The fifth and final generation of Mini’s petrol-powered hatch, its best-selling vehicle, is coming to Australia this year.

    The petrol-powered Cooper C and Cooper S arrive alongside the previously-revealed electric Cooper E and Cooper SE in the third quarter of 2024.

    Pricing and specifications will be announced closer to launch.

    Despite the seemingly identical styling, the Cooper C and Cooper S ride on a different platform to their electric counterparts.

    While the electric models feature a new Spotlight platform developed with China’s Great Wall Motor (GMW), the petrol models use an updated version of the outgoing generation’s platform.

    Under the bonnet of the Cooper C is a turbocharged 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine producing 115kW of power and 230Nm of torque, good for a 0-100km/h time of 7.7 seconds.

    The Cooper S upgrades to a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine with 150kW and 300Nm, slashing the 0-100km/h time to 6.6 seconds.

    No manual transmission is available, with the new-gen hatch an auto-only proposition.

    A more powerful JCW model is expected to follow, though there is a JCW trim package that adds a sportier look to the Cooper C and Cooper S if no mechanical enhancements.

    The JCW trim package sits alongside Essential, Classic and Favoured trims, with the latter getting a three-colour gradient roof.

    Wheels range from 16 to 18 inches in diameter.

    Like the unrelated electric Cooper models, there’s an octagonal grille up front bisected by a thick, body-colour bar. Down back, there are also sail-shaped tail lights with graphics reminiscent of the Union Jack.

    The headlights have horizontal LED daytime running lights, for which there are three selectable light signatures and welcome and farewell animations.

    In all, it’s tough picking the differences between petrol and electric models.

    Inside, there’s an OLED infotainment touchscreen running on Mini Operating System 9.

    Mini says relevant vehicle-related information is displayed at the top of the screen, while in the main menu there are widgets that can be selected by swipe and touch.

    Shortcut buttons always appear towards the bottom of the screen for key functions like climate, media, navigation and phone.

    The navigation system features 3D visualisation and an augmented view mode, while a voice assistant can be activated using the voice prompt “Hey Mini”.

    There’s a new steering wheel, while the gear selector is no longer positioned on the centre console.

    Below the screen sits a simple bank of switchgear: toggle switches for gear selection and ‘Experience Modes’; a “key” for turning the vehicle on and off; a volume knob; and buttons for functions like the demister.

    A wireless charging pad sits at the base of the minimalist centre stack.

    There are distinctive graphics on the dashboard illuminated by two projector units, and which can change colour.

    At the rear, there’s 210L of boot space, expanding to 800L if you drop the 60:40 split/fold rear seats.

    Safety features include a safe exit assist, which warns occupants if they’re about to step out of the vehicle into the path of another and can delay the unlocking of the doors.

    The suite of active safety and driver assist features is powered by camera and radar, while there are also 12 ultrasonic sensors.

    Mini is in the midst of an overhaul of its lineup. In addition to new-generation petrol and electric three-door hatches, it’s welcoming a new Countryman this year, which will also offer a choice of petrol or electric power.

    A new crossover called the Aceman is also set for an imminent reveal, and is set to come here.

    MORE: Everything Mini Cooper

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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