On initial glance the prototype looks similar to previous mules for the three-door Hardtop, but it clearly features four doors and what looks to be a conventional rear hatch--making it a five-door. Center-mounted exhaust tips also confirm that this is the slightly sportier Cooper S version of the new MINI five-door.
To accommodate the extra doors, MINI’s designers have stretched the wheelbase and added shorter doors in the front compared to those use on the Hardtop. It also appears they’ve raised the height of the roof in order to maximize interior space.
MINI is hoping the increased flexibility will make its new third-generation Cooper range appeal to a wider audience and boost sales.
2015 MINI Cooper S five-door spy shotsEnlarge Photo
Engines for the MINI five-door will be shared with the Hardtop. This means a 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine delivering approximately 134 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque (169 pound-feet with overboost function) in the base Cooper, and a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 189 horsepower and 206 pound-feet of torque (221 pound-feet with overboost) in the Cooper S model you see here.
Six-speed manual and automatic transmissions will be on offer. Further down the track, expect a high-performance John Cooper Works variant with more than 200 horsepower on tap.
Buyers also enjoy new safety features across the third-generation MINI family. These include a head-up display, collision and pedestrian warning systems, a parking assistant and even a speed limit information system.