04 June 2014 - 23:00
It’s the five-door Mini!
Behold the Mini five-door. A Mini hatch with - you guessed it - five doors.
True, this is not exactly a revelation for the small car segment. But it's the first time BMW has cut rear doors into its beloved Mini hatch - the bloaty Countryman, of course, being a different thing entirely.
As you can see, it looks like the new-new-new Mini but ever so slightly different. Like someone significantly weighty has sat on it. That's because the five-door Mini's wheelbase has been stretched 72mm, making it 161mm longer than the three-door. But it's also 11mm taller, to free up the occupants in the back.
And there's good news for your children/mates/pets, as they now won't have to suck in and clamber over the passenger seat to get in the rear. There's even better news for your favourite fourth child/mate/pet as the five-door Mini gets a third - admittedly small - seat in the back.
Headroom has increased by 4mm over the three-door, and the engineers in Oxford have carved out an additional 61mm of elbow space inside without making the five-door wider on the outside. Still, judging from that interior shot, it's not exactly... cavernous back there. Bootspace is up to 278 litres, 67 litres more than the three-door but still shy of the Countryman's 350-litre trunk.
The five-door Mini will go on sale this autumn with the choice of four engines. First up, a three-pot 1.5-litre engine in the Cooper that makes 101kW. That's joined by another triple in the shape of a 1.5-litre three-cylinder diesel producing 86kW in the Cooper D. Then there's a 2.0-litre petrol four-pot petrol with 140kW in the Cooper S, and a new Cooper SD model with 2.0-litre 4-cylinder diesel generating 126kW. That's enough to get you from 0-100 in 7.4 seconds and 4 litres per 100km. Fast and frugal.
Question is, what does this mean for the Clubman? We know there's a second generation of the Mini mini-estate on the way, likely next year, and we know from March's Geneva concept that it'll ditch the original's wonky-doored arrangement for a somewhat more conventional six-door set-up (two on each side, two at the back).