Having raised the curtain last month on a number of mechanical enhancements we'll see on the all-new 2014 Mini Cooper and Cooper S Hardtop models, the automaker has now announced this next-gen iteration also will introduce several premium driver-assist features previously found largely on pricier vehicles. These new systems, which use intelligent networking technology developed by parent company BMW, also will be offered on other future Mini models in the coming years.
Anchoring the broad-ranging suite of available new tech touches is a head-up display system. Similar to the one found in the new Mazda3, it features a small but very legible high-resolution color display screen on the top of the dash that flips down when not in use. Serving up a virtual image positioned directly in the driver's line of sight, it can present everything from vehicle speed and simplified navigation instructions to local speed limits/traffic signs and infotainment data. The new Mini Cooper Hardtop also will offer an adaptive cruise control system. Operational between 20-85 mph, it relies on data from a video camera located above the inside rearview mirror and offers four distance settings as well as 1-mph and 5-mph speed selection increments.
To make driving in urban confines safer and a bit less stressful, 2014 Cooper Hardtop buyers will be able to opt for a Collision and Pedestrian Warning system that incorporates City Braking Function. Operational at speeds up to 35 mph, it also uses input from the forward-facing camera to provide the driver with both visual and audible warnings of potential impacts with cars or people before automatically applying the brakes to prevent or at least mitigate the intensity of any anticipated crash.
Intent on further simplifying parallel parking chores, the 2014 Mini Hardtop will be available with a new Parking Assistant that integrates information from both ultrasonic sensors and a rear-mounted video camera. The setup can find a spot of suitable size and then automatically slip the car into it with the driver needing to control only the accelerator and brake functions. In some markets, the new Mini Hardtop also will offer High-Beam Assistant that automatically switches the headlights from high to low beams to prevent blinding drivers of oncoming vehicles. We'll get the full story next month when the 2014 Mini Cooper/Cooper S Hardtop Mini makes its first appearance here at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show.
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