• 5-door MINI Cooper hatchback officially unveiled
  • Largely just a stretched version of the standard Cooper
  • MINI says 5-door Cooper's U.S. debut will take place later this year

MINI has officially unveiled a 5-door version of its newly updated Cooper hatchback. The automaker recently revealed photos of the new car online, along with engine specs and several other details ahead of its launch later this year.

On the outside, the 5-door MINI Cooper looks just like you'd expect: a traditional Cooper hatchback, stretched to accommodate two more doors. While that may sound familiar, make no mistake -- this isn't the Clubman, which has rear-hinged back doors, or the Countryman, which offers raised ground clearance. Instead, the new 5-door MINI is just a standard Cooper with a longer body for added practicality.

While the 5-door Cooper may be adding utility, it won't be losing anything compared to the standard model. Its power still comes from one of the same two engines -- namely, the 134-horsepower turbocharged 1.5-liter 3-cylinder in base models or the 189-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder in the Cooper S. And we suspect MINI will make sure that the 5-door model still offers the brand's famously tight handling, so drivers will hardly remember they're carrying two extra doors as they turn corners.

Although MINI didn't disclose everything about the new 5-door Cooper, the automaker did say that the new model will be available in 6-speed manual or automatic transmissions, just like the 3-door Cooper hatchback. MINI also noted that a gas-powered Cooper S 5-door will reach 60 miles per hour from a stop in around 6.8 seconds, which isn't bad for a practical car with a 4-cylinder engine.

MINI has not yet announced any other information about the 5-door Cooper, except to say that it will reach U.S. dealers sometime later this year.

What it means to you: The 5-door MINI Cooper adds a little extra practicality to the MINI lineup we love.

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Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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