The all new 2014 Mini Hatch certainly made an entrance at its global launch party in London on Monday night. After a countdown, the third-generation edition of the iconic hatchback was driven on stage against a suitably dramatic backdrop of spotlights and thumping music.
Those expecting a drastic new look will have left disappointed, as the new car isn’t particularly different to the second-generation Mini, at least at first glance. Look a little closer, however, and there are some noticeable tweaks – the circular headlamps are now surrounded by an LED daylight driving ring, the rear light clusters gain an all-LED design and the bodywork is subtly reworked to be sleeker than before.
The new car is slightly larger than its predecessor – 98mm longer, 44mm wider and 7mm taller to be precise. The wheelbase has also been extended by 28mm, while the track width has been enlarged at the front by 42mm and the rear by 34mm.
The slightly enlarged bodywork will be difficult to detect when casually observing from the exterior but step inside and it’s easier to see the extra girth. It feels surprisingly spacious. It’ll accommodate four six-footers, offering an almost Tardis-like level of leg- and head-room.
It’s comfortable, too. Mini has changed the front seats, giving them a wider adjustment range, and extended the seat base by 23mm for extra comfort and support. The rear seat backrest features tilt-angle adjustment.
Boot space has been improved by 30 per cent to 211 litres.
Power will come from a choice of three all-new engines and gearboxes, each of which uses TwinPower turbocharging technology. The entry-level Mini Cooper Hatch has a three-cylinder, 1.4-litre unit with peak output of 134bhp, 220Nm of torque, the Mini Cooper D Hatch gets a 1.4-litre turbodiesel with 114bhp and 270Nm, while the Mini Cooper S Hatch uses a 2-litre engine with a healthy 189bhp and 280Nm.
Mini promises this latest model offers ‘go-kart’ like handling, though we’ll reserve judgement on that until we get behind the wheel.
Pricing for the new Mini starts at £15,300 on the road. It’ll be released in the UK in Spring 2014.
So what do you think? Let us know by dropping a comment below.
2014 Mini Hatch Pictures