MINI is ramping up the rhetoric surrounding its all-new 2014 Cooper model. Delightfully, however, it’s not all just fluff. Unlike most compact car makers, MINI seems genuinely interested in not only improving design, efficiency, and power, but also motoring enjoyment. And despite the quaint little exterior of the forthcoming Cooper, it’s done it in some high-tech ways.
First off, the new Cooper will have all-new engines. The base will be a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine producing 134 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque. The more powerful option is a turbo 2.0-liter four that makes 189 hp and 221 lb-ft.
Intriguingly, by incorporating direct injection, variable valve timing, and a turbo integrated into the exhaust manifold, MINI’s engineers were able to achieve a nearly flat torque band that hits its peak at 1,250 rmp and hold strong clear through to redline at 6,500. Those impressive torque numbers, it’s worth mentioning, are only representative of an overboost function of the turbo charger. The torque available at any given time will be a tick lower for both engines.
Mated to these torque-y threes and fours will be two all-new transmissions: either a manual or an automatic. The manual offering will include what seems to be described as rev matching, but MINI never makes that detail completely clear. What MINI does clearly specify, however, is that the Coopers fitted with the automatic gearbox and also navigation will also include start/stop technology and software allowing the nav system to affect transmission gear selection. Meaning, if you’re on the highway onramp or on some twisty mountain road, your MINI will know it and will prepare the transmission appropriately.
What might that look like? If it knows a sharp corner is coming and the transmission is presently in sixth gear but it calculates based upon vehicle speed and driving style that third will be best to keep motoring enjoyment and throttle response at a pinnacle, it’ll grab third before even the driver knows a shift is ideal.
While MINI hasn’t named this system, it sounds just like the BMW-derived Satellite Aided Transmission system going into the all-new Rolls-Royce Wraith. And that, my friends, is flipping cool.
To compliment the all-new chassis, MINI has given the new Cooper electromechanical adjustable suspension dampers on its single link front and multi-link rear suspension structure. This means that – just like in BMWs – drivers will be able to select at the push of a button Normal, Comfort, or Sport suspension settings. This tells us that the new chassis is so sharp and unforgiving that for those not wanting a jostle-filled motoring experience MINI had to bolt up a comfier suspension setup.
MINI is sure to roll out more details as the official debut date of the 2014 MINI Cooper draws closer so be sure to check back for more soon.