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The original – new every time: The MINI 3-door, the MINI 5-door, the MINI Convertible

The original – new every time: The MINI 3-door, the MINI 5-door, the MINI Convertible

The original in the small car premium segment moves to the next stage of its evolution. With an intensive makeover for the MINI 3-door, the MINI 5-door and the MINI Convertible, the British premium automobile manufacturer confirms the position of the three models as the premium providers of driving fun, expressive design and individual style.

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.

Twenty 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 athlete, the MINI John Cooper Works, also benefits from a model-specific further development of its design and 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.
  • 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.

"The MINI’s increased product substance is visible at first glance and is noticeable everywhere," says project manager Petra Beck. "This applies to the design, the materials and the quality feel in the interior as well as to the numerous new functions with regard to operation, driving fun and driver assistance."

Highlights - MINI Cooper S 3-door (01/2021)
Highlights - MINI Cooper S 3-door (01/2021)

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 that 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.

Highlights - MINI Cooper S 3-door (01/2021)
Highlights - MINI Cooper S 3-door (01/2021)

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, three 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. Three new variants are available: a black version of the 17-inch Pedal Spoke variant that had been previously introduced exclusively for the 60 Years Edition models, and 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.

Highlights - MINI Cooper S 3-door (01/2021)
Highlights - MINI Cooper S 3-door (01/2021)

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,optionally available in MINI Yours Aluminium variants as well as the 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. A high-grade version of the sports leather stering wheel is optional, featuring a nappa leather surface and larger thumb rests. 

A multifunctional instrument display behind the steering wheel is a component of the standard Connected Media offering. 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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Questions to Oliver Heilmer on the new MINI.

What does the new MINI model stand for in your view?

The new MINI is first and foremost an authentic MINI and has gained even further in personality and substance. Under the banner “Purify”, we have refined and emphasised all those things that make MINI what it is: quality, modernity and identity. Here, it was also important to us to achieve even greater differentiation between the various engine variants. For the first time, there is no specific design for the MINI One, and the Cooper, Cooper S, Cooper SE and John Cooper Works can be clearly distinguished from one another.

What was the approach with the development of this model?

MINI has a great history. This means we at MINI Design are repeatedly handed the fascinating task of striking the right balance between heritage and the future. What things do you keep in, what do you rethink? An important strategy for us here was a purposeful “reduction” to essential aspects, so we could focus on specific elements and enhance their visual presence. With the new MINI, the revolution is in the detail. We set out to modernise where we could, while at the same time retaining the car’s established substance. For example, omitting chrome in the headlights for the first time showcases even more effectively the signature MINI look created by the circular daytime driving lights. The same goes for the radiator grille: reducing certain elements gives the grille and therefore the front end as a whole a clearer and more modern appearance. And incorporating the body colour into the grille for the first time adds another visual highlight.

What are some of the special design features of the new MINI?

Revolutions at MINI often begin with colour and material-related themes. We’ve always been pretty bold in this area, and that’s the case again with the new MINI. With the Multitone Roof – a visually expressive design made up of multiple colours – we are making a real stylistic statement and taking the next step in developing the contrast-colour roof design originally established by us. The paint finish on this new roof progresses from dark blue through light blue to black. The special manufacturing process we developed at Plant Oxford for the job at hand ensures each roof is a one-off, as the wet-on-wet painting method inherently creates slight differences in the colour transitions. And so, every customer will be given a unique example of the car; it doesn’t get any more individual. What is more, we are the first carmaker to offer this kind of roof design. Another feature of the exterior are the new 18-inch radial wheels. These represent a further development of the classic Mini’s signature wheel rims, now with milled surfaces. The bi-colour design of the rims creates a very effective contrast, and the concentric pattern adds the finishing touch to their dynamic and modern appearance.

At first glance, the interior is typically MINI, but look again and the array of detail updates we’ve introduced are revealed. Fewer joins and buttons give the cabin a more sophisticated and modern feel. The clear cockpit layout with new multi-function steering wheel integrates more functions yet reduces the number of control surfaces. The digital instrument cluster on the steering column and iconic central instrument with all-new user interface point the way into the brand’s digital age. One feature of the car you may not be able to see as such, but which I would say is equally important is the use of 100% recycled material for the surfaces of the sports seats in the new Light Chequered design. After all, our goal is to make the future not only modern but also more sustainable.

Significant updates have been made to the user interface. How did  they come about?

We are focusing on touch control in the new MINI, as this is something our customers are already familiar with from devices they use outside the car. So, the car should offer an intuitive extension of this control logic. The layout is also visually clear and modern in execution. We now have live widgets, which users can adapt or selected by swiping. And we are using two colour worlds to highlight the “Lounge” and “Sport” driving modes in the central information display. These modes also team up with the extended ambient lighting. When the driver selects a mode, the ambient lighting changes in full and allows the driver to immerse themselves discreetly yet even more deeply in the driving experience.

What scope will there be for customisation?

Customisation has always been a central theme at MINI. With this in mind, we certainly haven’t dialled things back with the new MINI; instead, we’re offering even more ways of adapting the car to the customer’s individual style and personality. As I said before, it’s difficult to think of a more individual feature than the Multitone Roof. And we’re also adding three new exterior colour shades to the selection of paint finishes for this model. As you would expect, we are once again offering a spread of high-quality equipment and trim options for the interior which will help owners to set their car apart. Together with the Multitone Roof, this means we are opening up a wider range of possibilities than ever before.

What does the new MINI tell us about the (design) future of MINI?

The principle of reduction will play a major role in shaping the future face of MINI. After all, we believe that, in this ever more complex world, it will become increasingly important to focus on the essential aspects. We don’t see reduction as “doing without”. Rather, purposefully leaving things out enables us to highlight and emphasise those that remain to the best possible effect. In our eyes, reduction represents a clear choice – for elements that will then benefit from all of our passion, eye for detail and expertise.

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Engines with MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology and Euro 6d emission standard.

Powerful and efficient petrol engines with three or four cylinders constitute the drive portfolio for the MINI 3-door, the MINI 5-door and the MINI Convertible. Their MINI TwinPower Turbo technology is made up of a turbocharging unit integrated into the exhaust manifold, direct petrol injection and variable valve timing. The 3-cylinder engines, each with a capacity of 1.5 litres, are available in two versions with outputs ranging from 75 kW to 100 kW. The 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine generates a maximum output of 141 kW in the Cooper S or 170 kW in the John Cooper Works models. Thanks to consistently optimised emission control technology, which includes a petrol engine particulate filter, all model variants comply with the Euro 6d emission standard.

With its 135 kW electric motor, the MINI Cooper SE provides emission-free driving fun. Power is transmitted via a single-stage automatic transmission. The high-voltage lithium-ion battery, which is located deep in the vehicle floor and has a gross energy content of 32.6 kWh, enables an estimated range of 215 kilometres.

The combustion engines of the MINI 3-door, MINI 5-door and MINI Convertible are combined with a 7-speed Steptronic transmission with double clutch as standard. (John Cooper Works models use an 8-speed Steptronic transmission.)

Three drive units are available for both the MINI 3-door and the MINI 5-door:

MINI One 3-door:

75 kW, 0 – 100 km/h in 10.3 seconds, top speed: 195 km/h. fuel consumption (combined): 5.6 litres/100 km. CO2 emissions (combined): 128g/km.

MINI Cooper 3-door:

100 kW, 0 – 100 km/h in 8.1 seconds, top speed: 210 km/h. fuel consumption (combined): 5.6 litres/100 km. CO2 emissions (combined): 128g/km

MINI Cooper S 3-door:

141 kW, 0 – 100 km/h in 6.7 seconds, top speed: 235 km/h, fuel consumption (combined): 6.0 litres/100 km. CO2 emissions (combined): 136 g/km.

MINI One 5-door: 75 kW, 0 – 100 km/h in 10.6 seconds, top speed: 192 km/h, fuel consumption (combined): 5.7 litres/100 km. CO2 emissions (combined): 131 g/km.

MINI Cooper 5-door: 100 kW, 0 – 100 km/h in 8.3 seconds, top speed: 207 km/h, fuel consumption (combined): 5.7 litres/100 km. CO2 emissions (combined): 131 g/km.

MINI Cooper S 5-door: 141 kW, 0 – 100 km/h in 6.8 seconds, top speed: 235 km/h, fuel consumption (combined): 6.0 litres/100 km,  CO2 emissions (combined): 136 g/km) 

Two engines are available for the MINI Convertible:

MINI Cooper Convertible: 100 kW, 0 – 100 km/h in 8.7 seconds, top speed: 205 km/h, fuel consumption (combined): 6.0 litres/100 km.
CO2 emissions (combined): 137 g/km.

MINI Cooper S Convertible: 141 kW, 0 – 100 km/h in 7.1 seconds, top speed: 230 km/h, fuel consumption (combined): 6.3 litres/100 km. CO2 emissions (combined): 143 g/km

Also available:

MINI Cooper SE: 135 kW, 0 – 100 km/h in 7.3 seconds, top speed: 150 km/h, energy consumption: 17.5 kWh/100 km, CO2 emissions: 0 g/km, range: 215 km.

MINI John Cooper Works: 170 kW, 0 – 100 km/h in 6.1 seconds, top speed: 246 km/h, fuel consumption (combined): 6.3 litres/100 km. CO2 emissions (combined): 143 g/km.

Go-kart feeling redefined: Adaptive suspension optimising the balance between sportiness and comfort.

The spontaneous power delivery of the engines, precise steering, powerful brakes and suspension and damper tuning designed for spirited handling are what characterise the MINI's agile driving characteristics. A new version of the Adaptive Suspension, available for the first time on MINI models, now redefines the brand’s hallmark go-kart feeling. It achieves a noticeably optimised balance between sportiness and ride comfort through the use of continuous frequency-selective damping. An additional valve acting on the traction side takes over the task of smoothing out sudden pressure peaks within the damper. The damper force is adjusted within 50 to 100 milliseconds.

Depending on the driving situation and road conditions, the damping forces can be reduced by up to 50 percent. This significantly increases ride comfort and superior handling when compensating for slight bumps in the road, while maintaining the sporty characteristics of the damping when turning in to a corner, for example. The innovative damper technology is available for all model variants except the the MINI One and the MINI Cooper SE.

The MINI Cooper SE comes with an electric parking brake as standard. It is activated and released with a button on the centre console and is also available in the other model variants, with at least 17-inch light-alloy wheels.

New equipment packages and trims allow for targeted individualisation.

A newly structured range of trims and equipment packages permits customers to optimally customise the MINI 3-door, the MINI 5-door and the MINI Convertible. It allows customers to add their favourite options to the extended standard equipment range of the MINI in a simple and coherent way. The trims are distinguished above all by their independent and harmoniously coordinated exterior and interior design features. Individual wishes regarding comfort, driver assistance, operation and networking can also be fulfilled thanks to a clear selection of equipment packages.  In addition, a reduced number of individual options remain for the final configuration of the vehicle, oriented towards the customer's personal style.

The trims available to complement the extensive range of standard equipment also each include the Ambient Light and MINI Driving Modes options. The Classic Trim also includes particularly attractive exterior paint finishes and light-alloy wheels as well as sports seats in the fabric/leatherette combination Black Pearl/Carbon Black and the interior surface in the Piano Black variant.

New operating system with modern graphics display and additional connectivity features.

The operating system of the MINI 3-door, MINI 5-door and MINI Convertible is now more advanced than ever before thanks to a new graphics display and further developed options for selecting and controlling vehicle functions, audio system, hands-free telephone system, navigation and apps.  The screen display with symbols and white text on new colour backgrounds has a particularly high-grade and modern look.

The desired menu items are displayed as "live widgets" and can be called up by swiping the touchscreen, whereupon they are shown in enlarged form in the centre of the display. This stages the content even more vividly.

Advanced connectivity features, audio and navigation features are combined in three further equipment packages that build on each other. The multifunctional instrument display, MINI Connected, ConnectedDrive and Remote Services are all components of the Connected Media package. The Connected Navigation Package adds the MINI navigation system including Real Time Traffic Information and Apple CarPlay preparation. The Connected Navigation Plus package also adds MINI Connected XL, Concierge Services, MINI Head-Up Display and telephony with wireless charging.

Always connected to your MINI: The new MINI App.

The new MINI App offers an advanced user experience that is completely oriented towards a digital lifestyle. It allows drivers to contact their MINI at any time, for example to call up information on the car's status or to prepare the next excursion. The MINI App, which can currently be downloaded free of charge from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store in 30 European countries as well as in South Korea, serves as a universal interface between the smartphone or other personal devices and the car. The MINI App features fresh design and new functions.

For example, the fuel level or charge status can be called up remotely. With Remote Services, the MINI can be located and its doors locked or unlocked. You can also send navigation destinations from a smartphone directly to the car. Service appointments can also be arranged very conveniently using the MINI App. Model-specific MINI Electric services are another component of the app. The charging process can also be controlled from a distance and – depending on the time of year - the auxiliary heating or auxiliary air conditioning of the MINI Cooper SE can be activated. By mid-2021, the MINI App will be available in more than 40 countries and 23 languages.