ah! reports
Menu home ah! club events reports photos shops goodies links
reports
reports menu
Date: 18 June 2003

The New Diesel MINI - Press Kit

by BMW Press Club

MINI One DLightweight Engine, Heavyweight performance

The compact four-cylinder engine is based on a Toyota development but has been further engineered by the BMW Group especially for use in the MINI One D.

This powerful 1.4 litre direct-injection diesel engine with second-generation common rail technology, turbocharger and intercooler achieves a maximum power output of 75 bhp at 4000 rpm. Its impressive maximum torque of 180 Nm is developed at just 2,000 rpm. This gives punchy acceleration and minimises the number of gear changes making it especially good for around town driving.

Top speed is 103 mph and 0-62 mph is reached in 13.8 seconds. Acceleration from 50-75 mph in fourth gear takes 12.3 seconds.

With a bore of 73 millimetres and piston stroke of 81.5 millimetres, engine displacement is 1364 cc. The compression ratio 18.5:1. The crankcase and cylinder head are made of aluminium giving the MINI One D a very respectable unladen weight of just 1175 kilos.

The MINI One D engine has four lightweight pistons that run in wear-proof cylinder liners made of grey cast-iron. The four valves per cylinder are operated by followers running on an overhead camshaft that controls the charge cycle. The camshaft is driven by the crankshaft via a maintenance-free timing chain.

Two independent poly-V-belts drive the servo pump on the hydraulic power steering and the ancillaries such as the alternator, water pump and air conditioning compressor. The damper at the front end of the crankshaft serves to absorb the inherent, characteristic vibrations and minimise the transmission of vibrations to the belt drive. The two mass flywheel acts very efficiently at damping typical diesel vibrations at low engine speed. This level of technology is usually only found in more powerful engines and rarely in small cars.

Diesel is not a dirty word

MINI One DSecond-generation common rail diesel technology incorporates intelligent-computer controlled fuel injection, feeding fuel at exactly the right time and under extremely high pressure directly into the combustion chambers. Serving as a pressure reservoir, the common rail supplies fuel to the injection jets, a high performance pump which makes sure that the fuel in the pressure reservoir remains under high pressure at up to 1600 bar (first generation was only 1,350 bar). This high pressure serves to atomise the fuel into extremely fine particles, ensuring a clean combustion process free of any residues.

Electronic engine management controls the timing and duration of both the pilot and main injection process. With the pilot injection feeding a small amount of fuel into the combustion chambers prior to the main injection, the fuel/air mix burns more smoothly than with a conventional diesel engine. The smoother rise of pressure in the combustion chambers helps to keep the combustion process noise down to a minimum and also sees a reduction in emissions.

As a result of this advanced technology and the oxidation catalytic converter, the MINI One D outperforms the EU 3 emission standard. The MINI One D is also capable of running in sulphur-free fuel enabling further reduction of soot particle formation.

Under pressure

The turbocharger in the MINI One D has been selected to provide the very best in power and life of service.

Compression of fresh air drawn into the engine increases output significantly: the higher the pressure at which the fresh air is compressed in the cylinders, the higher the output developed by the engine and the thermal and mechanical loads acting on the drive system.

The compressor runs at speeds of up to 225,000 rpm in order to compress the fresh air to an overpressure of 1.2 bar. A side effect of compressing air in the turbocharger is that it warms up and as a result expands, reducing the efficiency of combustion. To combat this problem, the intercooler cools the air before it reaches the combustion chamber, making it denser and therefore richer in oxygen. As a result it is more combustible and increases performance whilst reducing consumption. The intercooler is fitted next to the engine radiator and takes its supply of fresh air through the radiator three bar front grille.

Raring to go

The turbocharger breathes life into the MINI One D engine with instant effect ensuring that there is no delay in the power reaching the driver. The engine is able to build up two thirds of it’s maximum torque (120 Nm) at 1500 rpm peaking at 180 Nm at 2000 rpm, which allows the same sort of sporty driving usually associated with petrol models. The engine’s smooth delivery of power and quick response is ensured by the electrical transmission of signals from the gas pedal to the power unit (ie. electronic throttle). Maximum output of 75 bhp is reached at 4000 rpm.

The addition of ASC+T as standard on the MINI One D ensures that the power is transferred safely to the road, especially in slippery conditions. Optional Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) increases safety to an even higher standard by applying the individual wheel brakes as required if the vehicle becomes unstable whilst accelerating or when pushing through a sharp bend.

Even on chilly days the MINI One D will be raring to go thanks to its quick start pre-heater system. When temperatures drop really low, the MINI One D refuses to be beaten – an additional electrical heater ensures the warmth and comfort of the passengers inside.

Quietly does it

MINI One DThe MINI One D may attract attention from passers by but it certainly won’t be due to the noise it makes. In fact, it is almost impossible to distinguish from inside the cabin of the car whether the car is petrol or diesel. This achievement is due in the main part to the two-phase injection process that keeps the combustion process smooth and discreet. Noise is further reduced by sound deadening materials in the engine compartment.

An economic miracle

Depending on driving style, the MINI One D is able to cover over 600 miles on just one 50 litre tank of fuel, the equivalent of driving from the Isle of Skye to the Isle of Wight. Average fuel consumption in the combined cycle is 58.9 mpg with a CO2 emission of 129 g/km. In urban traffic the MINI One D records 48.7 mpg and in extra urban conditions 65.7 mpg. These figures prove the MINI One D can stand tall amongst in its peer group and also makes it the most fuel efficient car to be built by the BMW Group.

The extension of the first oil service interval to 15,000 miles (only 10,000 miles on petrol models) is also reason for applause. This has been made possible by the use of high performance oil and an oil level sensor that consistently monitors the amount of oil in the sump. In addition, the MINI One D has an oil/water heat exchanger that maintains well-balanced thermal conditions to prevent the engine oil from ageing prematurely.

Six of the best

MINI One D

The six-speed gearbox featured on the top of the range MINI Cooper S has been matched to the character and features of the MINI One D’s engine to produce optimum levels of performance and economy. The torque curve follows a smooth and muscular line but the close transmission ratios give it real agility when required. The sixth gear is effectively an overdrive gear, so that after the car has accelerated through the other five gears it can cruise along quietly, economically and comfortably. As with all other MINIs, the gearbox follows a direct short-shifting pattern, integral to the car’s performance.

Fitting the ‘box’ was an engineering challenge due to the relative lack of space available beneath the engine, so the engineers selected a sophisticated space-saving transmission featuring three shafts. The smooth, quick and precise gear changes are produced by an equally sophisticated dual cone gearshift control where the shifts are transmitted to the gearbox via Bowden cables.

MINI One D – latest advances in diesel technology at a glance

  • Four-cylinder diesel engine with injection for most efficient use of fuel.
  • 100 per cent aluminium construction, reducing weight and ensuring optimum front axle loading.
  • One of few diesels in its class to use second-generation common rail injection system (from Bosch). The second-generation system injects the fuel at a significantly higher pressure (1600 bars compared to 1350 bars with the first generation systems), and with up to four injections, combustion is quieter, cleaner and more efficient plus performance is improved.
  • Turbocharger intercooled for more efficient use of the fuel’s latent energy.
  • Dual mass flywheel in the transmission prevents engine vibrations being transmitted to the cabin, especially at the low revs at which diesel engines often operate.
  • The oxidation catalytic converter built into the exhaust system means the car complies with the environmentally friendly EU 3 emission standard.
  • Low-maintenance camshaft drive.
  • Low-maintenance Poly-V belt drive.
  • Oil/water heat exchanger.
  • Oil change interval up to 15,000 miles (according to driving style and service interval display).

A diesel that feels like a go-kart

MINI One DSir Alec Issigonis’s revolutionary concept – a wheel-at-each corner, low centre of gravity, wide track and long wheelbase are the vital ingredients for the driving dynamics of all MINIs. The MINI One D is no exception.

With the MINI One D weighting only slightly more than the MINI One the engineers were able to use the chassis and suspension from the MINI One without any modifications.

The chassis and suspension system used is similar to that of the current BMW 3 Series and is crucial to the car’s agility, excellent handling and neutral behaviour as it ensures the wheels remain at the optimum angle on the road at all times, irrespective of road conditions. The axle space is efficient, optimising the available depth and width of the boot.

The drivetrain has been strengthened with an additional driveshaft bearing bolted on the engine block. This is also of benefit to the driver as it results in axle shafts of equal length (rare in the small car market) providing symmetrical feedback to the driver when cornering and perfect, natural drivetrain balance.

The rack-and-pinion steering requires only 2.5 turns from lock to lock. It is particularly responsive to driver input and offers excellent feedback through the steering wheel. Reduced engine space means that the power steering assistance on the MINI One D is provided by an electric pump driven by the engine via a poly-V-belt. On all other MINIs an electric motor drives the hydraulic pump rather than the engine.

Looks that still turn heads

Although the MINI is now in its third year of production it still looks as fresh as the day it was born. It’s the only small car that looks as comfortable parked in the VIP area at a premiership football club as it does in a supermarket car park.

The MINI One D can be easily spotted by the ‘D’ model designation on its rear. Other giveaways are the larger air grille in the front bumper to allow more air into the intercooler, side sills borrowed from the MINI Cooper S to assist with aerodynamics and a covered tailpipe. The headlights, rear lights and radiator grille all feature chrome surrounds.

The new MINI One D comes in ten colours in total. New this year is Solid Gold metallic. Other colours are Liquid Yellow, Black, Chilli Red and Pepper White (non metallic) and Pure Silver, Indi Blue, British Racing Green, Velvet Red and Cosmos Black (metallic). Like the MINI One, the bumpers and the roof are finished in the body colour.

Surrounded by glass: The use of glass is integral in MINI’s design.

The car’s B- and C-pillars are behind glass – a design reference taken from architecture where support structures are hidden behind glass panels. This creates a distinctive glazed, layered surround to MINI’s body and makes the car look lower than its actual height. A-pillars are also hidden behind a glass-like black trim panel to maintain the effect. Glass was not an option as the curvature required was impossible to achieve.

Impressively heavy doors open to 80 degrees allowing easy access to the rear. They also house frameless windows, which drop and lift automatically when the door is opened and closed, sealing occupants against noise and moisture.

Tinted glass on all windows helps to reduce light intensity inside the car and keeps temperatures low. This is ideal for occupant comfort, but the low internal temperatures also mean that bonded windows can be fitted in the rear, which contribute to MINI’s incredible stiffness.

The rear window is electrically heated as standard and comes with a window wiper that incorporates a washer jet. At the front, an electrically heated windscreen with rain sensor will be available as an option. The optional electric panoramic sunroof opens almost 1.5 times the size of a conventional sunroof with a back section of solid glass fixed in position creating a spacious atmosphere inside the car.

MINI 15 AlloysWheels and tyres round off the profile

15 inch steel hub caps are fitted as standard on the MINI One D, however the sky is the limit as far as wheels are concerned – even 18˝ alloy wheels are available should the customer desire them.

Quality from the inside out

Build quality and design are just as important inside the MINI One D as they are on the outside.

The classic MINI cues are all there, the centrally mounted speedo dominates the dashboard, the low-slung seats suggest excitement and the chunky steering wheel gives a sense of the gutsy drive to come.

In standard trim the dashboard, centre console and parts of the door panels are finished in anthracite. The interior is also optionally available in silver, aluminium look and new for this year a wood effect trim. The MINI One D benefits from the inclusion of an outside temperature gauge integrated in the rev counter.

Just like the MINI One, ten different upholstery trims are available which include five cloth options, two cloth/ leather and three full leather choices. The MINI One D has cloth AQUA fitted as standard.

The driver’s seat is height adjustable (an option for front passengers) and lumbar support comes as part of the cloth/leather or leather seat options. Two-stage seat heating is also available as an option on driver and front passenger seats.

Dial-a-MINI: MINI’s instrument panel with its large, central speedometer is a proud throwback to the car’s heritage.

The speedo also houses the fuel tank and engine temperature gauges, the service interval indicator and tyre pressure indicator. It is edged in a silver frame and fronted with non-reflecting glass.

The standard rev counter sits in front of the driver on the steering column – a clear reminder that driving enjoyment isn’t all about top speed, but also well-timed gear shifts and power availability.

If the optional navigation system is ordered, the speedo moves next to the rev counter, with the satellite navigation display taking its place in the central dial. The height-adjustable steering wheel has a multifunction option giving direct operation of the stereo system and the cruise control.

Fingertip control: A trim strip below the dash houses up to six toggle switches that are another modern interpretation of a classic Mini design.

The designers could have elected to use cheaper push buttons for the functions (electric windows, front and the rear fog lights, ASC+T/ DSC, central locking), but toggles offer a more practical and emotive quality. Above the toggles, the central dash houses the controls for the stereo system, air re-circulation, heated rear window, windscreen blower switch plus air conditioning and heated windscreen switches when either are specified. An LED display indicates temperature and blower power.

MINI One D

On the floor panel between the driver and front passenger are a lighter, cupholder and an ashtray. To the rear are control switches for the side mirrors, heated seat switches (when ordered) and the reset button for the tyre pressure indicator. A further cupholder is also integrated into the unit for the rear passengers.

Fasten your four seat belts: MINI One D is economy conscious and a practical four-seater.

Doors offer easy access to the rear with an innovative front seat tilting mechanism that also slides the seat forward in one movement. The seats’ memory function returns the backrest and cushion to the starting position when the squab is pushed back.

Headroom, front and back, is impressive with comfortable bucket rear seats able to park two adults with ease. Rear armrests are integrated in the side trim and rear seats also incorporate three-point seat belts and adjustable headrests. ISOFIX child seat fittings are also available as an option.

The rear seats can be split 50:50 and fold forward almost horizontally with easy-to-use latches accessed from the boot. All MINIs are able to carry a maximum load of 430 kilos (948 lb) and the total loading capacity with seats folded is a highly practical 670 litres. With both seats up, MINI’s boot offers 150 litres of space.

The MINI One D can also be fitted with a towbar with an unbraked towing capacity of 500 kilos (1100lbs). With brakes, the trailer towing load can be increased to 650 kilos (1435lbs).

Electric Avenue

Behind the scenes, MINI One D incorporates electronics that set new standards in the small car market.

MINI’s electronics system uses the same wires and cables for different functions (rather than the norm of one wire/cable per function) with the various electronic tasks shared out among two primary units: the CAN bus system and the K bus system. CAN bus connects the engine management, brakes, electronic driver aids, transmission and the instruments. K bus is responsible for body electrics and electronics such as the interior lights, air conditioning, doors and windows.

Integration of these sub-systems and data transfer from one system to the other offers advantages over conventional electrical systems. Its double circuit reduces the required number of wires, cables and connectors, making the system very reliable and simplifying assembly. Weight is also reduced and it is easier to integrate electronic options.

Let there be light: MINI’s elliptical halogen headlights feature an innovative reflector system.

Three beams are produced from two bulbs in MINI’s headlights with the inclusion of a patented reflector, generating up to 25 per cent more light intensity than the power of the two bulbs combined. The headlights are incorporated into the unique one-piece clamshell bonnet, which required innovative engineering processes to manufacture.

Options include Xenon lights that feature an auto-levelling function, halogen fog lamps, a headlight washing system and heated washer jets and wing mirrors.

MINI One D owners will also see the light inside the car. The interior is illuminated by a light in the middle of the roof lining and the boot is also lit. MINI also incorporates a “follow me home” function, which keeps the headlamps on for 30 seconds after the door is closed.

It’s not an easy steal: Remote central locking controls doors, boot and the chrome fuel cap from up to 15 metres and instantly illuminates the interior.

An electronic immobiliser (Thatcham category grade two), activated from the key via a transponder is standard the MINI One D. An optional Thatcham category grade one alarm system is also available – it has its own power supply and is set off immediately upon forced-entry into the car. It also responds to any attempt at lifting up or pushing the car away. Once the alarm is activated, the hazard warning lights and the horn come on for 30 seconds. After this time, a flashing light indicates that the system has been activated.

Sound system MINI: The ICE system (In-Car Entertainment) is tailored to MINI One D’s internal acoustics and dimensions.

The basic audio system features a radio/tape and six loudspeakers – four in the front doors and two in the rear side panels.

Options will include a radio BOOST, single slot CD/radio, single slot Mini Disc/radio and a six CD changer fitted in the boot, with a Harman/Kardon HiFi system the icing on the cake.

Playing it safe

When it comes to safety the MINI philosophy is that a small car can and should act like a big car. The MINI One D proves this is the case.

Active and passive safety are market-leading and include fade free brakes, traction control, electronic brakeforce distribution, optional run-flat tyres, up to six airbags and a stiff bodyshell capable of absorbing impressive levels of crash impact energy.

As on all MINIs, MINI One D is fitted with disc brakes all round (276 x 22 mm at the front and 259 x 10 mm at the rear) – the front discs are vented.

Electronic guardian angels: BMW Group standard electronic brake control and stability systems are invaluable aids to the driver.

Four-sensor ABS, Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), Cornering Brake Control (CBC) and Automatic Stability Control with traction control (ASC+T) are standard and work to keep MINI One D under complete control, whether the road conditions or driving style look like pushing the car past its limits. Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) is also available as an option.

Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) controls the distribution of brake forces between the front and rear wheels. This allows the optimum use of the rear brakes, as it constantly monitors the load on the rear axle. EBD cuts in automatically long before ABS interacts and cannot be deactivated by the driver.

Cornering Brake Control (CBC) prevents the car from becoming unstable when braking through corners. The electronic system detects side slip of the wheels – essentially lateral acceleration – via the ABS sensors if the car becomes unstable. This can occur if the brakes are applied heavily while cornering. The system recognises that the car is cornering and feeds more braking force to the outside front wheel when necessary, reducing the potential of any slide out of the corner.

ASC+T traction control prevents front wheel spin. It uses the ABS sensors to detect any wheel slippage, automatically cutting power to the spinning wheel until it grips again. It can be deactivated by the driver looking to take the car to its limits. ASC+T is standard on MINI One D and an option on MINI One and MINI Cooper.

Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) is available as an option. This is an even more sophisticated control system that prevents the car from oversteering or understeering. It is achieved through automatic brake applications to individual wheels and the momentary cutting of power to the engine.

DSC monitors the ABS speed sensors on the wheels, brake pressure (whether, and how firm, the driver is applying the brakes), the steering wheel lock (to determine the direction the car is travelling) and lateral acceleration acting on the car. It therefore considers both the driver’s intentions and the current motion of the car, sensing whether the vehicle is deviating critically from the expected direction of travel. Individual brake applications and changes in the engine torque then correct any deviation.

DSC counteracts oversteer by applying the brake, or increasing the brake pressure if the driver is already braking, on the outer front wheel. This reduces pressure on the wheels facing the inside of the bend, allowing them to grip and pull the car through the bend.

To counteract understeer, the DSC control unit applies the brake on the inner rear wheel, taking brake pressure off the outer wheels, and pulling the car back into the bend.

Giving the hard shoulder the cold shoulder: MINI is the first car in its segment to offer run flat tyres and a tyre pressure indicator.

These tyres have reinforced side walls and are made from heat-resistant rubber. Functions such as ABS, ASC+T or DSC are not affected if pressure is lost and the driver can therefore continue the journey for up to 80 miles at speeds of up to 50 mph. Even if fully deflated, the tyres can safely run at 30 mph. Run flat tyres are only available on 16 inch wheels and therefore an option on MINI One and MINI One D and MINI Cooper. They are standard on MINI Cooper S. Tyre pressure indicator is standard on all models.

Approximately 80 per cent of all blow-outs can be detected before the tyre bursts, therefore the tyre pressure warning system is an invaluable safety feature, allowing the driver to react to any loss of tyre pressure well before it becomes a danger.

Run flat technology works on the following principle: if there is a loss of air pressure, the rolling radius of the tyre is reduced. As a result, the speed at which this wheel rotates increases. The system measures the number of times the wheel turns via the sensors in the ABS system, carries out a comparison with the diagonally opposite wheel and compares the average speeds. A light then comes on in the speedometer display to tell the driver that the pressure is falling in one of the tyres.

Occupant safety

This not only benefits driving dynamics and internal acoustics, but also occupant safety. Under impact, energy can be absorbed and directed away from the occupants, whilst the body also remains very rigid maintaining its qualities as an effective passenger protection shell.

Comprehensive virtual and real crash tests were carried out to BMW Group exhaustive standards. Impressive impact characteristics are the result of the transverse engine alignment and engineering the front axle to absorb energy from the floorpan. Energy-absorbing zones also prevent footwell intrusion.

Bags of safety: All MINIs come with front and side airbags for driver and front passenger as standard.

An optional head airbag system that extends back from the A- to the C-pillar is also available. All airbags are controlled by a network of crash sensors, ensuring optimum use of the airbags in any specific situation.

The front airbags interact with the seat belt latch tensioners and belt force limiters and inflate according to the severity of an accident, keeping the maximum strain and the risk of injury to a minimum. The head airbag protection system (AHPS = Advanced Head Protection System), when specified, is housed within the roof lining along the side. In the event of a collision the airbag inflates from the A-pillar back to the C-pillar. The tubular structure protects the head effectively from crash forces and objects intruding from the side.

A further standard safety feature is the Safety Battery Terminal Clamp (SBC). The SBC interrupts the flow of electricity between the starter and the battery in a severe impact, reducing the risk of fire.

Getting personal

What makes MINI unique in its class is the opportunity to create a car unlike any other on the road. Virtually all options are available individually rather than in designated combinations – the norm in the small car market. The option and accessories list is extensive ranging from roof decals and bonnet stripes to 18˝ alloy wheels, aerodynamics package and even a roof carrying system.

Safety:

Four disc brakes with ABS (anti-lock brake system), ventilated at front
Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD)
Cornering Brake Control (CBC)
Crash sensor
Two frontal and two side airbags
MINI mobility system (MINI MS)
Tyre pressure indicator
Three point safety belts, pretensioners, belt–force limiters

Exterior:

Automatic rear wash wipe
Chrome door handles
Electrically adjustable exterior mirrors
˝steel wheel with hubcaps
Front and rear bumpers in body colour
Third brake light
Tinted glass

Interior:

Cloth AQUA
Cupholders front and rear
Digital clock in roof lining
Easy entry function
Electric front windows – frameless
50/50 split folding rear seats
Heated rear window with rear window wiper
Height adjustable driver seat
Height adjustable steering column
Power steering
Electronic immobiliser
Radio WAVE (radio/cassette) with six speakers
Remote central locking

Standard equipment over the MINI One is as follows:

Six speed gearbox
Rev Counter with external temperature display
Traction Control (ASC+T)

The ‘Salt’, ‘Pepper’ and ‘Chili’ packs which offer a combination of the most popular options at substantial savings have been a tremendous success. The ‘Salt’ pack will be offered on the MINI One D and includes front foglights, height adjustable passenger seat, interior light package (reading lights, footwell lights and vanity mirrors). The Salt pack will be priced at £250 which is a saving of £220 over purchasing the options individually.

AT home with mini

MINI One DNow sold in over 70 countries worldwide ranging from China to Mexico, all MINIs started life at Plant Oxford. MINI received the prestigious 2003 North American Car of the Year Award making it the first British car, and the first ever small car to win the award confirming MINI’s success as an international player. 75 per cent of MINI production is exported, with the UK remaining the largest market followed by the USA and then Germany.

Since production began in April 2001 over 200,000 MINIs have rolled off the line, 160,000 of these were produced in 2002. Towards the middle of this year MINI will reach the landmark figure of 250,000 cars.

Over 700 new jobs were created at Plant Oxford in 2002 taking the total workforce to 4500. The plant currently works seven days a week on a three-shift system – an early and late shift Monday to Thursday plus a permanent weekend shift to meet with worldwide demand.

Plant Oxford MINI facts:

  • Each MINI contains 2,415 parts and UK suppliers account for 40 per cent of the purchased material value of the MINI.
  • Plant Oxford owns its own railhead and transfers 35 per cent of annual production by rail to the port of Purfleet in Essex saving more than 400,000 truck miles per year.
  • 120 apprentices are employed at Plant Oxford aged between 16 and 21 years and are studying a variety of different subjects at local Oxfordshire/Warwickshire colleges and universities.
  • There is a Prince’s Trust Office located at the plant with a staff of three people.
  • Most popular paint choices for MINI are Pure Silver, Chili Red and British Racing Green. The most popular roof decal in the UK and the USA is the Union Jack.

Built to order: Plant Oxford is unique in the automotive industry as it will build over 160,000 premium small cars this year.

Between 25 and 50 options are available independently on each car (depending on model) and this level of bespoke production is a first for a car in MINI’s segment. The Oxford facility benefits from the BMW Group’s worldwide production and development network and operates according to its stringent production and quality standards. Sustainable production – sensible and careful use of resources such as energy, water, transport and materials – is an integral part of the plants’ philosophy.

The MINI body-in-white is produced in a virtually fully-automated production process that features 230 industrial robots. Up to 2,415 different parts and pre-assembled components are fitted on the final assembly line.

MINI’s paintwork is the icing on the cake: The paint shop is in the unique position of finishing two of its four models with a black or white contrasting roof.

Each MINI takes ten hours to paint in a seven-stage process that also applies protective coatings and water-based varnishes.

  1. The bodyshell is cleaned.
  2. The entire body is dipped and zinc phosphate coated.
  3. The first coat of paint is applied by means of cathodic electrodeposition, which is the basis for permanent protection against corrosion.
  4. The body is coated with a ‘surfacer primer’.
  5. The body is cleaned again by a mechanical “duster” made, incredibly, of ostrich feathers.
  6. The colour top coat is applied.
  7. Finally, the body is coated with a two-component clear coat, which offers long-term protection and gives MINI its deep shine. The result is a standard of paintwork previously unseen in the small car market.

Would you like to write for the A's of Herts? Submit your report.

© 2000-2003 A's of Herts, Beds & Bucks Mini Owners Club. Send comments to the Webmaster.