Published on January 27th, 2021 | by Joshua Chin


MINI 3-Door, 5-Door And Convertible Updated Yet Again

The ever-popular OG MINI models have received a mild update yet again for 2021. 

To those who had just bought a MINI in the last two (and a bit) years thinking that it is still fresh, well think again, as yet another raft of updates have been made to the 3-door, 5-door and cabriolet variants of this stylish British compact car. 

Now while this update here is perhaps not as big as the one done back in 2018, there are still a number of highlights that are worth mentioning about this latest MINI refresh. Chief among which is perhaps revolves around the front end of this iconic face. 

The most obvious of these exterior design changes done to the updated MINIs is probably the body coloured panel that now bisects the front end aesthetic and houses the number plate. However, there are also subtle changes up front too such as the enlargement of the hexagonal grille, the integration of air curtains into the front bumper, as well as the removal of the front fog lights. 

Speaking of the lights on this MINI, LED headlights (with integrated bad weather lights) have also been made standard with this latest update, as are the now-signature Union Jack tail lights. Additional changes made to the back of this updated MINI include a new centrally-mounted LED fog-light atop the twin central-exit exhaust that are inset within a redesigned rear bumper. 

Moving round the side of these updated MINIs, a new side scuttle with model specific inserts complement the five new alloy wheel designs now available with this update. Three new colours (Rooftop Grey, Island Blue and Zesty Yellow), an optional exterior Piano Black Exterior package, and even a unique gradient-effect Multitone Roof have also been added to the options list for one to further personalise to this new chic supermini. 

Stepping inside, a similar amount of minor updates have been performed within the cabin of these refreshed MINIs. New air-vent designs and a new (optionally heated) standard sports leather steering wheel are among the bigger changes that were made, as was the addition of a new electric parking brake and optional ambient lighting. 

On the tech front meanwhile, these refreshed MINIs gain a new operating system for its 8.8 inch central touchscreen, as well as an optional 5-inch digital gauge cluster. Additionally, a plethora of safety tech like lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control with stop-go capability have made it too to these upmarket compact cars. 

Coming with a lot more minute model-specific changes that can be found in the full (read: very very long) press release here, these new updated MINIs are soon to be available in select markets at the same price as its pre-facelift counterparts. There has been no word yet though on when exactly these facelifted models will arrive in Malaysia. 

Seeing as this particular generation of MINI has been with us for six years already, to those out there looking for something radical might want to hold out for a little while longer till the all-new next-gen MINI arrives sometime in the next few years. 

PRESS RELEASE: Clear exterior design accents give it a purist appearance that emphasises the hallmark design features. In addition, the innovative Multitone Roof creates unique individualisation opportunities. In the interior, the extensively redesigned cockpit underlines the premium character of the MINI-3 door, the MINI-5 door and the MINI Convertible. Attractive additions to the range of standard and optional equipment, new exterior paint finishes, light-alloy wheels, interior and seating surfaces as well as innovative technology in the areas of chassis, driver assistance systems, operation and connectivity round off the latest update for the British brand’s small car models.

20 years after the launch of the modern MINI, the latest model generation presents itself in top form. The concept associated with the relaunch of the brand, namely to build premium cars for the small car segment, has turned into a unique and global success story. Today, MINI is the epitome of agile driving combined with an unmistakable look; it meets the highest standards in terms of technology and quality in its vehicle class. “With the current model revision, the MINI has reached a level of maturity that makes it more exceptional in the small car segment with regard to design, product substance and premium quality, than ever before,” says Bernd Körber, Head of the MINI brand. “The MINI is the original that stands out from the crowd and it continues to reinvent itself again and again.”

The global market launch of the latest edition of the MINI-3 door, MINI 5-door and MINI Convertible models will begin in March 2021. In a model-specific version, the comprehensive design, technology and premium quality update also gives fresh impetus to the all-electric MINI Cooper SE in continuing its successful push into the electric vehicle segment. The latest version of the extreme athletes, the MINI John Cooper Works and MINI John Cooper Works Convertible, also benefits from a model-specific further development of their design and their product substance.

MINI 3-door, MINI 5-door, MINI Convertible: The innovations in brief.

•       Purist look thanks to new front design.

•       LED headlights now as standard equipment.

•       Characteristic side scuttles in a new design.

•       Redesigned rear apron, LED rear lights in Union Jack design now standard.

•       World innovation: The Multitone Roof.

•       New body colours and light alloy wheels.

•       Newly-designed interior surfaces and air outlets.

•       Redesigned steering wheels, optionally heated for the first time.

•       Multifunctional instrument display with 5-inch colour display.

•       Central instrument cluster with new Piano Black high-gloss surround, 8.8-inch display and modern graphics display as standard.

•       Sports seats in new Light Chequered colour.

•       New Ambient Light option with extended features.

•       Adaptive chassis now features frequency-selective damping.

•       Electric parking brake available for the first time.

•       Active Cruise Control now with Stop & Go function.

•       Greater safety thanks to new lane departure warning and bad weather light.

•       Piano Black exterior with extended features.

•       New equipment packages allow for targeted individualisation.

Purify MINI: The new exterior design.

A new exterior design language now puts the unmistakable appearance of the MINI in a decidedly purist light. Above all, the enhanced aesthetics ensure that the central design features of the MINI become even more apparent and modern by means of reduction. The front view of the MINI 3-door including the MINI Cooper SE, the MINI 5-door and the MINI Convertible is particularly expressive. It is dominated more than ever by the characteristic radiator grille, the hexagonal surround of which now takes up significantly more space, and by the round hallmark MINI headlights. The position lights are replaced by vertical air inlets placed far to the outside, which serve as an opening for the air curtains in order to optimise aerodynamics. The central bumper strip, which also functions as a number plate holder, is now in body colour rather than in black.

“The new MINI design is more modern, fresher and clearer,” says Oliver Heilmer, Head of MINI Design. “All innovations follow a common mission: Purify MINI! Less complexity, more individuality.”

Typical MINI proportions and short overhangs continue to define the side view. The new contours of the wheel arch surrounds are striking. In addition, the side indicators integrated into the redesigned side scuttles now feature LED technology. A reduced surface design characterises the rear view of the combustion engine powered MINI model variants. A black surround picks up the hexagonal shape of the radiator grille. The rear fog light is now integrated into the rear apron as a narrow LED unit.

Each roof is unique: The unique Multitone Roof.

Contrasting colours for the roof and exterior mirror caps are among the most striking design features that have made MINI a pioneer when it comes to customisation. In addition to the Jet Black, Aspen White and Melting Silver paintwork, as well as Chili Red for the MINI John Cooper Works, an innovative and globally unique variant of the roof paint finish is offered for the MINI 3-door and the MINI 5-door. The new Multitone Roof features a colour gradient from San Marino Blue through Pearly Aqua to Jet Black, created with a new painting technique and by extending from the windscreen frame to the rear. For this purpose, the three colour shades are applied one after the other in a wet-on-wet painting process. This paint finish, known as Spray Tech, is fully integrated into the mechanised production process at the MINI Oxford plant in the UK. Nevertheless, slight deviations in the colour pattern occur due to changing environmental conditions, so that every MINI with Multitone Roof is already unique ex works.

“The new Multitone Roof for the MINI is not only the most expressive form of contrast paint to date, it also takes the brand’s hallmark ex works customisation options to a new level,” says Oliver Heilmer, Head of MINI Design. “And because every roof looks a little bit different and is so unique, it pays to look closely more than ever.”

Three new exterior paint finishes, five new light-alloy wheels.

The choice of body paint finishes includes three new colours. In addition to the Rooftop Grey metallic and Island Blue metallic exterior paint finishes, the Zesty Yellow variant, initially only available for the MINI Convertible, will also be available. As part of the Piano Black Exterior option, the door handles, side scuttles, fuel cap, MINI logos on the bonnet and luggage compartment lid and the model lettering and tailpipes of the exhaust system are now finished in high-gloss black in addition to the surrounds of the headlights, radiator grille and rear lights.

The range of light-alloy wheels available for the MINI has also been extensively renewed. Five new variants are available: 17-inch wheels are now also available in Tentacle Spoke black design, in Scissor Spoke design previously only available for the MINI Sidewalk Convertible, and in a black version of the Pedal Spoke variant which had been previously introduced exclusively for the 60 Years Edition models. In addition there are the 18-inch light-alloy wheels in Pulse Spoke design, with a concentric bi-colour look that creates particularly impressive design accents, as well as John Cooper Works light-alloy wheels in Circuit Spoke black design.

Dark headlights, brightly illuminated roads: LED lights now standard.

A new, expressively designed version of the LED headlights will be standard equipment on the MINI-3 door, the MINI 5-door and the MINI Convertible. The inner housing of the characteristic round lights is no longer in chrome, but in black. LED units for the low beam and the high beam ensure bright and even illumination of the road. A circumferential light band takes on the function of the daytime running lights and the turn indicators.

The range of functions of the optional Adaptive LED headlights includes the cornering light, the matrix high beam and the bad weather light. When turning, a separate light beam automatically falls on the lane where the driver is headed. The high beam is also automatically controlled according to the respective traffic situation at speeds of more than 70 km/h. For this purpose, the corresponding LED unit is divided into four segments that can be activated and deactivated independently of each other. This matrix function makes it possible to avoid dazzling other road users. As soon as the MINI front camera registers an oncoming vehicle or a vehicle driving ahead, the space that vehicle occupies is only illuminated at low beam brightness. The bad weather light can also be activated at the touch of a button. When visibility is limited, for example due to fog or heavy rain or snow, the low beam can be supplemented by a dimmed cornering light to illuminate the road more intensively.

Rear lights in Union Jack design now standard.

The characteristic rear lights in Union Jack design are now also part of the standard equipment range for the MINI 3-door, the MINI 5-door and the MINI Convertible. The British flag-inspired graphic of the rear lights is particularly emphasised by a darker version of the pattern. All functions of the rear lights are in LED technology with the exception of the reversing light.

Interior: Clear design, high-quality finish.

The redesigned interior of the MINI 3-door, MINI 5-door and MINI Convertible is sophisticated, modern and of particularly high quality. New to the range are sports seats in the Light Chequered colour variant, which perfectly complement the Zesty Yellow exterior paint finish. The familiar Black Pearl fabric quality is given a new, expressive check look in hallmark British MINI style. The seams at the transition to the black imitation leather of the seat bolsters feature a colour scheme that matches the fabric of the seat surfaces.

The design of the Colour Line, which was previously selectable as an individual option, is now harmoniously matched to the respective seat upholstery colour. The number of chrome elements has been significantly reduced throughout the interior. The two outer, round air outlets are now framed by black panels. The internal air vents have been completely redesigned and are now embedded to be flush with the interior surface. The interior surface, which is optionally available in the new Silver Chequered and MINI Yours Aluminium variants as well as Electric for the MINI Cooper SE, now extends across the entire width of the instrument panel into the driver’s area.

The premium look of the hallmark central instrument has also been optimised. An 8.8-inch colour touchscreen display, touch-sensitive favourite buttons and Piano Black high-gloss surfaces are now standard features. In addition, the audio control unit and the function buttons for hazard warning lights and driver assistance systems are integrated even more harmoniously into the circular control unit. In conjunction with the Ambient Light option, a new surface design with laser engraving optimises the appearance of the LED light ring surrounding the central instrument. The operating system controller placed on the centre console now features an all-black surface in conjunction with a navigation system.

Sports leather steering wheel now standard, digital cockpit optional.

A newly designed sports leather steering wheel with multifunction buttons will be part of the standard equipment of all model variants of the MINI-3 door, MINI-5 door and MINI Convertible. A new structure for the keypads optimises operation of the audio and telephone functions, voice control and driver assistance systems. The John Cooper Works Trim, MINI Yours Trim and MINI Electric Trim equipment packages feature a particularly high-grade version of the sports leather steering wheel. It features a nappa leather surface and larger thumb rests. For the first time, steering wheel heating is also available as an optional extra for the MINI small car models.

A multifunctional instrument display behind the steering wheel is a component of the Connected Media option. The digital colour display in black panel design, which is standard in the MINI Cooper SE, has a 5-inch diameter and displays all driving-relevant information as well as check-control messages and status displays of the driver assistance systems. In the all-electric MINI, it also serves as a charging status indicator while connected to the power grid.

Choice of display colours and lighting mood: The new “Lounge” and “Sport” modes.

There is a choice of two colour schemes for the central instrument display and the digital cockpit display, which can be called up in the control system menu. In “Lounge” mode, the content displayed is in a relaxing colour setting ranging between turquoise and petrol blue. If “Sport” mode is active, the screen backgrounds are red and anthracite. On vehicles equipped with the optional MINI Driving Modes, the colour scheme is linked to the respective vehicle setting selected. In the MID and GREEN modes, the “lounge” style screen display is then called up, and when driving in “SPORT” mode, the corresponding colour scheme of the same name is also activated. Optionally, a uniform colour scheme for all MINI Driving Modes can be set in the control system menu.

In conjunction with the new Ambient Light option, the colour worlds of the displays can also be combined with the interior light control. There is a choice of six interior light colours for each of the two modes “Lounge” and “Sport”. They can each be set using a toggle switch located in the upper area of the windscreen frame. Corresponding coloured light is then emitted from the laser-engraved LED ring of the central instrument, from the now indirectly illuminated undersides of the interior surfaces, along the contours of the door panels, at the driver’s and passenger’s door openers, from the base of the roof as well as in the front area of the centre console and in the footwells. This provides an individually configurable and always harmonious lighting mood in the interior of the MINI 3-door, the MINI 5-door and the MINI Convertible. In addition, the Ambient Light option also illuminates the door handles and the entry areas on the driver and passenger sides.

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Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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