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MINI details next-gen Cooper [Update]

The next Cooper will pack several new three- and four-cylinder engines.

BMW's MINI division has published the first official technical details about the next generation of the Cooper hatchback that will bow at simultaneous events held in Los Angeles, Tokyo and Oxford, England, on November 18th.

In Europe, the entry-level Cooper will be powered by a new 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine developed in-house to power a wide range of upcoming products. Under the hood of the MINI it will generate 138 horsepower and 163 lb-ft. of torque from just 1,250 rpms while an overboost function will bump torque up to 170 lb-ft. for short bursts of time.

The next engine up will be a new four-cylinder rated at 195 horsepower and 206 lb-ft. of torque, though the aforementioned overboost function will briefly push that figure up to 221 in order to give the hatchback an acceleration boost. The four-banger is equipped with direct fuel-injection and engineers have installed the turbocharger directly in the exhaust manifold in order to eliminate turbo lag.

Buyers who prefer oil-burners will have access to a 1.5-liter three-cylinder turbodiesel that makes 116 horsepower and 199 lb-ft. of torque. It will be seven percent more efficient than its predecessor, meaning that it should return about 55 mpg in a mixed European cycle. BMW has not announced whether or not the diesel will make its way to the United States.

All engines will send power to the front wheels via newly-designed manual and automatic transmissions.

The entry-level MINI One and the range-topping John Cooper Works model have not been detailed yet, but rumors indicate the JCW could boast as much as 300 horsepower in its most powerful tune.

Lighter platform, more tech

The upcoming MINI will ride on the UKL1 platform that will also underpin the next BMW 1-Series and production variant of the Mercedes B-Class-fighting Concept Active Tourer. Although the car will be larger in all directions than the current MINI, it will be considerably lighter thanks to the widespread use of high-strength steel.

Most trim levels will come standard with an electronically-adjustable suspension that will provide two driving modes that MINI bills as "emphatically sporty" and "balanced and comfortable." All models will feature an electric power steering system.

On the safety front, the next MINI will boast an active hood that will instantly raise to create a crumple zone in the event of a collision between a pedestrian at speeds between 12 and 34 mph.

Full details about the U.S.-spec third-gen MINI and official images will emerge in the weeks leading up to its debut.

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