Turbocharged, direct-injection three- and four-cylinder petrol engines will be offered as part of the range. The launch 1.5-litre 3-cylinder unit gets 134bhp and 162lb ft (170lb ft on overboost) from just 1250rpm. The launch 2.0-litre 4cyl unit, meanwhile, gets 189bhp and 206lb ft (221lb ft on overboost). Both engines rev to 6500rpm, with further variants planned for future release.
The sole so-far confirmed diesel is a common-rail direct-injection 1.5-litre unit with 114bhp and peak torque of 199lb ft. Efficiency is said to improve by seven per cent over the 1.6-litre unit it replaces. All petrol and diesel engines will be offered with new manual and automatic gearboxes, with stop-start.
New front- and all-wheel drive UKL1 platform (which BMW will also use) will lead to “even more precise and sporty handling” with “further advances in the area of driving comfort”. Wider tracks feature, the front strut and multi-link rear suspension is made more rigid, lightweight materials are used, and unsprung masses reduced. Rear entry and boot space is also improved due to redesigned rear axle.
Electronically adjustable dampers make their first appearance on a Mini. Two driving modes will be offered: one “emphatically sporty”, the other “balanced and comfortable”. These will be controlled by a switch in the interior.
A next-generation electronic power steering system is said to “promote agility, driving safety and comfort”. A new torque-steer compensation system is fitted, which aims to reduce torque-steer issues powerful front-drive Minis have previously suffered from. A new braking system is said to be lighter and have improved friction.
Despite a clear increase in size shown in the undisguised spy pictures, Mini says weight has been reduced. High-strength steels are used in key parts of the body to reduce weight, improve safety and increase agility.
An active bonnet is a new standard safety feature for the Mini 3. The bonnet is automatically raised in the event of a collision with a pedestrian at speeds between 12mph and 34mph. Extra crumple zones also feature.