• May 25, 2007

Mini Cooper D. Click image for photo gallery.

Come August, the European MINI range will undergo a revamp that results in fuel economy and emissions improvements across the board. The most impressive numbers come from the Cooper D (for diesel), which as you know is unavailable here. We'll use the car's US mpg measurements for the sake of discussion (the press info after the jump uses measurements based on the larger Imperial gallon). The current Cooper D gets 53.4mpg as is, but after the changes it'll jump to a tick over 60 mpg. At the same time, its CO² emissions will drop from 118g/km to 104g/km.

As you'll see after the jump, every car makes, including the Cooper S, whose combined-cycle fuel economy will rise to almost 38 mpg. The regular MINI Cooper will go 43 miles on a single gallon, and the Europe-only MINI One will do slightly better, getting 44 and change. MINI pulls this off by incorporating regenerative braking, a driver-defeatable stop/start system on manual-transmission-equipped cars, and by adding a shift indicator that tells the driver what gear to select to ensure that maximum efficiency is being achieved. We see no reason why these changes couldn't be incorporated on the USDM Cooper and Cooper S, and hope that 's part of the plan. Next step: work on getting that Cooper D over here, okay? We want that.

Full PR with before-and-after numbers is pasted after the jump. You can use TDIClub's conversion calc to translate the Imperial measurements to our own.

[Source: MINI via AutoblogGreen]


PRESS RELEASE:
72.4mpg. 104 g/km CO 2. No batteries required.

MINI hatches plan to clean up with revised engine range

MINI hatch models are to receive technological revisions later this year, resulting in jaw-dropping performance and efficiency figures. Already BMW Group's cleanest ever car, the MINI Cooper D will be capable of returning an astonishing 72.4mpg, with CO 2 emissions of just 104 g/km.

When production of the revised models begins in August 2007, there will be no requirement for alternative fuel sources or hybrid technology to achieve these stunning stats. All model variants will instead be supplied as standard with high-tech engine tweaks, providing exceptional economy and minimal emissions without compromising the MINI driving experience.

Efficiency improvements are consistent across the revised MINI hatch range.

Brake Energy Regeneration, Auto Start-Stop Function and Switch Point Display complete a package that will come at no extra cost to future MINI customers.

Brake Energy Regeneration works by using an Intelligent Alternator Control (IAC) and an Absorbent Glass Mat battery to recycle previously lost energy, which saves fuel. The IAC reduces drag on the engine by only engaging when required to charge the battery, whereas a traditional alternator is always pulling power from the engine. Additionally, the energy generated by the engine on over-run (under braking or descending a hill) was previously wasted. Now this lost energy is utilised by the IAC to charge the battery.

The Auto Start-Stop Function, available with manual transmission cars,automatically switches the engine off when the vehicle is stationary and the driver puts the car into neutral. To restart the driver only need engage the clutch again before pulling away in the normal manner. The system may be de-activated at the touch of a button when not required.

Switch Point Display aids drivers of manual transmission MINIs in selecting the most economical gear in which to drive. The engine management system analyses speed, road situation and accelerator pedal position and based on this data calculates optimum gearing. The ideal gear is then displayed by number in the cockpit display.

Even without these technology advancements in place, MINI leads the new car market for year-on-year improvements in clean engine manufacturing. CO 2 output per car has been reduced in the last year by an impressive 14 per cent. Putting that into perspective, the industry average was recorded at a lowly 0.3 per cent.*

To put the icing on the cake for customers, MINI Cooper D owners will continue to benefit from the car falling into VED tax band B. So savings are not only made in carbon emissions, but at the fuel pumps and the Post Office when replacing an annual road fund licence too. Little wonder then that MINI UK is again celebrating a month of record car sales!**


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 13 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Unfortunately, the folks at Mini have decided not to bring their new technology to the states. Looks like I'll be getting a new Honda Fit next year! See below for an email exchange with corporate.

      ---------------------

      Hi Ryan,

      Thanks for contacting MINI. We certainly appreciate your interest in the MINI Cooper.

      The regenerative braking and start-stop technology is being implemented in the European spec MINIs for the time being. While our executive level has decided not to bring this technology to U.S. spec vehicles, we are looking into many new ideas for the future of MINI. Please stay in touch with us through MINIUSA.com for updates.

      If there are further questions I can assist with, please feel free to drop me an e-mail. I am happy to lend a hand.

      LET’S MOTOR.
      Patrick Hodges
      MINI Customer Relations and Services
      Representative
      866.ASK.MINI (275-6464)

      -----Original Message-----

      From: xxxxxxxxxxx
      Sent: 6/18/2007 12:00:00 AM
      To: mini.assistanceaskminiusa.com
      Subject: Questions about our cars

      First name: Ryan
      Last name:

      question/comment:
      I was reading about Mini's plan to implement regenerative braking and a start-stop technology into its vehicles later this year. I was wondering if this applies to cars in the U.S. as well and, if not, why not? I think these features would be huge selling points among all audiences.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Test drive a Scion xD. I drove a Fit/xD back to back and there was no comparison. The xD looks a lot less like a miniminivan, has a bit more pep and a much cooler interior - more carlike, less like a toy. The Fit was terrible on the highway, absolutely gutless. The salesman even joked about it - which seemed strange. Or just friggin' get Ca ooper S, jeez.
      • 7 Years Ago
      i wonder, will there be a memory function for the Auto Start/Stop function, ie if you do not want to use this function at all will there be anything in the menu to permanently turn off this function or you will have to push some button each time you are to drive the car?
      • 7 Years Ago
      just add a little weight w/ awd and i'd be all over one.
      • 7 Years Ago
      rem82: European tests are closer to "real life" driving. Don't be surprised when the mpg figure increases under EPA tests.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'd take any of the Euro Minis' mpg.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Um, Mirko, I think that the point "rrr" is making is that the engine and drivetrain have been changed, but the rest of the car is pretty similar to the current Mini - so GM could do this with a Malibu, for example, if they really wanted. But instead, they make a lot of noise about a "Volt" electric car that probably won't ever happen, and if it does, it'll be six years before you can get one. Good times.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Mini is having absolutely no problem selling cars in the states...just go into your local dealer and watch as they laugh you out of the place when you ask about incentives or discounts. But as far as not standardizing production, that makes no sense to me at all
      • 7 Years Ago
      Without huge changes?
      The engine is all-new, the body is all-new, the whole car is new - the only thing that isn't all that new is the styling
      • 7 Years Ago
      Hmmmmm, an automaker increased efficiency without making HUGE changes...............I guess that exposes Ford and GM for who they are....LIARS
      • 7 Years Ago
      Why does everyone talk about CO2 emissions and fuel economy as if they were not directly related? The only way to reduce CO2 emissions without reducing fuel economy is to increase the emission of other pollutants, primarily CO and partially combusted hydrocarbons.

      Additionally, these numbers, even converted into US gallons seem somewhat dubious since they were almost certainly arrived at using European fuel economy test methodology. I would prefer to see the numbers that come from the same vehicles using the updated EPA test.
        • 7 Years Ago
        First off, replying to your CO2 comment... In many European countries, CO2 is the main measure used for taxation of automobiles, so the actual CO2 g/km number is important.

        As for the fuel economy... I could EASILY believe that, seeing as the gasser gets ~40 MPG here, and the old gasser there gets 40.6 MPG... also, diesels there... the European cycle tends to be rather accurate for real-world mileage, whereas the EPA cycle tends to be LOW for diesels. (Yet they revised it down on the 2008 standards.)
      • 7 Years Ago
      I would buy a Mini D in a second! Please bring that sweet machine to the US.
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