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New Mini revealed

On November 18, BMW revealed the third generation of the new Mini. It was a fitting date as this would have been the 107th birthday of the original mini designer, Alec Issigonis. The new Mini is built on a completely new platform and includes a host of new technologies. The new car is due to go on sale in spring next year and it will be built at the existing Mini factory in Oxford.

On November 18, BMW revealed the third generation of the new Mini. It was a fitting date as this would have been the 107th birthday of the original mini designer, Alec Issigonis. The new Mini is built on a completely new platform and includes a host of new technologies. The new car is due to go on sale in spring next year and it will be built at the existing Mini factory in Oxford. The current Mini was considerably larger than the original model and this third generation car is bigger still. It is 385 cm long, which is 10cm longer than the current model and a whopping 77cm longer than the original car. It is bigger in every direction than the current car, being also 4cm wider and seven centimetres taller.

Although the latest Mini has a new body and underpinnings, the style of the existing model is largely retained. The familiar large round headlights, hexagonal front grille and contrasting roof colours are all still there. Both sides of the car, however, are more angular and sculpted. The tailgate has been widened and the side windows slant noticeably towards the rear. BMW has also launched five new colours and the new models will also have roof rails as an option for the first time.

According to BMW, the new car's larger size means that it is more usable in everyday motoring. The wheelbase has also been increased by 28 mm and the front seat squabs are 23 mm longer. This delivers greater comfort, while a 30 per cent larger boot means considerably more luggage space. Inside, the large central speedometer is still dominant. Additional dials are located behind the steering wheel and the posher models get extra controls on the centre console for sat-nav and entertainment systems.

On the launch day three new models will be available for sale. The range kicks off with the Cooper, delivering 134bhp from a three cylinder turbo engine. This innovative three cylinder power plant replaces the existing four cylinder unit. The Cooper S delivers 189bhp from a four cylinder turbo engine and the Cooper D manages a more modest 114bhp from its three cylinder turbo-diesel engine. All three models have the same six speed manual gearbox as standard, with a six speed auto available as an option. BMW claims improved fuel economy and lower emissions across the range.

The Mini may be much larger, heavier and more complex than the original and it has perhaps lost some of its quirky charm but there can be no doubt that under BMW's stewardship, the brand has gone from strength to strength.

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