The new Mini is bigger and more fuel efficient than the previous model

New Mini billed as safer and bigger

Car giant BMW has unveiled the new Mini, featuring more spacious design, better fuel efficiency and cutting-edge safety features.

Unveiled today at BMW’s plant in Cowley in Oxford, the latest incarnation of the iconic British car, first introduced in 1959, is quieter, longer, wider and taller than its predecessor.

BMW, which bought Mini in 2000, plans to invest about £750m into its production in the UK.

"I was lucky enough to get an early preview of the new Mini - a classic British icon - during a visit to the factory in Oxford last month,” said Prime Minister David Cameron, who was present at the unveiling today. “This £750m investment is great news for both the local and wider economy, along with the 5,500 workers whose jobs are safeguarded by this launch.”

The fuel economy of the new model as improved from 52.3 mpg to 62.8 mpg, while the CO2 emissions have been decreased from 127g/km to 105g/km.

The car’s optional features include a head-up display, a driving assistant relying on car-mounted cameras to control the distance to the car in front and warn of an imminent collision, a rear-view parking camera and a self-parking function.

"In our Oxford plant's centenary year, we are continuing the Mini brand success story and today starting production of the third model generation,” said Harald Krueger, BMW Group's board member for production “Our total investment of £750 million in our British production locations of Oxford, Swindon and Hams Hall between 2012 and 2015 underscores the importance of the Mini production triangle within our global production network."

Unveiled on the day of the 107th anniversary of the birth of the designer of the original mini Sir Alec Issigonis, the new Mini will hit the production lines this week and will go on sale in spring 2014.

There will be three versions of the new car available - the "basic" Mini Cooper, the diesel-engined Mini Cooper D and the Mini Cooper S.

More than 5.3 million Minis were produced before BMW started making its own bigger and more-powerful version in 2001.

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