New spy photos from the Nürburgring show Mini testing the upcoming refresh for its three- and five-door Hardtop models on the range-topping John Cooper Works trim. There’s good news if you like the model’s current look because the Mini’s aesthetic tweaks appear to be rather small, but there could be some big powertrain updates.
The front end receives incredibly minor adjustments, and the updated headlights are the biggest update. They retain the same shape, but the masking around them suggests that there might be some new tech.
At the back, Mini’s team doesn’t do a very good job of hiding the new Union-Jack-shaped taillights. The parts should add some kitschy style to the retro-tinged model. It appears there might be some new trim at the back, too.
These photos don’t provide a look at the cabin, but an earlier spy shot inside a five-door Cooper (gallery below) test mule suggests that there aren’t big changes in there. Concealment over the infotainment system and passenger side of the dashboard hints at minor updates, though.
Gallery: 2018 Mini Five-Door Hatch facelift spy photos
The refreshed Cooper Hardtops would continue to use a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder and 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder. However, they might make more power. Mini would allegedly integrate the turbocharger and exhaust manifold together and upgrade the cooling system. The updates would let the engineers get a little more power out of them.
Eventually, Mini would introduce a model based on the recent John Cooper Works GP Concept (gallery below). It would have a significantly more aggressive body kit and serious powertrain upgrade to be the ultimate performance evolution of the current Cooper Hardtop.
Gallery: Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept