5 Things You Need To Know About The Face-Lifted MINI Cooper
The Mini Cooper, when created in 1959, was a small economy car that went on to be considered a British pop culture icon in the 1960s. Its space-saving design and signature front wheel drive layout allowed 80 per cent of the car's floorpan to be used for passengers and luggage. The Mini influenced a generation of car makers and, in 1999, was voted the second most influential car of the 20th century, behind the Ford Model T, and ahead of the Citroën DS and Volkswagen Beetle. So then, in 2018 some 59 years on, what has changed for the 2018 model?
1) The Looks. Back To Hometown Britain.
The Mini brand is British, fact. German quality yes, but still British. Back in the year 2000 when Mini was bought by BMW, things changed drastically for the brand. With the cash injection and partnership Mini got upgraded powertrains, interiors and German quality look and feel and while over time, the Mini brand has remained consistent and premium, it needed that British touch. Now in 2018, the face-lifted version has got just that with a signature Union Jack taillight piece.
2) The Go-Kart Like Feel, Revised.
All Minis since inception have been praised for the go-kart like handling. Being a compact hatch in today's form, one has to admit that nothing really handles like a Mini. The turn ins are sharp and intuitive, you will get slight understeer from the front wheel drive set up, but it remains fun as it carries not a lot of weight so corners are darted in with ease. We found the new Mini's drive to be smoother and slightly more refined. Even with our test unit fitted with the John Cooper Works cosmetic package, the larger rims didn't seem to disrupt the comfortable ride or accessional speed bump.
3) Upgraded Internals & Transmissions
Power is 75kW for the Mini One, 100kW for the Cooper and 141kW for the Cooper S. All models being turbocharged except for the ONE. The biggest change however is the alternative to the standard 6-speed manual transmission. The new facelift Mini now comes with a 7-speed Steptronic transmission with double clutch optionally available for the models MINI One, MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S. Gearshifts are quicker than ever and in sport in the S model, it provides quite a lot of fun. With improved engines and emissions included, the new Mini is now lighter and more economical than ever.
4) Plusher, Premium and Classier British Interiors
As far as premium hatchback interior goes, the Mini does come with a bit of a younger appeal. The instrument clusters and vents are all fashioned in a circular style, the metals and switch gear are finished in surgically cut aluminium and all buttons and controls are easy to reach and well laid out. The new Mini also comes with optional seat surfaces, interior surfaces and colour lines to add a touch of individual style. The British heritage is carried over on the interior with the passenger side dash getting the signature union jack treatment that lights up with the included ambient lights in the car to the colour of your choice, should you choose the Mini Excitement Package.
Mini has now introduced something called The MINI Yours Customised program which allows customer vehicle customisation to be taken to a whole new level. It includes retrofit products whose design can be created by customers themselves, which are then produced precisely according to the buyer. This includes things such as side scuttles, decorative strips for the cockpit fascia, LED door sill finishers and LED door projectors, various colours, patterns, surface structures and icons, as well as contributing their own texts and adding a touch of personal style to the design. This creative interaction between manufacturer and customer enables Mini customers to turn their vehicle into a unique car that bears the stamp of their own personality. The individualised products are manufactured using innovative production techniques such as various 3D printing methods and laser engraving.