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by Tim Beissmann

UPDATED 29 June 2010 with expanded photo gallery.

MINI has unveiled its upgraded 2011 range in Europe with new diesel engines, styling tweaks and enhanced technology among the highlights.

Two tunes of an all-new 1.6-litre four-cylinder diesel engine will be added to the line-up, both of which consume just 3.8 litres/100km combined and emit 99g/km CO2.The MINI Cooper D Hatch is powered by an 84kW/270Nm variant which goes from 0-100km/h in 9.7 seconds, while the 67kW/215Nm MINI One D Hatch takes 11.4secs.

Both employ extensive fuel-saving and emissions-reducing “MINImalism” technologies including brake energy regeneration, start-stop, gearshift indicator and electromechanical power steering, as well as the standard six-speed manual transmission.

The MINI Cooper D Convertible will also join the new European range in August, returning an equally impressive 4.0 litres/100km combined and 105g/km CO2.

The diesel Clubman will be available with both tunes of the 1.6-litre engine and will use 3.9 litres/100km and emit 103g/km CO2.

Visually the new MINI has been refreshed rather than redesigned for a more modern, dynamic look. The revised front bumper includes new fog lamps, a lower air intake for improved pedestrian protection and two air intakes that feed the brake discs on the Cooper S.

The headlights have been tweaked slightly while the side indicators now feature a distinctive concentric circles design.

At the rear, the new bumper houses LED tail lights that use dynamic intensity lighting which varies depending on the deceleration force applied. The pulsating lights allow drivers following behind to monitor the urgency of the MINI’s braking and adjust their speed accordingly.

Five new exterior colours and alloy wheel designs also give the updated MINI a fresh appearance.

MINI says the interior has undergone a significant makeover, with the centre console, steering wheel, and air conditioning and audio controls all modified for improved functionality and ergonomics.

Upgraded navigation, Bluetooth and audio systems join the list of improvements, while the optional MINI Connected system promises iPhone-assisted web radio, RSS news feeds, access to Facebook and Twitter messages via the central display, and text-to-speech readouts of text messages.

The upgraded 2011 MINI family will go on sale in the UK in August with pricing to be announced in the coming days.

MINI Australia’s Piers Scott told CarAdvice earlier this month that the refreshed MINI range was expected to reach Australia by the fourth quarter of 2010, with specific model details to be revealed closer to the car’s launch.




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