Although no radical changes have been made to the familiar Mini recipe, the cars have received a subtle facelift as well as fresh exterior colours, wheel designs, interior trimmings and upholsteries.
Jason Woosey in OXFORD, ENGLAND – Mini’s 3-door and 5-door hatchback models, along with the convertible, have been treated to a makeover for 2021 and potential buyers don’t have long to wait, with the first units expected to touch down in South Africa during the second quarter of 2021.
Although no radical changes have been made to the familiar Mini recipe, the cars have received a subtle facelift as well as fresh exterior colours, wheel designs, interior trimmings and upholsteries. The 2021 models also boast enhanced connectivity and new driver assistance technologies.
In the words of Mini design chief Oliver Heilmer, the exterior refreshments aim to achieve “less complexity” and “more individuality”. The front end has been redesigned with a larger hexagonal grille surround, while the central bumper strip is now in body colour, no doubt to prevent the grille from looking too big. The LED headlights are new too, set apart by a circular DRL light band, while the inner headlight housing is now finished in black rather than chrome.
But the biggest talking point, design-wise, is the new ‘Multitone’ roof colour option, which sees the colour change from San Marino Blue in the area closest to the windscreen, through to Pearly Aqua in the middle section and then Jet Black at the rear. Interestingly, slight deviations in the colour pattern occur due to changing environmental conditions, meaning that every roof will be slightly unique.
Buyers can still, of course, opt for the usual white, black and silver roof colours, as well as Chili Red on the JCW models, which also receive a similar range of upgrades to the regular Mini models.
Moving to the back, a black bumper element mimics the grille at the front of the car, while the Union Jack tail light pattern is now standard on all models.
Inside, the 2021 cabin now has less chrome and flusher surfaces, Mini says. Furthermore, a colour touchscreen display, touch-sensitive favourite buttons and Piano Black high-gloss surfaces are now standard across the board. The new multi-function sports steering wheel will also be part of the deal for buyers, but they will have to pay extra for the digital instrument cluster, via the Connected Media package.
Owners can change the colour scheme of the instrument panel and central display through two new modes (Lounge and Sport) and those opting for the Ambient Light option get a choice of six interior light colours for each of the two modes.
Mini has also upgraded the range of driver assistance features, with new lane departure warning and bad weather light systems, and an electric parking brake is available for the first time too. Furthermore, the adaptive chassis option now features frequency-selective damping.
The turbopetrol engine range continues as before, with One and Cooper models powered by a 1.5-litre three-cylinder unit, pushing 75kW and 100kW respectively, and the Cooper S and JCW performance versions sporting a 2-litre four-pot with outputs of 141kW and 170kW.
The battery-powered Cooper SE also soldiers on with its 135kW electric motor and lithium-ion batteries that allow a (claimed) range of around 215km.