Revamped Mini range launches with bolstered tech and new DCT gearbox
Dual clutch auto arrives alongside new LED lighting that features a Union Flag design at the rear
Mini has revamped its hatchback, five-door and convertible models for 2018 by giving the trio of B-segment cars extra standard-fit technology, enhanced customisation options and, a first for the siblings, a new dual-clutch gearbox.
Due in UK showrooms from 17 March, Mini’s core models now come as standard with front and rear LED lights and optional matrix LED high beams. The LED tail-lights feature a Union flag design that takes influence from the units featured on the Mini Electric concept of 2017.
Inside, there is a new three-spoke steering wheel with multifunction buttons and an updated 6.5in standard-fit infotainment system, which is now offered with a Navigation Plus Pack and wireless phone charging. The infotainment can be upgraded with an optional touchscreen, sat-nav and Apple CarPlay functionality. A Mini Connected option enables closer smartphone integration for reminders to include calendar entries and recommended departure times.
Using the new Mini Yours Customised service, buyers can create bespoke designs for 3D printed trim, illuminated door sills and LED projectors. Additionally, the passenger side of the dashboard can also be fitted with a backlit Union flag pattern that matches the ambient lighting. Mini has also added three new colours, Emerald Grey, Starlight Blue and Solaris Orange, to the car’s exterior paint palette.
Mini buyers can now specify a new DCT dualclutch automatic gearbox. The seven-speed Steptronic system comes with an electric gear selector, with Cooper S automatics getting steeringwheel-mounted shift paddles as well. Mini claims faster gearshifts than the outgoing six-speed automatic, as well as modestly improved fuel efficiency, thanks in part to the additional ratio.
The engine range retains five turbocharged options, three petrols and two diesels. At the base is a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol that produces 101bhp in the Mini One and the most efficient is a diesel of the same capacity that enables a claimed 74.3mpg in the Cooper D auto. The line-up culminates in the 2.0-litre petrol engine of the Mini John Cooper Works, which has 228bhp.
When the new Mini models arrive in showrooms, a small increase over the outgoing car’s £14,640 starting price is expected. The models will also be the first to wear a new, simpler Mini logo, which is set to be rolled out across the company’s full line-up through the year.
Source: Autocar Online