MINI’s new Cooper Hardtop continues to grow in size, but remains as cheeky as ever

Mini pulled the sheets off its all-new 2014 Cooper Hardtop today in Los Angeles.

This debut marks the beginning of the fourth generation of Mini since the car first went on sale in 1959. 

Despite being a totally redesigned model, the new Mini looks more like an evolution in style, rather than a revolution in sheetmetal. Its bulging headlamps and shoebox-shaped body remain both cute and familiar, with a few modern tweaks, like its larger grille, LED daytime running lights, and optional LED headlights.

The Cooper is 4.5 inches longer than its predecessor, with more than an inch of that added to the wheelbase. It’s also 1.7 inches wider than before, and these longer, wider proportions should improve the MINI’s already sharp handling.

Inside, the cabin has been significantly upgraded. The added space benefits the cargo hold in particular, which has grown by three cubic feet. MINIs have never been particularly spacious, so any extra room is a welcome improvement.

The wheel-mounted gauge cluster now includes the tachometer, speedometer and fuel gauge, while the center circle continues to house the radio and navigation displays. There’s also a new LED light ring, which changes colors between driving modes and parking distances, that encircles the center display. As you’re parking, it shifts from green, to yellow, to red as you approach a wall. It also switches between green and red, depending on whether you’ve selected the more eco-friendly or sportier driving modes.

There’s a boatload of new technology built into the all-new Cooper, too. Much like its larger BMW cousins, the new Mini receives an optional heads-up display, and keyless entry and push-button start are standard on all models. For those looking to load their Coopers with drivers’ aides, there’s also a first-ever implementation of adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection, and pre-collision warning systems. The MINI can also make use of your smartphone’s data connection through the use of MINI Connected.

DT_LA_MINI_DEBUT_14

Underneath all the metal and upholstery is a completely new set of engines. Base MINI Coopers are now powered by a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine, capable of producing 134 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque. Whether you choose an automatic or manual transmission, the entry-level Cooper can accelerate from 0-60 mph in just over 7 seconds. In place of the old 1.6-liter turbo-four, Cooper S models are now powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, which produces 189 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque. Cooper S models accelerate to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds with the manual transmission, and 6.4 seconds with the automatic.

We’re looking forward to getting our hands on the new MINI Cooper early next year, and we’re especially excited to see the base car with a little more power, thanks to its twin-power turbo. Tell us what you think of the new MINI Cooper hardtop in the comments below, and take a look at the rest of our coverage from the 2013 LA Auto Show.

Product Review

A Mercedes so sophisticated, it connects to your watch to plan your massage

The mid-size luxury SUV segment is a must-win competition, and the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE is the newest contender. With active suspension, driver assist, and even a connection to your watch, this is more than an SUV, it’s a mobile device.
Smart Home

Google Home Mini vs. Amazon Echo Dot: Which is better?

We put the two most popular smart home speakers -- the Google Home Mini and the 3rd generation Amazon Echo Dot -- together and tested them on appearance, audio, and abilities. So which should you buy? Find out how they did in our showdown.
Cars

Mini’s most extreme hot hatchback will hit the streets in 2020

The Mini John Cooper Works GP concept first seen at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show will go into production in 2020, Mini has confirmed. The John Cooper Works GP is the ultimate performance version of the basic Mini Cooper.
Computing

Turn your iPad into a display for your new Mac Mini with this workaround

The folks at Luna Display have figured out a workaround which lets you get the best of both worlds and use Wi-Fi and an adapter in order to turn your iPad into a display for the 2018 Mac Mini.
Cars

Jaguar can take the next F-Type in one of two completely different directions

Jaguar needs to decide what the future has in store for the F-Type. Its options include turning the next-generation model into an electric car aimed at the Tesla Roadster or pelting it into the ring with a twin-turbocharged V8 from BMW.
Cars

With lessons learned from racing, Mercedes-AMG takes GT R sports car to next level

Mercedes-AMG keeps finding ways to make its GT sports car even more hardcore. If you thought the GT R variant was as good as it got, get ready for the GT R Pro, which will race into the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show.
Cars

Volvo will be at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, but it won’t bring any cars

Volvo has declared that it won't unveil any new models at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, and that its display at the show won't feature a single car. Instead, Volvo plans to focus on mobility services.
Cars

How a village in Italy caught 58,000 speeding drivers in just 10 days

A village in Italy knew it had an issue with cars speeding through it, but data from a newly set-up speed camera left residents utterly gobsmacked. In just the first 10 days, the camera recorded more than 58,000 speeding offenses.
Cars

Here’s how Uber plans to improve its service for riders in wheelchairs

Uber is working to improve its service for disabled riders. Its latest initiative sees it teaming up with a specialist transportation firm to provide more wheelchair-accessible vehicles with wait times of less than 15 minutes.
Cars

Tesla’s next-generation Superchargers will arrive in 2019

Tesla is planning on starting the roll out the next generation of Superchargers starting in 2019. According to Elon Musk, they will be within range of at least 95 percent of people in "active markets."
Cars

The hamster-friendly 2020 Kia Soul will rock out at the Los Angeles Auto Show

Kia has released a teaser image to preview the next Soul. Scheduled to make its debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2020 Soul will keep the outgoing model's boxy proportions but it will wear a sharper design.
Cars

Oops! Teen driver loses license just 49 minutes after passing his test

A German teen lost his driving license just 49 minutes after passing his test. Cops spotted the guy doing more than twice the road's legal speed limit, resulting in a driving ban and a fine.
Emerging Tech

Dangle no more: Window-washing drone for towers could replace human cleaners

The maker of a window-washing drone for tall buildings claims it can do the job 20 times faster than humans and is much safer than using workers in cradles that dangle on the side of buildings.
Cars

From EVs to forbidden fruit, car lovers have a lot to be thankful for this year

Thanksgiving is about food, football, family, and great deals. For us, it's also about cars. The members of Digital Trends' car team are taking a minute to reflect on what we're thankful for in 2018.