Mini has today released pictures official details of two new cars that will slot directly below the new Cooper and Cooper S in the second-generation model line-up and, contrary to expectations, the brand is striking out in interesting directions with both of them.
Mini's first sporty diesel
First there's an all-new and unprecedented Mini Cooper D (pictured above), which promises to be a multi-talented Mini hatchback that's both frugal and fun to drive.
The last-generation Mini used Toyota's unsuitable 1.4-litre four-pot diesel engine; the new Mini uses a cleaner and more powerful 1.6-litre turbodiesel related to the one you'll find in the Peugeot 207 and Ford Fiesta. It produces 109bhp and 192lb ft of torque on overboost, both significant improvements over the last Mini diesel, yet it's also cleaner (118g/km v 129g/km) and more frugal (64.2 combined mpg v 58.9).
The new Cooper D will hit 62mph in 9.9sec and go on to 121mph. It can be identified by its pronounced bonnet power dome and an enlarged bumper air intake, and will be priced from £14,190 when it goes on sale in April, a £1195 premium over a petrol-powered Cooper.