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A Look Ahead to 2024: New Mini Cooper

By Tim Barnes-Clay | November 13, 2023

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Mini – the unmistakable iconic British auto brand – has unveiled a new car to replace the Mini hatchback.

Mini – the unmistakable iconic British auto brand – has unveiled a new car to replace the Mini hatchback.

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'Cooper' often refers to a specific trim of the outgoing Mini. But, the replacement car will officially be called the Mini Cooper to differentiate it from other vehicles as Mini diversifies its range.

Notably, a new SUV will be on the way soon called the Aceman – and it’ll be all-electric.

So, too, will the new Cooper – or rather, like the outgoing model, an electric version will be available.

MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper Electric

Of course, while electric cars continue to move from niche to mainstream, traditional petrol power will still be available, but there will be no diesel propulsion.

The 1.5-litre three-cylinder and 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol options currently found on the existing Mini hatchback remain, although they’ve received plenty of updates.

Performance figures are still being finalised, but in the current car, you get 136PS from the 1.5-litre and 178PS from the 2.0-litre, both of which are turbocharged.

The electric version is being offered only as a three-door hatchback – likely partly due to Mini wanting to push sales of the new five-door Aceman. 

The petrol edition, though, will be available in three-door, five-door and convertible variants.

The electric Cooper will come in two versions, each with a single motor.

The 'E' will be fed by a 40.7kWh battery, sufficient for a claimed range of 190 miles, producing 183PS, enough to get from 0-62mph in 7.3 seconds.

The higher-powered 'SE' version will make 218PS, cutting the 0-62mph time by 0.6 seconds and getting a larger 54.2kWh battery.

As a result, despite the extra grunt, it can go further than the entry-level model, at around 250 miles on a full charge.

Speaking of topping up the batteries, a charging speed of up to 95kW is available, meaning a 10 to 80% charge takes around half an hour, and an 11kW onboard charger is included as standard.

It will be available in three different trims, with entry-level Classic getting knitted textiles in the cabin and black synthetic leather sport seats.

Exclusive gets the option of a blended tri-colour roof and a silver grille, with various stitching details and perforated Vescin sport seats.

The Sport trim gets more striking exterior detailing, combining black and red stitching in the cabin.

Unusually, however, standard equipment is the same on all three trim levels. It includes Digital Key Plus (which adds the ability to unlock the car via a smartphone app) and Park Assistant Plus, which will automatically park the Mini via a push of a button in the same app.

Depending on your preferences, various driving modes can adjust your journey in favour of performance or battery conservation.

The new Cooper was unveiled earlier this year at the Munich International Motor Show and will be the fifth generation of its classic hatchback.

To look at it at first glance, you might be forgiven for thinking not much has changed, given it still retains the distinctive Mini shape, but there’s an awful lot that’s new.

It has a more minimalistic look, with Mini keen for the design language to be as simple as possible.

That includes a de-chromed colour scheme, smoother lines, a simplified bumper, flush door handles and slightly bigger headlights.

But the most significant changes are to be found around the back, which is slightly wider and sports a more sophisticated look, complemented by triangular taillights and a black strip.

MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper Electric

A couple of new colours have been added, with Blazing Blue and Sunny Side Yellow, while Chili Red remains from the outgoing model.

White, dark grey, black, silver and racing green are also available, depending on which variant you choose.

Previous Mini interiors have focused on roundedness, so including a unique circular 9.4-inch infotainment touchscreen makes for a worthy, and somewhat funky, centrepiece to the new car.

The screen is divided in two, with the top half acting as the digital instrument cluster and the bottom half providing the touchscreen interface above some fixed shortcut buttons.

A head-up display adds even more data into the mix.

It runs on Android-based software, and the design on the screen can be customised with numerous themes on offer, including one called Go-Kart.

Your choice will also impact the hue of the ambient lighting – and the synthetic soundscape, which substitutes for the lack of an engine note.

Apple lovers are catered for, too, with CarPlay offered as standard.

The build quality has always impressed, and it's no different in this new one either. But removing the rotary dial to operate the infotainment system will disappoint current Mini owners who are used to it. A reasonably reliable voice control feature should make up for it, though.

In terms of practicality, it’s still not the most spacious car in the world, but it’s an improvement on what went before.

The only bad news is if you have three or more kids – as, like the outgoing car, the new Mini Cooper is still only a four-seater.

The new Countryman will seat five like its predecessor, as will the Aceman, so if that's a fundamental requirement, you'll still be well-catered for.

Sign up to MINI's mailing list to be the first to find out more about the new MINI Countryman.

MINI Cooper and MINI Countryman

Two hundred and ten litres of boot space is offered – and dropping the 60:40 split-folding rear seats will significantly increase the available capacity to a whopping 800 litres.

Naysayers may say that, as a BMW-owned brand, Mini is more German than British these days. However, a £600 million investment from BMW means the Cooper will be built in a new factory in Oxford from 2026 onwards, along with the Aceman. Meanwhile, there’s been additional investment at its body plant in Swindon.

At first, the new Mini Cooper will be built elsewhere, with deliveries – alongside the new Countryman – set to begin next spring. However, petrol Mini Coopers won’t pull up at the dealerships until later in 2024.

Refreshingly, Mini provides evidence that the hefty premium you pay for an electric car is steadily decreasing.

At entry-level, the new Cooper ‘E’ will cost around 8% less than the current Mini Electric if you’re buying outright, with prices starting from £30,000.

The ‘SE’ will cost £34,000, while the petrol version is expected to be a couple of grand cheaper than the ‘E’ model.

Sign up to MINI's newsletter to find out more about the MIN Countryman. 

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