Mini, the BMW-owned auto maker, has been observed several times testing its One model in different parts of the country. Reportedly, this will be the new base version that would sit under the MINI Cooper. Industry experts believe that testing for the new Mini One would go on till March 2013, which is a part of the homologation process carried out by Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI).
According to sources, the engine powering the new One would have a capacity of 1.6 litres, same as the Mini Cooper, but would generate a lesser power of around 97 bhp and torque of over 150 Nm, compared to 121 bhp and 160 Nm of the Cooper. If the One also gets a diesel variant, auto analysts are of a view that this could make the vehicle popular among retro-vehicle enthusiasts.
Currently, the Cooper generates a rough ride on the Indian roads due to its stiff sport suspension. In comparison to this, the new Mini One would get a softer suspension, which would enhance the ride quality. Both vehicles will sport 15 inch alloy wheels, chrome on grilles, missing handles and the hood is painted with the same colour as rest of the car, unlike the Cooper where hood and body colours are different. Basic side mirrors are expected to be fitted on the One, as against glossy white or black finishes for the Mini Cooper.
On the interior front, One would not get cabin accent lighting, which features in the Cooper. Reportedly, the upholstery would look simple as compared to the fancy upholstery of the Cooper. However, both these features could possibly be provided as options in the future. From the price point of view, individuals can expect the Mini One to be available a little below Rs. 25 lakhs. As import duties have been increased to 25 per cent in Union Budget 2013, prices of the whole range of Mini Cooper would be revised upwards of Rs. 26 lakhs.