The time has come for a restyling of the Mini range, one of the last before the brand’s conversion from 2030 to a 100% electric brand. The design centre led by Oliver Heilmer has thus partly redesigned the 3-door, 5-door and Convertible versions of the small British car in a fresher, cleaner key, in search of greater stylistic purity. “All the innovations follow a common mission: to simplify this iconic car. Less complexity, more individuality”, says Oliver Heilmer.
The designers started at the front by redesigning the hexagonal grille surround, which is now wider, and by colouring the bumper fascia to match the bodywork. The search for purity led the designers to eliminate the fog lights from the lower part of the front bumper and to position them inside the LED headlights, the bottom of which is now black. The daytime running lights have been replaced by vertical, outward-facing air intakes that cut through the air to optimise aerodynamics. Customers can also choose from three new colours – Zesty Yellow, Rooftop Grey and Island Blue – and the all-new ‘Multitone’ roof in shades of grey, black and blue.
While the changes to the profile are limited to new designs for the alloy wheels and a more sculpted shape for the mirrors, at the rear we find headlamps with graphics that echo those of the British flag. The interior update is mainly in the tech vein and involves the 8.8 inch colour touchscreen display, the 5.5 inch screen in front of the driver and touch buttons. Simplification has also been the watchword here: the number of chrome elements has been significantly reduced throughout the interior and the two round external air intakes are now framed by black panels. The interior air vents have been completely redesigned and are now recessed to be flush with the surface.
The Mini is always fun to drive, thanks to bright engines and a rather sporty overall set-up. We tested the most powerful version of the five-door architecture: the Cooper S, powered by the 178-horsepower 2.0 four-cylinder petrol engine mated to the 8-speed Steptronic automatic transmission. Its compact dimensions help the small English car to move nimbly in traffic, while the rather rigid set-up gives precision driving aided by progressive and precise steering.