Mini cooper s 3 door action
MINI 2018: updated with more tech and lower emission, lower tax engines
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NEW technology, cutting-edge connectivity, a new logo and even Union Jack tail lights are among the goodies being offered on the new MINI due for launch in mid-March 2018.

Connected Concierge services, wireless smartphone charging and the ability to “talk” to the phone to plan routes and determine the ideal time to set off based on real time traffic data, are there to tempt business and company car drivers.

Lower emissions for lower BIK company car tax

Lower CO2 emissions also help company car tax to make MINI 2018 more business attractive.

The engine line-up brings reductions in CO2 and a BIK rate on the new entry level 3-cylinder 1.5-litre petrol (111g/km) down to 21% in the first year – that’s around £1,200 in the 40% tax bracket in terms of company car tax.

The 1.6-diesel, with a £1,000 price premium has the same BIK rate, but a higher taxable value – an additional £200 a year – despite lower CO2 emissions at 96g/km.

The 3-cylinder petrol engine in the MINI One is a capacity increase over the previous base-level 1.2-litre, increasing maximum torque by 10Nm, taking it to 190Nm.

That’s the major change in the engine line-up for MINI 2018 while the gearbox range has been widened to include a six-speed manual, a seven-speed dual-clutch DCT or an eight-speed full automatic.

MINI rear LED lights incorporating Union Jack
MINI rear LED lights incorporating Union Jack

Visual changes to MINI 2018

All versions of the MINI Hatch and Convertible get the same front and rear LED lamps as standard, for the first time in this segment.

The LED lamps have a stronger, brighter beam pattern, while the daytime running lamps and indicators are also LED-based.

The three-dimensional LED rear lamps cleverly incorporate horizontal turn signals and vertical brake lamps within a distinctive new light cluster.

First-in-class new ‘Matrix’ adaptive LED headlamps will be offered as an option on the new MINI Hatch and Convertible range, which automatically adjusts brightness using a matrix of different light elements to cater for specific road conditions.

The adaptive LEDs also feature an automatic selective dip function when on high beam, which automatically extinguishes the parts of the lamp which may dazzle other drivers, while at the same time offering optimal illumination.

The new badge has a flat two-dimensional design, reflecting MINI’s new brand identity with its focus on what the brand describes as key values:

  • driving fun,
  • distinctive design,
  • premium quality,
  • and emotional appeal.

Exterior options include an additional means of customising the exterior design – a popular practice among MINI customers. With the Piano Black Exterior pack, the surrounds of the headlights, rear lights and radiator grille are finished in high-gloss black instead of chrome.

MINI Cooper S 3dr 2018 interior
MINI 2018’s interior: more customisation added and improved connectivity

The choice of alloy wheels has been expanded, too: 17-inch ‘Roulette’ and ‘Propeller’ designs are now available for all body variants along with a new ‘Rail’ two-tone wheel.

The MINI Yours Customised programme allows further individualisation including side scuttles, decorative strips for the interior on the passenger side, LED door sill finishers and LED door projectors.

Intelligent stop/start works with satnav

There are more clever bits technology-wise.

Using the satellite navigation data and the car’s inbuilt camera systems, the stop/start can be intelligently controlled to identify situations in which it is better not to switch off the engine: for example when stopping briefly before making a turn or entering a roundabout, or if the traffic ahead has started moving again.

The standard trim includes an audio system with 6.5-inch colour screen in the central instrument panel and mobile phone integration via Bluetooth.

MINI 2018 logo projection
New LED lights, new alloys and MINI logo projection on MINI 2018

The new wireless charging feature, available as an option or as part of the Navigation Plus upgrade package, is facilitated via a storage compartment in the centre armrest which will automatically and wirelessly charge mobile phones which support this capability. This option also includes a second USB socket in the front section of the centre console.

MINI Connected updated

New features in the MINI Connected package include Real Time Traffic Information and automatic navigation map update via mobile phone connection, the Concierge Service and a vehicle internet portal – MINI Online – with news, weather and fuel price updates. Another option is Apple CarPlay compatibility.

The MINI Connected App provides connectivity with digital touchpoints such as a smartphone or smart watch. For example, it can draw on calendar entries and contact data entered in a smartphone to plan routes and determine the ideal time to set off based on real time traffic data.

The Send to Car function enables planned routes to be sent to the navigation system, while Remote Services allow the driver to display vehicle location, fuel level and other vehicle status details on a smartphone, but also activate the headlight flasher, horn, ventilation and door lock/unlock function.

Intelligent networking is standard across the range via an integrated 4G SIM card which enables the use of MINI Teleservices and the Intelligent Emergency Call with automatic detection of vehicle location and accident severity.

MINI 2018 rear


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Chris Wright has been covering the automotive industry nationally and internationally for 30 years. Following spells with consumer titles he became News Editor of Automotive Management (AM), Editor of Automotive International, International Editor for Detroit-based Automotive News, and Editor of Dealer Update. He has also co-authored several FT Management Reports and contributes regularly to


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