The core Mini range has undergone a significant upgrade which has brought engine modifications, a new dual-clutch automatic transmissions and a standard equipment boost across the three-door, five-door and cabriolet variants.
Set to arrive in Australia in the middle of the year, the 2018 Mini also gains anti-dazzle matrix headlights surrounded by LED indicator lamps and LED tail-lights featuring a Union Jack design as seen on the 2017 Mini Electric concept.
Exterior changes are confined to new alloy wheel designs, revised badging, piano black highlights and three extra paint options.
Inside gains a new three-spoke multi-function steering wheel, updated 6.5in infotainment system, wireless phone charging and optional sat-nav and Apple CarPlay connectivity. There are also more leather upholstery options.
Mechanically, there are no changes to the suspension or steering, but engines have been revised with the 75kW 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbo being deleted from the range, leaving a modified version of the 100kW 1.5-litre three-pot as the entry-level petrol powertrain, now with more torque and greater fuel efficiency.
The four-cylinder engines have also been tweaked to improve driveability, including the introduction of improved turbo technology and more efficient cooling and exhaust systems. Other improvements include higher direct-injection fuel pressures, improved turbo technology and revisions to the electronics and oil supply.
All engines also feature a new, lightweight carbon fibre-reinforced plastic cover.
The six-speed manual and six-speed automatic gearbox remain the base transmissions whilea seven-speed dual-clutch auto with paddle shifters is set to be offered on Cooper, Cooper S and Cooper D, while the Cooper SD’s powerful four-cylinder diesel gets an eight-speed dual clutch auto.
Most of the changes are expected to make their way to the Mini Countryman and Clubman.
The 2018 Mini is expected to arrive in Australia in the middle of the year, with local pricing and specs to be announced closer to the launch date.