BMW New Zealand won’t say a word about the five-door Mini Cooper S pictured here … but it is shouting from the rooftops the price of its new go-fast M3 sedan and M4 coupe.
More on the M3 and M4 down the page. For the moment, the five-door Mini falls into the hazy BMW category of ‘future product’–in other words, models that are alive and well on the test track but which BMW won’t confirm exist. It is an area where its New Zealand corporate affairs spokesman Ed Finn fears to tread, lest there be dragons.
The five-door Mini Cooper S is hardly a secret. It has been pictured in various forms of disguise for many months, but the photos here show more of the car than ever.
A five-door Cooper and Cooper S was always on the agenda after the five-door Countryman crossover appeared. The car pictured here is a Cooper S, say photographers from spy agency Automedia, who nabbed the car testing at Germany’s Nurburgring circuit.
It is understood to be based on a stretched version of the BMW Group’s UKL1 modular platform, which underpins both front- and all-wheel-drive Minis as well as upcoming BMW 2-Series models.
Front door apertures on the five-door Mini are expected to be smaller than the three-door.
Engine options will be shared between three- and five-door Minis and include the new family of turbocharged three-cylinder petrol and diesel units, with the sportier Cooper S and go-faster John Cooper Works versions to get updated four-cylinder engines.
The new five-door is the eighth Mini model. BMW bought the famous British brand with the aim of expanding it from the original three-door synonymous with the ‘swinging 1960s’.
Mini was part of the Rover group, which BMW acquired in 1994.
After six years of loses it broke up the group in 2000, retaining Mini but selling the Rover and MG brands to a consortium and Land Rover to Ford. Rover and MG are now owned by Chinese interests; Land Rover is owned by India’s Tata group.
Back to the M3 and M4, about which BMW wants to talk non-stop. The M3 is a sedan, the M4 a coupe. Once, the M3 was available as a sedan and coupe and the M4 didn’t exist. But BMW dipped into the alphabet soup and added 1, 2, 4, 6, to its longtime mainstream 3, 5, 7 line-up.
The four-door M3 comes in at $159,900 – just over $1000 more than its predecessor – and the two-door M4 at $169,900. Take it as read that both models are chockablock with dynamic features.
Under the bonnet of each is a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six delivering 317kW and 550Nm of torque and mated to a even- peed double-clutch transmission.
The M3 and M4 will go on sale in New Zealand from mid-July.