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Wednesday, March 7, 2007

๏ Technology ๏

The "Mk I" MINI One, Cooper and Cooper S use a Brazilian-built Tritec engine while the MINI One D uses a Toyota-built diesel engine. In August 2006, BMW announced that engines would in future be built in the UK, making the car essentially British-built again, with final assembly at Cowley and the body pressings being made in nearby Swindon at BMW's Swindon Pressings Ltd subsidiary.

While the modern MINI uses none of the engineering of the original Mini, it does capture much of the spirit of the classic car. Like the original, it uses a transversely-mounted four-cylinder engine driving the front wheels. All four wheels are pushed to the corners of the body which is a 'two-box' or 'hot hatch' design. The styling of the car, like that of the Volkswagen New Beetle, is a retro design that is deliberately reminiscent of the original Mini with contrasting roof colours, optional bonnet stripes, optional rally lights and with black trim around the wheel arches and rocker panels that mimic the wide wheel flares found on many classic Minis.

The later "Mk II" MINI (or R56) uses the BMW-PSA 1.4/1.6 Prince 4 cylinder engine. This engine uses a system known as VALVETRONIC to control valves for optimum performance and/or efficiency. This MINI uses a drivetrain architecture based on that of the Peugeot 207 and the Citroen C3 replacement.

The MINI One and MINI Cooper are available with a continuously variable transmission or with a conventional Getrag five-speed manual transmission. The Cooper S comes with a six-speed Getrag manual or (from the 2005 model year onwards) a fully automatic transmission with paddle shifters.

Technical innovations include an electrically driven power steering system that avoids taking power directly from the engine, equal length driveshafts to eliminate torque steer, and a sophisticated multi-link rear suspension usually found only on rear wheel drive cars. The MINI has a 'drive by wire' electronic throttle, electronic brakeforce distribution, cornering brake control, and electronic stability control to improve control and handling in adverse conditions.

Adding a supercharger to the Cooper S model required that the battery be relocated into the rear of the car — leaving no room for a spare tyre. Hence this model comes with run flat tyres as standard.

1 comment:

Richard said...

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