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BMW’s new Mini Cooper gets bigger, faster and smarter

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Published : 2014-04-10 20:42
Updated : 2014-04-10 20:42

The German luxury carmaker BMW unveiled a bigger, faster and more high-tech version of its iconic Mini hatchback in Korea on Thursday.

BMW Korea’s chief executive Kim Hyo-joon said he hoped to sell more than 4,000 units of the third-generation Mini this year.

“We have already received more than 700 preorders. The issue is securing more cars to sell,” he said at the car’s launching event held in Paju, Gyeonggi Province. 
BMW Korea chief executive Kim Hyo-joon (center) and models pose next to BMW’s new third-generation Mini Cooper at a launch in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, Thursday. The local price is set at 29.9 million won ($28,700) for the new Mini Cooper, 37.2 million won for the premium option and 42.4 million won for the Cooper S. (BMW Korea)

With the new Mini, the best-selling foreign car brand in Korea is expected to maintain its leadership in the lucrative high-end compact car market here.

The new generation comes with a completely new engine and chassis technology, while staying unmistakably true to the car’s design tradition.

The car features a new grille, LEDs for the front lights, a windshield at a sharper angle and a lower rear bumper, compared with the outgoing second-generation that was launched in 2007.

Three new three- or four-cylinder gasoline engine models ― the Mini Cooper, Cooper High Trim and Cooper S ― are available in Korea, while the diesel versions will hit the market later this year.

The carmaker also made a big leap in the small car segment by allowing mobile devices and apps based on Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS to integrate with the Mini Connected, its version of BMW’s iDrive multimedia navigation and entertainment system.

Considering the planned reduction of tariffs in July, prices range from 29.9 million won ($28,700) for the 136-horsepower basic model to 42.4 million won for the Cooper S with 192 horsepower.

Based on the strong sales of the new Mini, the chief of BMW Korea predicted double-digit growth in car sales to repeat this year. The carmaker posted record sales of 33,400 vehicles in 2013.

By Lee Ji-yoon (jylee@heraldcorp.com)

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