A new batch of spy shots is providing our first look at an upcoming styling refresh for the Mini Hardtop. Based on the small amount of camouflage on this example, it doesn’t appear that the company plans to give the model a major design overhaul.
Up front, it seems that Mini’s design team is focusing on reworking the car’s headlights. The camouflage here makes the lights seem to sweep backward a little more than on the current hatchback. The concealment stretching along the leading edge of the hood suggests the possibility of new trim there, but the skinny piece of camo indicates that any changes would be minor.
The tweaks are similar at the rear. The taillights retain a red circle in the middle, but the camouflage around them suggests small design changes. Concealment along the hatch’s handle and the lower fascia trim strip also indicate tiny updates for these parts.
These photos don’t let us see into the refreshed Hardtop’s interior, but expect small updates in there, too. Changes for the cabin materials and an upgrade to the latest infotainment tech seem like the more likely improvements.
Under the hood, there’s no sign of abandoning its current powertrains – a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder for the Hardtop Cooper and 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder in the Cooper S. Minor powertrain tweaks are possible but don’t expect anything significant.
Fans of hotter Minis can look forward to this refreshed design being the basis for the third-generation John Cooper Works GP. In 2016, Mini’s boss confirmed that the range-topping performance version would eventually arrive. Like the first two models, it would likely come just before the current hatchback’s retirement.
The previous-gen JCW GP arrived for the 2013 model, and the company built just 2,000 of them for the whole world. The 1.6-liter four-cylinder made 211 horsepower (160 kilowatts) and 192 pound-feet of torque (260 Newton-meters) – temporary overboost pushed the twist to 207 lb-ft (280 Nm). It also ditched the rear seat, and a strut tower brace took the bench’s place. Highly bolstered chairs gripped the occupants in front.
Photo Source: Automedia