Saturday, 20 January, 2018

MINI hatchback and convertible get a refresh, but you probably can't tell

The the new year Mini gave its original two-door and four-door model as well as the convertible a freshening The the new year Mini gave its original two-door and four-door model as well as the convertible a freshening
Emmett Howard | 12 January, 2018, 21:37

Small, but significant exterior upgrades highlight the redo. All models are optionally available with the new seven-speed gearbox featuring steering wheel-mounted shift paddles, while a six-speed manual is standard.

If that's not British enough for you, you can also get a light-up Union Jack motif on the dashboard, assuming you opt for the new Piano Black trim option, which turns all interior trim gloss black. Telephony with wireless charging is integrated and there are Mini logo projections from the exterior mirror on the driver side. It is a re-interpretation of the existing logo and now features a two-dimensional "flat design". Three new body finished for the cars include Emerald Gray metallic, Starlight Blue metallic, and Solaris Orange metallic.

The new Mini gets new 17-inch light allow wheels as well as three new paint color options. A matching Piano Black package for the outside does the same for the chrome around the lights and grille.

Inside, all models feature a 6.5in touchscreen infotainment system and an updated steering wheel features improved multifunction controls. Of course it is, and MINI made sure the headlights are also augmented by LED, with adding Matrix function for the high beam. In terms of rolling stock, the optional range of wheels grows to include two-tone roulette spoke and two-tone propeller spoke items which are now available across all MINI bodystyles.

The new Mini gets new 17-inch light allow wheels as well as three new paint color options
The new Mini gets new 17-inch light allow wheels as well as three new paint color options

This being Mini, individualization is important, so there's an option to get a soft top with the Union Jack embroidered on it, and another option to get seats that are covered in Malt Brown leather with diamond stitching reminiscent of classic English Chesterfield sofas.

The color of the backlighting matches the ambient lighting selected by the driver.

Connectivity continues as a theme for the 2019 upgrades, with available real-time traffic information via 4G LTE, Apple CarPlay, and the Mini Connected app now integrating navigation and calendaring. However, the changes in the new MINI are only cosmetic and come with the same engine under the hood. It's a quirky, smart design that emphasizes Mini's heritage.

The parts are created using 3D printers and laser lettering. From start to finish, it takes just a couple of weeks, the company says.

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