Arguably, MINI would have to do something pretty extreme to put customers off from buying it, but fortunately the latest facelift emphasises some of the features that link it with the original car, rather than going totally off-piste. The updates apply across the ICE and EV range, though there are some MINI Electric-specific changes.
Whilst the car’s profile is largely unchanged, at the front and back ends of the car the changes are fairly obvious with major features accentuated.
Up front, there’s a new radiator grille (blanked off on the Electric) which is larger and has a black, hexagonal surround – aping the original car – as well as the iconic round headlights. A body coloured strip runs across the grille, replacing the previous black feature, and there’s a new array of air intakes for better aerodynamics.
Where the headlights are concerned, the inner housing is now black instead of chrome, with a circular band which houses the DRLs and indicators. Adaptive lighting with cornering and matrix high-beam is available. Down the sides of the MINI, the wheel arches have been re-contoured and indicator repeaters now use LED technology. At the rear, the fog lamp is integrated into the rear apron.
Three new paint finishes will be available across the range, as well as a Piano Black exterior option which adds high gloss black details to the exterior trim. Five new alloy wheel designs are available and buyers can opt to have a ‘multitone’ roof, which blends exterior colours in a way that is unique to each car.
In an exclusive for the MINI Electric, just 300 Electric Collection cars will be made available in the UK. These are based on the top-spec Level 3 car and gets unique door entry strips and steering wheel badging, aluminium interior trim and the option to spec a panoramic glass sunroof for no extra cost.
As standard, the MINI Electric now gets an 8.8 inch colour touchscreen, piano black surfaces and a newly designed circular control unit, which integrates the buttons for all the most commonly used functions. A standard multifunction leather sports steering wheel augments other controls by placing them at the driver’s fingertips. The infotainment itself uses MINI’s latest operating system, featuring new graphics and improved user experience.
Chrome has been dialled back throughout the interior of the car in favour of black detailing, or simply integrating features – such as the air vents which are now embedded to be flush with the interior surface.
Across the range, new Lounge and Sport colour schemes change the display on the central instrument panel and digital cockpit display. In Lounge mode the colours are more relaxing tones such as blues and turquoises, whereas in Sport mode they turn to reds and greys. Where specified, these choices can be set to work alongside ambient lighting throughout the car.
Whilst the MINI Electric has never exactly struggled to excite out on the road, the new car has gained a new version of adaptive suspension. This features continuous frequency-selective damping which can reduce damping forces by up to 50 per cent to improve the ride without sacrificing sportiness.
The new MINI Electric is available now from £27,920. If you want to be one of the 300 UK buyers to get your hands on the MINI Electric Collection, you’ll need to shell out £36,420.