The new MINI Hatch has been named Auto Express magazine’s Car of the Year 2014 at its annual New Car Awards.
Chris Brownridge, Director, MINI UK, collected the prestigious gong at a lavish ceremony held in London’s Grand Connaught Rooms. The prize was presented by the magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, Steve Fowler.
The new MINI Hatch rose above the crowd and saw off some incredibly strong opposition to take the top prize. As Britain’s best-selling weekly motoring magazine, Auto Express tests hundreds of new cars every year making this accolade particularly notable.
Explaining the reasons for MINI’s win, Steve Fowler said: “The MINI Hatch is the perfect Car of the Year for 2014 – it’s a small car that’s big on talent. We love the way it drives, the quality, the efficiency and the big car tech on board. It’s also built brilliantly in Britain – a car the UK can be proud of.”
Chris Brownridge added: “The new MINI Hatch has received universal acclaim since we launched it earlier this year. A great deal of work has gone in to refining performance, handling, style and quality with this all-new model and this recognition from Auto Express is testament to that effort.”
Thanking the Auto Express panel for choosing the new MINI Hatch, Brownridge continued: “This award is a real boost to all 6,000 MINI associates across Plant Hams Hall, Swindon and of course, Oxford, all of whom should be extremely proud of this achievement. They have created a car which in just a few months has captured the imagination of customers and the motor industry alike.”
Since its UK market launch in March this year, the new MINI Hatch has been a runaway success winning both critical acclaim and new customers. As of July 2014, MINI UK has the strongest forward order bank for Hatch since the brand was relaunched in 2001.
Built in Britain at MINI Plant Oxford, the new MINI Hatch has benefited from a £750 million investment across three of BMW Group’s UK manufacturing facilities. Substantial upgrades to Plant Oxford and to Plant Swindon, where most of the MINI’s body pressings and sub-assemblies are manufactured, reaffirm the UK’s position as the global manufacturing home of MINI. The Hams Hall engine plant in Birmingham is also being re-equipped.
Starting at £13,750 OTR, the new MINI Hatch is packed with new features and technology. The car is more spacious than before, finished to an even higher standard and provides the driver with a more dynamic and performance-oriented experience. New first-for-class features such as LED headlamps and Emergency Calling (E-Call), as well as a suite of advanced three and four-cylinder engines, will ensure the Hatch stays well ahead of the pack for years to come.