Even though I never used the giant speedometer, it’s a shame to see it go. Toggle switches are still there, which is awesome.
Under the hood
Ahh, now here’s the real magic. Mini has a brand new pair of engines for us to enjoy. The base model gets a turbocharged 1.5 liter three cylinder engine. It’s good for 134 horsepower and a whopping 162 lb-ft of torque. That’s simply a huge increase. The S model gets a turbocharged 2.0 liter four cylinder engine, good for 189 horsepower and 207 lb-ft. Six speed transmissions all around – choose the automatic or you can row your gears. Either way, it’s a Mini, and it’s the most fun you can legally have on the road.
There’s no word on weight – does all the extra size bring unwanted pounds? Probably, but hopefully not too many. There’s also no word on fuel economy, but it will be stellar as usual. That is, if you can stay off the go pedal. That’s always the tricky part.