Mini Upgrades the Mite that Started It All for 2018

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Starting with the headlights, the 2019 MINI Hardtop 2 Door, new MINI Hardtop 4 Door and the MINI Convertible get more expressive headlights, with optional LED lighting. Mini claims faster gearshifts than the outgoing six-speed automatic, as well as modestly improved fuel efficiency.

It's nip/tuck time for the Mini hatchback and convertible for the 2018 model year, although we'd forgive you if you couldn't tell the difference.

The new Mini gets new 17-inch light allow wheels as well as three new paint color options
The new Mini gets new 17-inch light allow wheels as well as three new paint color options

The original also gets three new paint color options: Emerald Grey metallic, Starlight Blue metallic, and Solaris Orange metallic.

New trim and color options are extended to the interior, with the addition of a Malt Brown Chester leather trim as well as Mini Yours Customized personalized trim pieces and illumination that can be specified for the interior and exterior.

The entry-level Ray's 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine has been replaced by a 1.5-litre unit that produces the same 75kW power output, while torque is up 10Nm to 190Nm.

The Mini logo is new along with new body finishes and a piano black exterior color. For the first time Mini is offering Find Mate for its 2018 range, which consists of wireless tracking tags that can be placed on items that you carry in the vehicle regularly, so you can find them if they are misplaced or lost.

Further enhancing the updated look are new 17-inch light alloy wheels in the design styles Roulette Spoke two-tone and Propeller Spoke two-tone wheels can be ordered for all three Minis.

Infotainment options remain the same as in the hardtop version of the Mini, with a standard 6.5-inch color display on the center console, and an optional 8.8-inch screen with Global Positioning System navigation.

But one of the biggest upgrades to the Mini for 2018 is the introduction of a new seven-speed Steptronic transmission with double clutch and electronic shift selector. MINI has also integrated a storage compartment in the centre armrest console for wireless charging of phones. The infotainment can be upgraded with an optional touchscreen, sat-nav and Apple CarPlay functionality. And you'd be right because although Mini chose to launch this auto right before winter shows its teeth, it will go on sale in the U.S. in March 2016, so right at the beginning of cabriolet season.