2018 Mini Cooper S snapped during testing

The facelifted Mini Cooper S five-door has been caught testing in Germany, revealing minor tweaks ahead of its formal launch.
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As you can probably see, the life cycle impulse (LCI, or BMW speak for mid-life refresh) five-door hatch won't run with any major sheetmetal changes over its predecessor.

Instead, external updates are limited to new graphics for the head- and tail-lights, inspired by the Union Jack motif used in the JCW GP Concept, among other Mini concepts from the past few years.

Sebastian Mackensen, senior vice president of Mini, has previously said the company's design language needs to evolve beyond its existing retro-first focus. New light graphics and wheels don't represent a revolution, but they could be the first step in that transition.

A few new colours and wheel designs will likely debut, giving buyers even more ways to customise their cars – and make them more expensive in the process.

The biggest changes to the Cooper are likely to come under the bonnet, with better cooling across the boards and, in three-cylinder engines, a revised turbocharger. Expect the range to use slightly less fuel and make slightly more power across the board.

Rumours also suggest a dual-clutch transmission could feature, although that would be at odds with the rest of the BMW range and their ususal torque converters.

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