Motoring

MINI 3-Door Hatch

Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Twenty years after the launch of the modern MINI, the latest model generation moves to the next stage of its evolution, with fresh design and technology updates.

The refreshed exterior of the MINI 3-Door Hatch looks even more modern, with further attention now focussed on the car’s central design features. The front-view is dominated by a larger radiator grille and the hallmark round MINI headlights. The position lights have been replaced by vertical air inlets to optimise aerodynamics, and the central bumper strip is now in body colour, rather than black. The wheel arch has new contours, the side indicators have been redesigned to feature LED technology and at the back of the car, the fog light is now integrated into the rear apron as a narrow LED unit.

Paint Finish

What’s more, an innovative roof-paint finish is offered on the MINI 3-Door Hatch. The new Multitone Roof features a colour gradient from San Marino Blue through Pearly Acqua to Jet Black, created with a new painting technique. The three colour shades are applied one after the other in a wet-on-wet painting process, a paint finish called Spray Tech, which is fully integrated into the mechanised production process at MINI Plant Oxford. Slight deviations in the colour pattern occur due to changing environmental conditions during the painting process, so every MINI with a Multitone Roof is completely unique.

The inner housing of the round headlight is now also offered in black, instead of the previous chrome, and a circular light band takes on the function of the daytime running lights and indicators. Optional Adaptive LED headlights provide cornering light, matrix high-beam and bad weather light functions. When turning, a separate light beam automatically falls on the lane where you are heading and the matrix function provides four segments that can activate and deactivate independently to avoid dazzling other road users. When visibility is limited, the bad weather light acts as a dimmed cornering light to better illuminate the road.

Interior

The redesigned interior of the MINI 3-Door Hatch is sophisticated and modern. An 8.8-inch colour touchscreen display and Piano Black high-gloss surface are now standard and the audio control unit and function buttons for hazard warning lights and driver assistance systems are integrated more harmoniously into the circular control unit.

Chrome elements have been significantly reduced throughout the interior with the two outer air outlets framed by black panels. The internal air vents have been completely redesigned and are now embedded to be flush with the interior surface.

A newly-designed sports leather steering wheel with multifunction buttons is also part of the standard equipment of all model variants of the MINI 3-Door Hatch. Additionally, there is a choice of two colour schemes for the central instrument and digital cockpit displays, which can be selected in the control system menu. In “Lounge” mode, the content is displayed in a relaxing colour setting ranging between turquoise and petrol blue. If “Sport” mode is active, the screen backgrounds are red and anthracite.

Go-Kart Feeling

A new version of Adaptive Suspension, available for the first time on MINI, redefines the brand’s hallmark go-kart feeling. It achieves a noticeably optimised balance between sportiness and ride comfort through the use of continuous frequency-selective damping. An additional valve acting on the traction side takes over the task of smoothing out sudden pressure peaks within the damper. The damper force is adjusted within 50 to 100 milliseconds and depending on the driving situation and road conditions, the damping forces can be reduced by up to 50 percent.

Furthermore, the optional Driver Assistance Pack ensures maximum comfort and safety. The new lane departure warnings help you stay safely on your chosen course with the system registering markings at the edge of the lane and alerting you via steering wheel vibration if there is a risk of deviation. This pack also includes Active Cruise Control, which now also offers a Stop & Go function in conjunction with an automatic transmission. It automatically maintains the desired speed and the distance to vehicles ahead in four stages. The system uses data registered by the front camera, installed in the upper part of the windscreen frame, to adjust speed and distance according to the situation.

New Operating System

The operating system of the MINI 3-Door Hatch is now more advanced than ever before. This is thanks to a new graphics display and further developed options for selecting and controlling the vehicle functions, audio system, hands-free telephone system, navigation and apps. The screen display with symbols and text on new colour backgrounds has a modern look and menu items are now displayed as “live widgets” to be called up by swiping the touchscreen.

Hot and Rockin’

Powerful and efficient petrol engines constitute the drive portfolio for the MINI 3-Door Hatch. The 2.0-litre Cooper S we drove comes with 178 horses and will do the 0-62mph gallop in just 6.8 seconds. Top speed is 146 mph. The combustion engine is combined with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard.

Dads, we could go on. But we won’t. Why? Because you need to get down to your local MINI dealership to test the hot, rockin’ 3-Door Hatch for yourself. We heartily recommend the Cooper S – but then we would – it’s the only version of the Hatch we drove. Okay, it may not be the biggest car in the world, but it’s a perfect second car to have in the family. Plus, as long as you don’t have a horde of kids, the MINI Hatch is ideal school-run transport.

For more information about MINI and the MINI 3-Door Hatch, click here.



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