The 2015 Mini Cooper may still be small, but it will be offered with the sorts of driver assist systems usually found in bigger luxury vehicles, the automaker revealed today in a release. In fact, most items such as the adaptive cruise control and collision warning system have trickled down from BMW, and should help the 2015 Cooper boost its premium image.
Most systems will be based on a camera mounted just ahead of the rear-view mirror. Among them is a collision and pedestrian warning system, which automatically engages the brakes at speeds up to 35 mph. The system also includes audio and visual warnings and will prepare the brakes at speeds over 35 mph. Also camera-based is the adaptive cruise control system and High-Beam Assistant. Adaptive cruise control will work at speeds from 20 to 85 mph, and drivers will have the ability to choose between four settings to regulate the distance between the Mini and the car in front.
Other camera-based systems including the speed limit info system that scans traffic signs and compares the info stored in the navigation system. The marked speed limit will then be displayed on the navigation screen. The system also includes Traffic Sign Memory, which will read and store sign information and display the info in the instrument cluster.
The new Mini will also be offered with a head-up display, which consists of a small, folding display unit mounted between the windshield and steering wheel. It will display key info including speed limits and navigation prompts.
Finally, a rear view camera and a parking assistant system can also be had in the small coupe. The parking assistant system depends on ultrasonic sensors to detect suitable parking spaces at speeds up to 20 mph (the spots must also be no farther than five feet away). A button activates the system, which then relieves the driver from steering wheel duties (you must still regulate the brake and accelerator pedals).
Last month, Mini revealed powertrain details, which show the Cooper’s engine range will include new engines for both the base and S model. For starters, the base model will receive a detuned version of the 1.5-liter, turbocharged three-cylinder engine we sampled in the BMW i8 preproduction model. Its output for the Cooper will be 134 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque, which will be available at a low 1250 rpm. The current naturally aspirated 1.6-liter inline-four is rated at 121 hp and 114 lb-ft. The Cooper S will get the 2.0-liter turbo-four that has made its way into a number of BMW models. For the Mini, the engine will produce 189 hp and 207 lb-ft, with all the torque also available at 1250 rpm. The outgoing turbo 1.6-liter is rated at 181 hp and 177 lb-ft.
Both new engines feature a twin-scroll turbo with an overboost feature providing short bursts of increased torque (10 and 15 lb-ft for the base and S models, respectively). In addition to variable valve timing and Valvetronic (a variable valve lift system), both powertrains should include a stop-start system. Expect the six-speed automatic to carry over, as well as a manual transmission.
Style-wise, the new Mini Cooper will be an evolutionary change from the current model, retaining the familiar bulldog mug and boxy side profile. More details and photos of the 2015 Mini Cooper are set to arrive November 18, shortly before its official debut at the Los Angeles auto show.
2015 Mini Cooper Driver Assist Systems Detailed