Mini’s cheerful, evergreen retro look has been evolving ever since the first modern Mini debuted in 2001. Since then, the Mini hardtop has totally been redesigned twice, each time with an evolutionary look and sprouted convertible and four-door models. For 2022, the BMW-owned brand will bring a refreshed hardtop and convertible line to dealerships starting this April.
The changes are primarily cosmetic and aimed at keeping the existing version of the car, introduced back in 2014 with a 2018 mid-life update, looking fresh.
Although sheet metal, engines, drivetrains and battery packs don’t change, there are new bumpers, big grilles, ambient lighting, paint designs and colors, an 8.8-inch touchscreen display, and LED headlamps that incorporate the fog lights that formerly lived in their own housings.
These changes add about an inch and a half in length to the various models, which while still small are a bit less “mini” than they were a decade ago. In 2012, the Cooper S Hardtop was 146.6 inches long, for 2022 it’ll be 152.8. The design aesthetic, however, hasn’t changed.
“When we talk about a refresh, we like to keep things very simple,” said Ishaan Khatri, product planning manager for Mini USA. “This is a more evolved look.”
The changes are, you might say, skin deep. And as with Cyrano de Bergerac, it’s the new nose that will stand out for consumers. The effect of the front styling in some ways echoes the oversized kidney grille on the BMW 4-Series. A huge black oval band extends from the edge of the hood to the bottom of the bumper, creating a grille within a grille.
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