UPDATE, 22 April 2021: Local pricing and specifications for the 2021 Mini Hatch and Convertible have been announced – click here to read the full story.
27 January 2021: The 2021 Mini Hatch and Mini Convertible have been revealed, ahead of an Australian launch in the second half of 2021.
The second major facelift for the Mini 3-Door Hatch, 5-Door Hatch and Convertible since their introduction in 2014 – following a mid-life 'LCI' update in 2018 – the 2021 updates implement a variety of tweaks inside, out and under the skin.
The most notable changes centre around the exterior, where all models receive new front fascias, with larger grilles, standard-fit tinted LED headlights, and the removal of fog lights on Mini Cooper S models in favour of aggressive new lower air intakes.
The central section of the grille is now body-coloured on all variants bar the John Cooper Works, while 'air curtains' have been integrated into the edges of the bumper to streamline air over the front wheels to improve aerodynamics.
Redesigned 'side scuttle' trim pieces debut along the side, while at the rear tweaked rear diffusers with new fog lights feature, with the 'Union Jack' LED tail-lights introduced with the 2018 facelift now standard globally (though they were already standard in Australia).
Three new exterior colours – Zesty Yellow, Rooftop Grey and Island Blue – and five new 17- and 18-inch alloy wheel designs join the range, while buyers will now have the option of a 'Multitone' contrast roof, which sees three different colours of the customer's choice blended into a gradient design.
Mini will also offer a Piano Black exterior package, applying a gloss black finish to the headlight and tail-light surrounds, mirror caps, door handles, fuel filler cap, exhaust tips, exterior badging and grille surrounds.
Inside, drivers grip a new sports steering wheel (available with heating functionality as an option), which sits in front of a 5.0-inch digital instrument cluster debuted with the all-electric Mini Cooper SE in 2019.
The central 8.8-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay benefits from updated software and a Piano Black surround, and the climate controls have been simplified, while the air vents and trim inlays have been reworked and redesigned.
A new ambient LED lighting system can be optioned, illuminating the centre console, footwells, interior door handles and the LED ring around the infotainment surround in a choice of 'Lounge' and 'Sport' modes, each setting offering a choice of six lighting colours.
A new 'Light Chequered' material can also be had with the car's sports seats, while an electric parking brake can be had for the first time.
Under the skin, updates are headlined by new adaptive dampers – to be available on all variants in Australia bar the Electric hatch – which gain an additional valve to adjust the force and firmness of the dampers within 50 to 100 milliseconds.
The assortment of powertrains on offer in Australia haven't changed for 2021, with all models in Europe picking up a petrol particulate filter – though Australian models will likely go without the emissions-reducing technology, due to the quality of our fuel.
Opening the local line-up is the Cooper, powered by a 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine sending 100kW of power and 220Nm of torque to the front wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Fuel economy for the entry-level variant is rated at as little as 5.5 litres per 100 kilometres on Europe's WLTP cycle for the lightest three-door hatch model.
Stepping up to the Cooper S brings a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder developing 141kW and 280Nm, routed to the front wheels through an eight-speed automatic.
Mini claims a 0-100km/h sprint time as low as 6.6 seconds, with fuel economy rated at 5.8 to 6.6L/100km, depending on body style.
Sitting atop the range is the John Cooper Works, available only in three-door hatch and Convertible guises.
It features an uprated version of the Cooper S's 2.0-litre turbo-four, now developing 170kW and 320Nm – good for a 0-100km/h sprint time of 6.1 and 6.5 seconds for hatch and Convertible models respectively.
On the safety front, European models gain stop-and-go functionality for the adaptive cruise control system, while a 'bad weather light' and lane-departure warning now feature.
The zero-emissions Mini Electric will carry over into the new line-up with no changes to its powertrain, namely a 135kW/270Nm front-mounted electric motor mated to a 32.6kWh (gross) lithium-ion battery for 233km of WLTP-rated range.
The 2021 Mini Hatch and Convertible ranges will go on sale in Australia in the third quarter of 2021.
It's expected the above facelift will carry the current Mini into its next generation, not due until 2023 – nearly a decade since its predecessor was unveiled.