At MINI we have always been about using less. And not because it?s topical. Or fashionable. Or because everyone else is doing it. We were small when everyone else was going big. We were fuel-efficient before anyone else was thinking about it. And as we move forward we will continue to lead the way in trying to reduce our impact without sacrificing the very things that make a MINI a MINI.
Thanks to the wide range of innovative technologies that are incorporated into our engines, MINIs deliver more horsepower while using less fuel. This means they?re more fuel efficient, but no less fun. What?s our secret? Just click the green squares to learn more.
SWITCHABLE WATER PUMP
Like many of the advanced technologies in MINIs, the Switchable Water Pump only kicks into action when needed, thereby conserving energy. Since the incredibly efficient design uses a mechanical ?clutch? system that engages or disengages as needed, the need to constantly draw on the car?s electrical system is eliminated.
VOLUME FLOW REGULATED OIL PUMP
Typically, a vehicle?s oil pump is continuously drawing engine power (and thereby fuel) to operate. But instead of using a fixed-output pump, the MINI's intelligent variable-output design is making constant adjustments. So it provides different amounts of oil based on engine load and operating speed, helping deliver a virtually perfect balance between effective engine lubrication and power output.
By using incredibly sophisticated bearing designs and a controlled lubrication system, every moving part in a MINI's engine and transaxle is optimized for reduced friction. The result? Less wasted energy and less fuel consumed.
The more gears you have at your disposal, the easier it is to find your engine?s sweet spot for maximum efficiency, fuel economy and, of course, lively performance. That?s why, even though it?s a feature usually only found on more expensive vehicles (especially on automatic transmissions), all MINIs offer a full six speeds for optimized motoring.
TWIN-SCROLL TURBO WITH DIRECT FUEL INJECTION
Thanks to the relatively rare use of precise direct fuel injection, our twin-scroll turbo engines* deliver the best of both worlds: heart-stopping, rapid turbo response hand-in-hand with heart-warming, fuel-saving efficiency. By perfecting the marriage between these two high-performance technologies, these sophisticated power-plants are able to deliver torque peaks at engine speeds as low as 1,600 rpm along with fire-breathing exhilaration at full turbo-boost. All the while getting an amazing 34 MPG** on the highway (manual).
*Twin-scroll turbo-charged engines come standard with all MINI Cooper S Hardtop and MINI Cooper S Clubman and John Cooper Works models.
** EPA estimate. Actual mileage will vary with options, driving conditions, driving habits and vehicle operation. MINI Cooper S Hardtop and Clubman model with manual transmissions get 34/26/29 MPG Highway/City/Combined.
ELECTRONIC THROTTLE / E-GAS
Replacing the conventional mechanical connection to the engine?s throttle valve, all MINIs deploy a cable-free, fully electronic system (often referred to as ?E-gas?) that connects the gas pedal to the central computer that controls all engine functions. This Engine Control Unit (ECU) then determines the most efficient fuel and air supply for the current motoring conditions.
The benefits of E-gas are subtle, but significant. The system constantly calculates and controls the optimum fuel quantity for maximum power and efficiency. And while drivers hardly notice this process, they will thankfully notice the very fine control they have over the engine, in particular when driving slowly or in stop-and-go traffic.
FULLY VARIABLE VALVE TIMING + VALVETRONIC
As any top athlete will tell you, one of the secrets to peak performance lies in finding the proper breathing patterns. That?s why we?ve made sure MINIs* get their aspiration just right with engines that use a Fully Variable Valve Timing system. This advanced feature constantly measures the pressure on the accelerator and then precisely regulates the valve timing to maximize air flowing into the engine?s cylinders at various engine speeds, thereby improving combustion efficiency and reducing fuel consumption.
The ingenious Valvetronic system is critical to pulling off this trick. By replacing the traditional function of the throttle with this incredible technology, your MINI?s engine avoids inefficient air-flow and ?pumping losses? during gentle driving conditions. But mash the accelerator and the nimble system immediately opens the valves fully, delivering all the fire-breathing power you need. So by getting rid of the throttle (Diesel engines don?t have throttles either, which is one of the reasons they?re so fuel efficient) while simultaneously delivering rapid engine response, your MINI is able to provide an incredibly exhilarating ride and still get great gas mileage.
*Fully Variable Valve Timing and Valvetronic features are not available on MINI Convertible. Valvetronic on Cooper Hardtop and Cooper Clubman models only. Fully variable valve timing for intake valves only on Cooper S Hardtop and Cooper S Clubman.
ELECTRIC POWER ASSISTED STEERING
The Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) is a steering system that knows when it?s wanted ? and when it?s not. By adjusting the degree of assistance to the car?s speed and situation, it helps provide superior control and driving feedback to the driver.
Unlike hydraulic power steering, EPAS isn?t an always-on system. Instead, it only comes in when you actually need it ? such as during low-speed maneuvers. As your speed increases, the degree of assistance reduces automatically and the steering becomes gradually firmer. This ensures the steering system helps to keep fuel consumption down and operating efficiency up.
Please note: The MINI Convertible does not have EPAS, but uses an Electro-Hydraulic Power Assisted Steering system.
MINIs do whatever they can to stay as lean as possible: from the use of advanced lightweight steels and aluminum alloys to an electronics architecture that relies on streamlined fiber optics instead of the typical, but heavier, array of traditional cables. And by eliminating unnecessary poundage, both fuel economy and performance get a boost without compromising on safety.
ALUMINUM CONTROL ARMS
Racing engineers have been using them for years. So it should come as no surprise that MINIs eke out every ounce of performance and efficiency they can by deploying lightweight, forged aluminum alloy suspension components. By reducing the unsprung weight of the control arms as much as possible, we get a nice double-shot of improved handling and reduced fuel consumption.
ALUMINUM ALLOY ENGINES
The engine block and cylinder head of every 2009 MINI is built with an ultra-lightweight aluminum alloy. On top of reducing the vehicle's overall weight, the aluminum alloy delivers greater thermal efficiency for engine cooling. This, in turn, enables less wasteful combustion inside the cylinders for improved performance and fuel economy.
UNDERBODY AERODYNAMIC PANEL
To prevent turbulent air from creating aerodynamic drag, a flat under panel is deployed under the engine bay of every MINI. It?s a feature rarely seen on vehicles as affordable as a MINI, but by going the extra mile to minimize wind resistance (or ?drag?) wherever we can, MINIs are able to reduce their overall fuel consumption.
At MINI, we believe in reincarnation. At least for the materials used to build our cars. In practice, this means making sure the parts that are candidates for recycling are easily identifiable. For example, some components are simply stamped with the recyclable logo, while all aluminum components are left unpainted or ?raw? and any High Density Poly Ethylene parts, such as the fuel tank, are produced in only one color ? black.
BORN OUT OF AN OIL CRISIS
The year was 1957, and in post-World War II England the Suez Canal Crisis had sent fuel prices soaring, leading many to start wondering if the large, gas-guzzling vehicles of the day made much sense. So Sir Leonard Lord of the Morris Company issued his top engineer, Alec lssigonis, a challenge: design and build a small, fuel-efficient car capable of carrying four adults, within economic reach of just about anyone. And though no one could have known it at the time, this challenge to find the perfect balance of fuel efficiency, functionality and fun wound up being the inspiration for an automotive and cultural icon: the Classic Mini.