Although not due in showrooms until the spring, pricing for the all-new 2014 Mini Cooper Hardtop and its performance-oriented Mini Cooper S sibling has been released. First seen here last November at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2014 Cooper Hardtop is set to open at $20,700 while the Cooper S model will start at $24,395. Despite having grown slightly in size and rather markedly in sophistication, the bottom line has only risen by about $300 on each relative their respective 2013 counterparts. 

"The product team worked diligently to sustain a minimal price increase over the previous model while adding a number of new technologies and features," said Patrick McKenna, Head of Mini Product Planning and Events, Mini USA. "People will be amazed at the interior quality of this car combined with legendary Mini go-kart handling and all-new BMW Group engines. The new Mini is a lot like nothing else."

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The decision to use these two core members of the Mini clan to start the transition process is hardly surprising given the pair are historically the automaker's global best sellers and accounted for no less than 40 percent of all Mini's sold in the U.S. last year. As we reported previously, the 2014 Mini Cooper Hardtop will be fitted with a new 1.5-liter/3-cylinder TwinPower Turbo engine that makes 134 horsepower - 20 more ponies than the current 1.6-liter while the Cooper S will pack a new 2.0-liter turbo four that cranks out 189 horses. Both engines have economy-enhancing start/stop technology, are backed by new 6-speed manual and automatic transmissions and offer even broader torque curves. 

2014 Compact SUVs at a glance 

Dynamically, the new Hardtops will crank up the Mini's already brilliant handling index on the strength of an even stouter unit body, more refined underpinnings that include the availability of the marque's first adjustable suspension as well as enhanced steering and brake systems. The bolder approach to exterior styling also permeates the fully recast passenger cabin of these Minis, at long last actually embracing basic ergonomic principles as well as offering a cooler look and even greater degree of in-car connectivity. 

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One thing that won't be changing with the arrival of these new Mini models is the longstanding tradition of allowing for maximum personalization potential. McKenna confirmed that buyers of these two new Hardtops will be able to configure the pair in more than 10 million different ways. 

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