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Car Tech Video: 2014 Mini Cooper Hardtop
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Car Tech Video: 2014 Mini Cooper Hardtop

2:08 /

A rare revision of the original retro cult car.

Well, here we are the revised Mini Cooper and this is a big deal. This car has been out about what- 12 years- and they've only revised it once before since launched. So here's the third generation car. Look at it. You could walk right by and think it's the last generation car- very subtle differences because that's the name of the game when you're in the retro icon business. Little different taillights are one spotter's trick. They're a little bigger with some LED modules. It's also go optional LED headlights, which is pretty unusual in this price category. Your base car is 1-1/2-liter 3-cylinder. Now that's something new. Your S car is a 4-cylinder 2-liter turbo. It used to be the turbo was the "S", now they both have turbo chargers. That's how they make up for the missing cylinder on the three. Difference in performance: about a second to 60 separates them. Here's a giant mockup of the new mini touch controller. So it's not quite this big but it's much bigger than it used to be. They've now got a large central knob that has the turn, click and kick functionality, common in so many cars. Plus you got a bunch of, you know, homerun buttons where they'll take you directly to certain functions like audio, telephone or the main menu. This is also dialing into a revised mini interface on the LCD. What's really new is they've got a head-up display, a HUD available for the first time. That's also I think first in their class. Okay, minor revisions to the overall layout of the dash. These is where a lot of the icon part happens as well. You got the big old pie-plate central gauge, which is optional with the LCD multimedia screen and the mini-touch controller we just looked at. All of them have a little different knee bolster shaping here- the way this inverted T comes down together. And they've also redone this binnacle where the tact and the speedo lived- minor differences. Overall the car print is about the way it was except for these new technology interfaces. One thing I hope they can address with this new Mini: are there either mid to in the seller reliability ratings on these cars? In the exuberance around their style and kookiness, sometimes that doesn't get noticed by buyers. It's an important issue though.

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