Make Over- 2018 Mini 3&5 door Facelift: Launch drive

Make Over- 2018 Mini 3&5 door Facelift: Launch drive
Make up is meant to enhance and beautify those who need neat touches to enhance their beauty, nowadays you even get a 3D version of it, and while it may be impressive on the surface it is not permanent. Make overs have been more permanent to a degree, and personally I prefer them as they have a holistic approach. Minis have always been good looking and cute, cute used with the utmost respect. The brand carries a significant amount of heritage spanning countless decades. I must say I was quite pleased to hear that the brand restructured its portfolio by cutting down on models on offer, now it is streamlined and much easier to identity and relate to each model.
This year we were invited to the launch of the LCI of the premium hatch, as much as 10 improvements to mark the makeover. As with all makeovers, it starts with the eyes, meaning headlights. Full circle LED daytime running light and revised headlights with matrix function for high beam, the taillights now boast the Union Jack flag detail; this is also extended to the canvas roof of the convertible and the rear of the headrests. The touches are just too cool. The Mini Logo has been reworked to look more prominent and better, an added selection of body colours enhance the look. The exterior also benefits from an added new selection of lighter alloy wheels. The driver’s side mirror casing can now be specified with Mini logo projection.
The interior benefits from improved finishes like an extended array of leather touches and colours. I quite liked seeing the Union Jack on the passenger’s side just over the cabby hole, the centre console looks better, the multi-function steering wheel also benefits from some improvements. I love the new gear lever, feels good. The console also boasts a wireless smartphone charging station. The optional navigation system is quite user friendly as we found out after missing a point on the route map during the launch drive, the radio is equipped with Apple Carplay for you IOS users. Mini has now taken an approach to encourage owners to customise their loved Minis, one can now order online door strips and fender inserts with your name in the font you desire. How cool is that’s…. when you decide to sell your Mini you can remount the originals for the new owner.
The overall look is great and visually appealing.
The engines remain the same with an addition of a friendly 3 cylinder 75kw motor, it was quite lovely to be reunited with the fun driving spirit of the Mini engines , the 100kw 1.5L 3 potter is still a gem with its grunty tone and sufficient torque delivery through the rev range. While most hatches generate a lot more power these days, the 4 cylinder 141Kw turbo charges Cooper S still maintains its serious fun factor, it just does not feel slow or in anyways boring , plus it has the party tricks with the overrun sounds from the centre mounted exhaust tailpieces. A newer 7 speed steptronic with double clutch is available for Mini One 3 door, 5 door and convertible, the S is available with paddle shifters, it’s a peach of a gearbox. While I loved the 8 speed auto, this new box is better for torque management and faster changes, even boasts a coasting feature in economy mode. The combination of the box and the engines is great match that leads to a properly entertaining drive, the 100kw is still my favourite.
The specification level is as always impressive with the options just needing JCW touches for some serious street cred. I quite love how most BMW features filter down to the prestigious British brand.
This facelift has done wonders to make an already good looking premium hatch better looking, it has that IT factor.
Pricing
Mini One 3 door is priced from R 302 200 to R511 600 for the John Cooper Works AT
Mini One 5door from R312 300 to R 459 400 for the Cooper S AT
Mini Convertible from R432 200 to R514 800 for the Copper S AT

A warm welcome to Hailey,
Thanks to Edward, Lerato, Lesego,Lavesh and Hailey for an awesome launch.
Yours in motoring
Wezile Lorenzio Bonani

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