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The Best Vehicles From Mini in 2020

Reviewing the 2020 Mini Lineup

The Mini nameplate first saw the light of day in 1959 when the British Motor Corporation’s 2-door small car aptly named Mini made its debut. The original Mini would remain in production until 2000 and go through seven generations all based on the original and timeless design while seeing ownership of the company change hands more times than we can count. Today, the Mini company is a BMW subsidiary which has been producing a modern variation of the original car since 2001. But what about the future and 2020 Mini lineup?

For starters, let’s crunch the company’s sales figures in order to grasp the current situation within the brand. The company is currently selling around 360,000 cars per year around the globe. The exact figure for 2018 was 361,531 units which is a slight 2.8 percent drop compared to 2017 when the BMW-owned British brand recorded its all-time global high of 371,881 sold vehicles.

On a more localized scale, the U.S. market stands out as one of Mini’s most important single markets with 43,684 sold cars in 2018. It’s, however, worth noting that the U.S. market hasn’t exactly been kind toward the brand considering how sales have been dropping consistently since 2012 and 2013 when Mini had recorded its highest sales figures of more than 66,000 units. It’s also a 7.25 percent drop compared to 2017 when exactly 47,102 Minis had found their new homes across the states.

As for the future of the brand, it’s all about retaining the timeless class of the old Mini design while adopting contemporary technologies at the same time. Needless to say, the electrification process is well underway – in both the parent company and all of BMW’s subsidiaries including Mini. The Mini Countryman plug-in hybrid is already available across the world and the all-new Mini Electric is on its way. Furthermore, the company doesn’t want to fall behind in the horsepower wars, hence the most powerful to date Mini John Cooper Works GP is scheduled to make its debut for MY 2020.

This is, without a doubt, an exciting period for the company and here’s what they have in store for us in 2020. The 2020 BMW lineup might also pique your interest.

What’s Hot in the New 2020 Mini Lineup

04. 2020 John Cooper Works GP

The all-new Mini JCW GP is by far the fastest and most powerful Mini ever created thanks to a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine which is capable of putting up as much as 301 horsepower and 331 pound-feet of torque. This is more than twice the output of the entry-level models and around 30 percent increase over the conventional John Cooper Works-tuned Mini’s ratings. For comparison, the previous-generation JCW GP made only 215 horsepower, but that was back in 2013.

The old JCW GP was limited to only 2,000 units, and the new edition will be another limited-run model. This time, however, the Brits will make 3,000 of their hottest hot hatches.

The new John Cooper Works GP will be more than just a regular Mini with a beefed up powertrain, though. Drawing inspiration from the namesake concept car presented at the 2017 Frankfurt Auto Show, the production-ready version also incorporates the concept’s roof-mounted two-piece wing and sports much more pronounced wheel arches and bumpers than those of conventional models.

The new car also sports a specially tuned suspension that was developed on several tracks around the world. Finally, extensive use of lightweight materials helps the final product shave just enough weight to give it an edge over its future rivals. The front-wheel drive hot hatch thus gallops to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds.

The British were coy on 2020 Mini John Cooper Works GP’s pricing for a long time but considering we now know it starts from $44,900, it’s officially one of the most expensive Mini model to date, as well as being the most powerful. Due to its universal appeal and small batch, the JCW GP is expected to be sold out prior to reaching dealerships, so it doesn’t really matter how much it’ll cost anyway. It will reach the dealers in March of 2020 after making its debut at the 2019 Los Angeles auto show.

2020 Mini John Cooper Works GP prototype

 

03. 2020 Cooper S E

Considering the Mini Electric concept car made its first appearance alongside the above mentioned JCW GP concept, in Frankfurt, it’s only fitting for them to hit the dealers together as well. This too will happen in March, 2020. Meanwhile, the EV has already been unveiled in Europe and has already received 45,000 reservations in Germany.

The electric Mini’s full moniker is the Mini Cooper S E which means the EV slots in the middle of the Mini range, performance-wise. It also incorporates some of the concept’s solutions when it comes to appearance. A special frontal fascia and unique color arrangements instantly come to mind, together with uniquely styled wheels.

The Mini EV sports a more contemporary interior with a screen instead of the traditional gauge cluster and optional carbon fiber trim pieces. As far its price tag goes, the electric Mini starts from around $30,750. Of course, that’s the price before the federal tax credit and state incentives which should translate to an affordable package in the end.

The Mini Cooper S E shares its powertrain with the BMW i3 which doesn’t really come as a surprise considering they’re both built by the same group and are of roughly similar size.

The i3’s electric motor puts up 181 horsepower and 199 lb-ft of torque which is just shy of turbocharged Mini Cooper S’ 189 ponies, but fits the picture just fine regardless. The British are saying the Mini EV will be able to provide either 146 or 168 miles of range on a single charge according to the new European WLTP cycle but the EPA will apparently certify it to 114 miles at the lower end of the scale.

As of 2019, the BMW’s take on the city EV sports a 42.2-kWh pack which is capable of providing around 150 miles of range. However, Mini utilizes a smaller 32.6-kWh unit, 80 percent of which can be filled within 35 minutes by using 50 kW fast charging.

All-electric Mini Cooper SE

 

02. 2020 Clubman

The second largest of all Mini models offers seating for five and some extra space for their cargo. The Clubman has also undergone through a mid-cycle update that brings it closer to the basic Hardtop and Convertible iterations which have undergone the facelift process earlier.

The revised Clubman for MY 2020 thus sports a new, more streamlined Mini logo, a new frontal fascia, and also new Union Jack-styled tail-lights. The interior remains mostly the same, but prices for all Mini models have increased across the board. What’s more, the base Clubman models have been dropped, leaving the S and JCW models as only choices. They now require either $32,000 or $40,000 respectively.

Apart from the fact the Mini Clubman might become the new king of the lineup in the light of all-new JCW GP, there aren’t too many changes when it comes to supermini’s powertrain department. The Cooper S makes 189 ponies thanks to a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, while the current range-topper now generates more than 300 horsepower.

All models are now standard with an 8-speed automatic gearbox, while a 6-speed manual from previous years is gone. It’s still unclear whether the relatively new plug-in hybrid system is going to migrate from the bigger Countryman but I expect we’ll find out soon enough. Moreover, that wouldn’t exactly come as a surprise considering how the British company aims to provide as many electrified models as possible.

2020 Mini Clubman front 3/4 view

01. 2020 Countryman

Of all the Mini cars on the market, it’s the larger and higher Countryman that probably stands out from the crowd the most. The $29,250 supemini crossover is actually based on the BMW X1 which starts from $36,000.

Although more affordable than its BMW stablemate, the Mini Countryman isn’t exactly a luxury car and there are many more affordable alternatives out there. As an in-betweener, the Countryman needs to offer a clear value for money package to its prospective new owners and classic Mini styling simply isn’t enough here.

The Countryman does provide a more upscale interior than its more affordable counterparts, however, and it still rides like a Mini which is fun. Other than that, however, there isn’t much the Countryman can do that its competitors aren’t able to replicate.

Like most Minis, the Countryman offers both front and all-wheel-drive configurations and three distinctive sets of tunes across two different engines. The base Countryman uses a 1.5L turbo four mill that’s good enough for 134 horsepower and 163 pound-feet of torque.

The Cooper S Countryman ups the ante to 189 ponies and 207 pound-feet of twist thanks to a larger 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder which is the same engine found in the range-topping John Cooper Works models. The ultimate Countryman, however, provides 301 horsepower and 331 lb-ft of rotational force.

The Mini Countryman lineup is also the first Mini range to offer a plug-in hybrid setup, but that powertrain doesn’t have any real advantages over the others as you’ll find out in the “uncool” section of this list.

Mini Countryman front 3/4 view

 

What’s Not in the New 2020 Mini Lineup

02. 2020 Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 Plug-in Hybrid

The only Mini hybrid model prior to the Cooper S E’s arrival is absolutely baffling, to say the least. With prices starting from north of $38,000 for the base model, $40,000 for the mid-range Signature grade, and $45,000 for the top-tier Iconic trim, the plug-in hybrid version of the Mini Countryman is considerably more expensive than the conventional models.

To top it all off, there really are no significant fuel efficiency gains considering it offers 34 miles of all-electric range (up 30 percent since last year) and up to 65 MPGe according to the EPA. As if the EPA figures weren’t low enough, the real world numbers will be much lower – especially in colder climate regions or when driven by a heavy-footed driver.

Even the plug-in hybrid Countryman’s incentives are $4,000 at most, but it has to be noted that they’re generally better-equipped than their non-hybrid counterparts. That way, buying a hybrid can still be a shrewd piece of business if your alternative is an upper-range Countryman with all-wheel-drive and a full selection of available gear.

The Mini Cooper S E Countryman hybrid pairs a conventional 134-horsepower 1.5L turbo four-engine with an 87-horsepower permanent-magnet synchronous AC motor and a 10-kWh lithium-ion battery pack (up from 7.6-kWh in 2019) for a combined output of 221 hp and 284 lb-ft of torque.

It’s paired with a 6-speed Steptronic automatic gearbox and boasts a permanent ALL4 all-wheel-drive system which charges the petrol engine with spinning the front wheels while an electric motor powers the rear ones.

Taking into account the combined power of the hybrid powertrain, it was for a while actually the second most powerful Mini currently available – just behind the JCW models. Of course, the JCW GP and all-electric Minis have taken care of that. What’s more, the plug-in hybrid isn’t the most enjoyable-to-drive Mini despite its high power output, as the conventional Cooper S Countryman with a larger turbo engine feels much more adequate.

Mini Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 front 3/4 view

 

01. 2020 Hardtop 2-Door, Hardtop 4-Door, and Convertible

The current-generation of the base two-door Mini hatchback was introduced for MY 2014 with the 4-door variant following in 2015 and 2-door convertible rounding off the lineup in 2016. After a recent facelift in 2018, the original Mini range is now all set to soldier on until the next-generation arrives.

Needless to say, the slowly aging Mini does suffer from a number of different issues including cramped interior and deficiency of cargo space, lack of some advanced features, and a comparably high price for its segment.

We do know that it’s part of the BMW group, but the Mini marque is definitely not as premium as they’d like us to believe. The base 2-door Hardtop starts from north of $24,000, while the 4-door version commands an additional $1,000. Finally, in order to get the ability to drop your Mini’s top, you’ll have to provide more than $29,000.

The good thing about the more conventional Minis is – most of them come with all three conventional internal combustion engine variations. All besides the 4-door hatch, however, which misses out on the most powerful John Cooper Works tune which used to raise 228 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of rotational force but provides much more as of 2020.

The entry-level 1.5L turbo four, as you know, makes only 134 ponies, but provides an ample 162 lb-ft of torque which is more than enough for a vehicle of its size and weight. The mid-range Cooper S trim is arguably the most interesting and definitely the most balanced option in the Mini lineup thanks to a 2.0L turbo four that cranks up 189 horses and 207 lb-ft of twist.

Every new upper-end Mini is now standard with an 8-speed automatic gearbox. The entry-level models do offer a 6-speed auto instead, but that probably won’t last for long.

 

Mini Convertible front 3/4 view







Nikola Potrebić
About Nikola Potrebić

Despite driving a piece of junk, Nikola still manages to survive the harrowing experience called "A road trip in a Yugo," day in, day out. On the other hand, precious few things move him as muscle cars do. Especially those from the bygone golden era, which makes him wonder why wasn't he born a few decades earlier? Well, at least he's been given the opportunity to enjoy the likes of the Pontiak Aztek, Chrysler PT Cruiser, Fiat Multipla, and other lovely millennials, right? Come to think of it, I'll stick with my Yugo. Thank you very much!