Mini New First generation (R50/53)
|Manufacturer||BMW (Mini brand)|
2004–August 2008 (Convertible)
|Assembly||Plant Oxford, Cowley, England|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||3-door hatchback
|Engine||1.4L Tritec I4 (One)
1.4L Toyota 1ND-TV diesel (D)
1.6L Tritec I4 (One, Cooper)
1.6L Tritec supercharged I4 (S)
6-speed automatic and manual
|Wheelbase||97.1 in (2,470 mm)|
|Length||2000–04 Base: 142.8 in (3,630 mm)
2005–06 Base: 143.1 in (3,630 mm)
S Hardtop: 143.9 in (3,660 mm)
|Width||66.5 in (1,690 mm)|
|Height||2001–04 Base: 55.9 in (1,420 mm)
2001–04 S: 56.2 in (1,430 mm)
2005–06 Base: 55.4 in (1,410 mm)
2005–06 S: 55.8 in (1,420 mm)
Convertible: 55.5 in (1,410 mm)
|Kerb weight||1,146 kg (2,526 lb) (Cooper)
1,215 kg (2,678 lb) (Cooper S)
The first new generation Mini Hatch was introduced in late 2000, being the first model launched under the Mini marque after the original Mini was discontinued in the same year. In some European markets, the Mini One was powered by a 1.4 litre inline-four version of the Tritec engine, but all other petrol powered Minis used the 1.6 litre version. Since 2005, a soft-top convertible option has been available across the entire range.
There are numerous styling and badging differences between the models, perhaps the most obvious being that the Cooper S has a distinctive scoop cut into the bonnet. The Cooper S also has twin exhausts which exit under the centre of the rear valance. The non-S Cooper has more chrome parts than the Mini One and has a single exhaust. The Mini One D has no visible exhaust pipes at all.
In some markets, such as Australia and the US, only the Mini Cooper and Cooper S are offered. Other models of note, sold in varying markets around the world, are the Mini Seven, Mini Park Lane, Mini Check Mate, and Mini Monte Carlo.
The Mini Hatch (US: Hardtop) was designed by Frank Stephenson, and drew inspiration from the original two-door Mini. Development of the car was conducted between 1995 and 2001 by Rover Group in Gaydon, United Kingdom and BMW in Munich, Germany. During this development phase, there was continual contention between the two design groups, especially concerning the positioning of the car; Rover wanted a straight economy car, whilst BMW supported a small, sporting car. Ultimately, BMW prevailed, and in 1999, they assumed control over the entire project following the departure of BMW's CEO, Bernd Pischetsrieder. When BMW divested itself of Rover in 2000, it elected to retain the Mini project, and to move the planned production site of the car from Rover's Longbridge plant, to BMW's Oxford plant in Cowley, Oxford, England. The team of designers working on the 2001 Mini had finished the full-sized clay mock-up of the Mini in plenty of time for a presentation to the board of directors. However, the American chief designer, Frank Stephenson, realised that the model did not have an exhaust pipe.His short-term solution was to pick up an empty beer can, punch a hole in it, strip off the paint and push it into the clay at the back of the car, which took just a few minutes.The overall design for the mock-up was so good that the board members told him not to change a thing, resulting in the distinctive exhaust tip seen in production cars.
The first generation of the new Mini received a facelift in July 2004 for the upcoming 2005 model year. This was also when the new convertible was introduced; it was never available with the pre-facelift design. Aside from minor design changes (mostly up front) and improved equipment, the maligned R65 manual gearboxes were replaced by Getrag five-speed units.
Mini x-ray view safety zones
The vehicles produced during the 2001 to 2006 model years included four hatchback models (UK and some international markets: Hatch, US: Hardtop, other markets just plain Mini): the standard "Mini One", the diesel-engined "Mini One/D", the sportier "Mini Cooper" and the supercharged "Mini Cooper S"; in 2005, a convertible roof option was added to the Mk I line-up. In November 2006, BMW released a facelift version of the Mini Hardtop as a 2007 model-year vehicle.
From March 2002, it was exported to Japan and sold at Japanese BMW dealerships as well as Yanase locations. The car complied with Japanese Government dimension regulations and the introduction of the Mini coincided with several vehicles in Japan that exhibited a "retro" look that Japanese car companies were offering.
The names Cooper and Cooper S echo the names used for the sportier version of the classic Mini, which in turn come from the involvement of John Cooper and the Cooper Car Company. The Cooper heritage is further emphasised with the John Cooper Works (JCW) range of tuning options that are available with the Mini. John Cooper also created a one-off racing model of the Mini Cooper S named the Mini Cooper S Works. This car features many extras which help to improve performance, such as a racing exhaust and air filter as well as uprated suspension. The car also has one-of-a-kind 17-inch (430 mm) racing wheels.
A race-prepared version, with rear-wheel drive, called the Mini Cooper S3, competed in the Belcar championship from 2002.
|Optios: Equipment included on some trim levels|
The first generation was launched in summer 2004 following its unveiling at the 2004 Salon International de l'Auto.
In 2005, the Driving Standards Agency banned the model from driving tests due to poor visibility.
Mini John Cooper Works GP (2006)
|Top Speed||143 mph|
|0-60 mph||6.4 secs|
|Torque||245 Nm, 181 ft-lb|
|CO2 Emissions||207 g/km|
|Euro Emissions Standard||4|
|Miles Per Tank||352 miles|
The last Mk I variant to be produced using the supercharged Tritec engine was the Mini Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit a light-weight, quasi-race-prepped John Cooper Works model. Hand-finished by Bertone in Italy, it was offered as a limited-production run of 2000 cars during the 2006 model year, with 444 of those originally intended for the UK market (although ultimately, 459 were sold). The GP features more bolstered front seats but had no rear seats, which along with reduced sound-deadening, removal of the rear wash-wipe system, optional air-conditioning, and other weight-reduction steps, resulted in a weight saving of around 40 kg (88 lb) compared to a Cooper S.
Additionally, the car had enhanced braking, suspension, a smooth under-body and 218 hp (163 kW) from the John Cooper Works engine modification package. In place of the rear seats there is a metal bar to stop luggage moving forwards, plus below-floor storage areas. The car also offered many unique styling points, such as the red door mirrors, a carbon fibre rear spoiler, unique body kit, bespoke (2 kg lighter) four-spoke alloy wheels, and specialised badging. Available in just one colour scheme (Thunder Blue with a Pure Silver roof), each car was individually numbered and featured a decal on the roof along with a plaque on the dashboard.
2002 Mini Cooper Interior
The Mk I Mini One, Cooper and Cooper S used some version of the reliable, Brazilian-built Tritec engine, co-developed by the US-based Chrysler & BMW; the Mini One D used a Toyota 1ND-TV diesel engine. In August 2006, BMW announced that future engines would be built in Great Britain, making the car essentially built again; final assembly took place at Cowley, Oxford, and the body pressings were made in nearby Swindon at BMW's Swindon Pressings subsidiary.
All models used a transversely-mounted four-cylinder engine driving the front wheels. All four wheels are pushed to the corners of the body to improve handling. The styling of the car, like that of the Volkswagen New Beetle, is a retro design that is deliberately reminiscent of the original Mini. The retro styling is further enhanced by retaining other classic Mini touches such as contrasting roof colours, optional bonnet stripes, optional rally lights, and black trim around the wheel arches and rocker panels that mimic the wide wheel flares found on many classic Minis.
The Mini One and Mini Cooper were available with a ZF VT1F continuously variable transmission or with a conventional Midlands five-speed manual transmission (model years 2002–2004); the latter was replaced with a Getrag five-speed unit for the remainder of the Mk I production (2005–2006). The Cooper S came with a six-speed Getrag manual or (starting with the 2005 model year) a fully automatic transmission with paddle shifters.
As standard, the Mini had a drive by wire electronic throttle, anti-lock brake electronic brakeforce distribution, and BMW Cornering Brake Control. Stability options were BMW's ASC traction control system and DSC electronic stability control, to improve control and handling in adverse conditions.
The addition of a supercharger to the Mk I Cooper S required that the battery be relocated into the rear of the car — leaving no room for a spare tyre.
The 2002 first generation Mini Cooper