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Wednesday, March 7, 2007

๏ The MkII MINI ๏

MINI has introduced a new version of the car for the 2007 model year, on a re-engineered platform with many stylistic and engineering changes. This architecture is shared with PSA Peugeot Citroën and is intended to be more flexible. The engineering was done in the United Kingdom by MINI/BMW Group UK Engineering.

The so-called 'Mk II MINI' (echoing the 'mark number' naming of the classic Mini) was introduced in January 2007 in the Cooper and Cooper S badges and the range will be completed later in 2007 with the arrival of the Mk II MINI One and a diesel variant. The MINI convertible will continue to use the Mk I platform for at least a year.

Though the Mk II has a familiar look, every panel on the new car has been changed from the old model. New safety requirements mean that the overall length has increased by 60 mm, the front end raised and the indicators have been repositioned inside the headlights. The headlights themselves are now fixed to the front quarter panels rather than being housed within the bonnet so that they are not raised up with it when the bonnet opens. The car features a restyled grille and larger rear light clusters. The Cooper S retains the bonnet scoop in order to keep an association with the outgoing model - although the relocation of the intercooler to the front of the engine means that the scoop is now purely decorative. The C pillars are no longer encased in glass and have been shaped to improve aerodynamics and to reduce the tendency for dirt to accumulate on the back of the car. Much criticised for the lack of rear legroom, MINI has added more space for rear passengers by creating sculpted cut-outs in the rear of the front seats. An engine starter button replaces the conventional ignition key and with the optional 'convenience package', the car unlocks itself automatically when the key is brought close to the car.

The Cooper and Cooper S models offer a new rear axle and aluminium components to reduce the car's weight and a Sports kit option comprising harder springs, damper and anti-roll bars is offered with both variants. Another key difference is the introduction of an upgraded electric power steering system, the sharpness of which can be increased by pressing a Sport button on the dashboard – which also adjusts the response of the accelerator.

As for engines, the Tritec engine has been replaced in the Cooper model with a 120 bhp 1.6-litre Prince engine with infinitely variable valve timing, developed with Peugeot. It is reported in early road tests that this takes the car from 0-62 mph in a claimed 9.1 seconds and has top speed of 125 mph. Fuel economy of 48.7 mpg on the combined cycle is nearly 8 mpg better. The more powerful 175 bhp Cooper S replaces the supercharger with a new twin scroll turbocharger in the interests of efficiency, and will feature gasoline direct injection. This engine also has an "overboost" function which temporarily raises the torque by 15 ft·lbf (20 N·m) under hard acceleration. As a result, 0-62 mph is covered in a claimed 7.1 seconds, and top speed is 140 mph. It achieves similar improvements in fuel economy to the Cooper, returning 40.9mpg combined. Both cars come with six-speed manual or automatic gearboxes. The turbocharged engine is the same (although with some French engineering modifications) as the one in the Peugeot 207 GTi/RC.

All models of the Mk II "Hill Assist", a feature which prevents the car from rolling backwards on an incline by holding the brakes on after you lift your foot from the brake pedal until you press the accelerator.

The interior of the Mk II echoes the style of the earlier model but is in fact a complete redesign. The boot of the new car has an additional 10 litres of load space.

The Mk II MINI is built by MINI's Production Triangle - Plant Swindon (body panels), Plant Hams Hall (engine) and finally Plant Oxford, where final assembly work is completed

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Credits : From Wikipedia,the free encyclopedia