Spot the Difference: Mini Unveils Tweaked 2019 Cooper Line
Remember when TV shows used to replace a troublesome actor, only to keep the same character hanging around? Like Aunt Vivian from Fresh Prince, or Darren from Bewitched? This is not like that at all.
For its 2019 Mini Cooper lineup, the names stay the same, and so does the look. Even eagle-eyed observers will have to search high and low for design features not present on 2018 models, but trust us —they’re there. One such change is so British, it hurts.
Starting up front, the 2019 Coopers — two-door, four-door, and convertible — boast revamped headlamps modules. Both entry-level halogen units and upmarket LED clusters see tweaks, with the LED peepers now offering increased brightness. More noticeable is the LED light ring encircling the headlamps, which serves as a daytime running light. The strip now runs the full circumference of the lamp.
Shocking, we know, but Mini’s photographs don’t lie. Out back, the taillights now inform every following driver that This Is A British Car. Both taillights carry a Union Jack design, etched out in LEDs. As Mini explains, “The turn indicators are horizontally arranged and the brake lights are vertically aligned, with the tail light additionally representing the diagonal lines of the British flag.”
Surely, the late Roger Moore would have approved. Connery, probably not so much.
We’ve already told you about Mini’s new badge, which appears in all the expected locales. Besides that, the only new external change is the addition of new 17-inch light alloy wheel designs to the options roster.
Inside, customization is the name of the game. If you’re already driving a Mini, chances are you’re something of an individualist — so why not demand a custom interior? Through the Mini Yours Customized program, buyers can do exactly that. Through Mini’s online customizer, and thanks to 3D printing and laser etching, customers “can choose between various colors, patterns, surface structures and icons, as well as contributing their own texts and adding a touch of personal style to the design,” the automaker claims.
Customizable items include side scuttles, decorative strips for the interior on the passenger side, LED door sill finishers, and LED door projectors. Yes, you read that right. The new Mini features an available light projector located in the side mirror that lets everyone nearby know you’re driving a Mini Cooper, and not, say, a Toyota Highlander.
If personalizing your Mini seems like a bridge too far, there’s still three new exterior paint colors to choose from, a blacked-out package for those who like their Minis menacing, a Piano Black interior option, and available Malt Brown Chesterfield upholstery, which sort of sounds like a beer.
All Minis gain a 6.5-inch infotainment touchscreen, but there’s an 8.8-inch unit with navigation for those willing to shell out a few more pounds (euros?). In both cases, the user interface has undergone changes and added features. An expanded range of connectivity options is also available.
We’re assuming there’s zero changes under the hood, as Mini’s announcement leaves powertrains unmentioned. So, expect the return of the turbo 1.5-liter three-cylinder in base models and the turbo 2.0-liter four in Cooper S trim.
[Images: BMW of North America]
Krhodes1 on Jan 10, 2018
I want to like Minis. I like the idea of them, I like the way they drive. But the too cuteness, especially inside grates on me. I wish BMW would just sell a proper 1-series hatch here. The Mini fun in a grownup suit. For too cute and fun I find the Fiat 500 to be far more so than the Mini but in a more appealing way for WAAAAAY less money. Mini tries too hard and costs too much.
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