That CAR reports BMW is working with supplier Getrag on a paddle-shift dual-clutch automated manual for the UKL1 platform, the which is engineered for transverse engines and can accommodate optional all-wheel-drive as well as front-drive. The F-Series 2014 Mini Cooper hatchback will be somewhat larger than the car it replaces, Judging by spy photos of early-stage prototypes wearing stretched current-model bodies. Car and Driver's Justin Berkowitz reports That styling for the 2014 Mini Cooper hatchback is already locked up, the which means the 4-seat convertible is probably too. These were conceived under Gert Hildebrand, recently retired after 10 years as the Mini design supremo. Britain's Autocar quotes BMW sales and marketing boss Ian Roberston as saying the Warming-designed Rocketman Concept hints at some of the new visual elements That Might Be in store.
That exercise Explored the idea of a modern Mini sized hatchback like the original pre-BMW models. The Rocketman's reception at the 2011 Geneva Auto Show in Switzerland Quickly prompted BMW to approve a production version. The other an iQ-style "3 +1" interior with a child-size jump seat behind the driver and a grownup's behind the front passenger seat, each seat fordable and removable. Unsurprisingly, the 2014 Mini Cooper hatchback and subsequent F-Series models will retain the brand's trademark outsized central gauge cluster, toggle switches, and available steering-column-mounted tachometer. These features are deemed as essential as the basic retro-modern styling for maintaining Mini's brand identity and sales appeal. Autocar says the new generation will retain a 4-wheel independent suspension comprising front struts and BMW's "Z-axle" multilink rear geometry.
Speaking of which, the Rocketman's use of light-but-strong carbon fiber for Various structural and cosmetic elements Speculation That has prompted the 2014 Mini Cooper hatchback will do likewise. While nothing can yet be confirmed on that point, Robertson hints That future Minis Could take advantage of the carbon-fiber technology developed for BMW's upcoming i3 city car and i8 "eco supercar." What else can we expect in the 2014 Mini Cooper? We also suspect That escalating U.S. fuel-economy targets will prompt the Addition of BMW "Efficient Dynamics" Such features as engine idle-stop function and a "smart" alternator drive That engages only when coasting or braking to Reduced parasitic engine drag. "Personalization" options have been a key driver and Mini sales should be as Numerous as ever for the new-design models. Mini will also doubtless continue issuing special limited-edition models every so often.
As promised, a few words about the final R-Series minis. Exterior dimensions, interior features, and three available power-trains are shared with other 2-door R-Series models, but the 2-seaters sport more tilted rakishly windshields, lower and shorter roof-lines, and specific side glass. Coupes feature a high-rise lift-gate with so-called "helmet roof" That styling incorporates a trailing-edge spoiler. Roadsters are manual cloth-top affairs, again for Reasons of weight and cost.
As noted, the "Countryman Coupe" is essentially a 2-door takeoff on the 4-door Countryman by-SUV and was previewed by the Paceman Concept at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show. Dimensions, power-trains, and features will be a 4-door Countryman, but this "coupe" Likely will be marketed as a sportier drive. Indeed, there's talk of it taking over as the Mini's standard-bearer in World Rally Championship competition.