Mini have given their hatch and convertible a mid-cycle facelift, as is the norm these days or so they say. You can squint all you want, and it’ll still be unlikely that you’ll be able to tell the difference. For one the overall shape of both hatchbacks remain unchanged, instead, Mini have loaded the 2018 car with a few subtle tweaks, to the exterior, the interior and nip and tuck under the skin as well.
The big news is new paint schemes that include colours like .‘Solaris Orange’ and ‘Starlight Blue’, a new set of alloy wheels, and LED headlamps as standard with optional dazzle-free Matrix LED lamps. The irony in this year's facelift is the fact that the tail lights get Union Jack somehow embedded in the design. I say irony considering that Mini, which might have started out in life as a British car maker but is now owned by BMW which is German. However, this is not the first time that MIni have tried to strike the Britannia chord with their cars considering JCW GP and Electric concept cars all featuring the design first.
The usual suspects on the insides, the Mini will get more leather trims and options for dashboard panels that can be customised to your liking. However, the piece-de-resistance on the new Mini is the YOURS CUSTOMISED scheme, Laser Engraved or 3D printed inserts can be retrofitted to your MIni’s dashboard to add your own personal touch. The fine print for this update includes a revised steering wheel, plus wireless charging and Mini Connected Services with real-time traffic, Apple CarPlay and concierge service available as options.
The Mini also gets a new motor, the 1.2-litre engine has been ditched for the larger 1.5-litre turbo motor which makes 101 bhp, the diesel motor on the Cooper and Cooper S stays on. The eight-speed dual-clutch gets swapped for an 8-speed, and strangely a new-start stop system uses navigation data to make more intelligent deactivations.