Details of the updated 2018 Mini Hatch and Convertible ranges have been announced this week, bringing a range of cosmetic, mechanical and technology upgrades to the British icon.
Headlining the changes for the new model include the availability of adaptive Matrix LED headlights, new LED tail-lights, new logos and body finishes, revised alloy wheel designs, new interior trim choices, a new dual-clutch transmission option, and upgraded infotainment options.
The headlights come standard with halogen beams, and are optionally available in fixed LED or adaptive Matrix LED guises. Compared to the current car, there’s a new black panel for the halogen units, while the LED and Matrix LED versions get a full LED ring which incorporated an LED indicator – compared to the current car’s semi-circular LED running light signature.
When optioned with the adaptive LED headlights, the Mini gets an automatic dipping function for high beam, using Matrix anti-dazzle technology. The beam is divided into four horizontally-arrange segments, activated and deactivated independently at speeds of over 70km/h.
Oncoming or leading vehicles are recognised by a front-facing camera system, with the area occupied by the vehicle only illuminated by low beam.
Out back is a new LED tail-light design that incorporates a signature in the shape of the British Union Jack – likely inspired by the company’s recent concept vehicles.
The indicators are horizontally arranged and the brake lights are vertically aligned.
Also adding a fresh look is the redesigned Mini logo that adorns the bonnet and tailgate, along with several areas of the interior. Compared to the current version, the revised logo features a two-dimensional ‘flat design’.
Other cosmetic updates include the availability of a Piano Black Exterior design package, which adds black accents to the surrounds of the headlights, tail-lights and grille.
Inside, there’s new leather trim choices – namely Malt Brown – along with illumination for the Mini Yours Interior Style Piano Black option, which now features ambient lighting for the instrument panel when optioned in conjunction with the Mini Excitement Package.
There’s also a new three-spoke steering wheel with multifunction controls, while a sports leather steering wheel and Mini Yours tiller available as an option.
New options include wireless smartphone charging located in the centre armrest compartment, real-time traffic information and automatic navigation updates via mobile phone connection.
Buyers overseas can also opt for the Mini Find Mate service, which uses wireless tags that can be attached to personal belongings like bags and keys and tracked via the on-board computer or the Mini Connected smartphone app.
The system is very similar to the Tile app that debuted on the Land Rover Discovery Sport, which helps prevent frequently-used items from being lost in the vehicle or left behind at the previous destination.
Mini has also made “a detailed revision” to the engine line-up, improving fuel efficiency by up to five per cent. The Mini One (no longer sold in Australia) now gets a 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo – up from 1.2-litres – upping torque by 10Nm to 190Nm.
All petrol engines feature direct injection with maximum pressure increased from 200 bar to 350 bar, while the Cooper D and Cooper SD’s diesels have seen pressures increased to 2200 bar and 2500 bar respectively. The Cooper SD’s oiler now gets dual-level turbocharging as well.
The entire range bar the Cooper SD now gets a seven-speed Steptronic dual-clutch automatic as an option, replacing the outgoing torque-converter unit.
Detailed last month, the new shifter allows for quicker shifts and improved fuel economy (get the details here). The Cooper SD gets an eight-speed torque-converter automatic as standard.
Mini’s local division is unable to indicate when we’ll see the updated Hatch and Convertible range in Australian showrooms.
However, Adam Davis, product communications manager for BMW Group Australia, confirmed with CarAdvice that the local arm will “be taking it when it arrives”.
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