I've seen the 2015 Mini Cooper, and you should too. What I didn't know is how much good stuff can make it into the premium hatchback from bigger BMWs. Turns out it's quite a lot, and the new gadgets are all there to make it safer.
Last time I saw HUD, I was driving a BMW with a few options thrown in for good measure. While Volkswagen is trying to make a Polo feel more like a Passat inside using their modular MQB strategy, BMW seems to be upgrading the Mini because they will have a front-wheel drive car as well which can use the same tech. And also because the first time they put HUD in a car was in 2003, so enough time has passed to make it more available.
Here are the highlights:
- Head-up display, but not projected to your windscreen:
The first time BMW put HUD in a car was in 2003, so enough time has passed to make it more available. That's great news. This type of HUD is actually the same as the one on the 2014 Mazda3.
- Multifunctional camera, mounted on the windscreen at the same level as the rear view mirror. That will be used for several driver assist systems, including collision warning and pedestrian warning with city braking function, which will stop the car if an obstacle is detected at up to 35 mph.
The collision warning will have three settings: warning time levels "early", "medium" or "late". If the "late" setting is chosen, a hazard detected by the system causes the acoustic warning to be triggered immediately. Otherwise, it's first a silent, then an acoustic alert.
- Video-based adaptive cruise control. I have a feeling this is going to be a costly extra, but with the traffic sign memory, high-beam assist and the speed-limit info displayed, this will make highway drives much more relaxing. It works beautifully in BMWs.
- Parking assistant and rear view camera. Basically, it will park itself, and also give you a 120 degree view of that's going on at the back by displaying it on the on-board monitor.
Not bad from a hatchback. Let's hope the batteries can deal with the show.
Photo credit: MINI