The new 2014 MINI Cooper is poised to steal the spotlight on November 18th, debuting online three times over three days on three continents. The iconic automobile's latest incarnation is scheduled to be revealed via live streaming from London, Los Angeles and Shanghai.
The action gets going Monday at 9:00PM GMT with the very timely unveiling just ahead of the Los Angeles Auto Show on Wednesday. As the 2014 MINI Cooper won't hit showrooms until March of next year, the only way to get up close and personal is either to be there in person or watch online at MINI.com's special portal site.
It should be stated that the three-door Hardtop in Cooper or Cooper S variants is actually new for the 2014 model year. The Cooper Convertible, Clubman and Countryman will carry over their styling and features from 2013. Loyal MINI fans need not be nervous: only close inspection will reveal changes to the brand's distinctive exterior styling.
What lies beneath, however, is VERY different and very exciting. The 2014 MINI Cooper is built upon BMW's brand new UKL platform and these fresh underpinnings will eventually be shared by the full MINI lineup and some BMW models as well. The new chassis promises noticeable improvements in both fuel efficiency and overall refinement.
What else is new in Coopertown for 2014? Mainly, the vehicle is approximately 4.5 inches longer and 1.7 inches wider than the previous model. This translates to more room on the inside as storage capacity expands to 8.7 cubic feet; a 3 cubic foot increase. Staying with the interior, tweaks to the driver's side (instead of the central console) instrument panel feature a new “MINI Controller” dial that accesses the vehicle's impressive “MINI Connected” infotainment system.
The latter was designed for the extensive integration of smartphones, letting users access a wide range of internet-based services via apps for both the Apple and Android operating systems. MINI hasn't forgotten the driver him- or herself either, the 2014 Cooper and Cooper S offer expanded driver assistance systems such as a head-up display, backup camera, collision and pedestrian warning systems, parking assistant and a speed limit information system.
Once drivers shift into gear and head out, they'll find the 2014 MINI's standard three-cylinder engine eager to place its 134 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque at their disposal. The sporty Cooper S's four-cylinder mill, on the other hand, provides 189 horsepower and 206 pound-feet of torque. Drivers of either MINI Cooper variant can opt for their choice of six-speed manual or automatic transmissions.
These power numbers may look impressive onscreen but how do they translate to real world driving? Testing shows the base 2014 Cooper with manual gearbox making the 0-60 mph sprint in 7.4 seconds (7.3 with automatic), eventually topping out at 130 mph. The larger motor in the 2014 Cooper S performs as one might expect, taking just 6.4 seconds (6.3 with automatic) to reach 60mph from a standing start and posting a 146 mph top speed.
Eager to know more but can't wait 'til next March? Don't forget to tune in for a full hour of MINI primetime, streamed live to your screen today only from MINI.com! (images via The Car Connection)