Oxford, England - Mini is flaunting its Britishness with a midlife facelift for its Mini hatchback and Convertible models, which now receive a Union Jack motif in the taillights, along with other minor design tweaks inside and out, additional features and a new dual-clutch gearbox option.

Upfront the round headlights get a modified design, while the optional LED units get an entirely new look and the adaptive LED headlights now sport Matrix technology for the high beam.

As mentioned, buyers can now opt for LED taillights featuring a Union Jack inspired pattern and the external makeover also includes Mini’s new two-dimensional logo, fresh alloy wheel designs and additional colour options, including Solaris Orange.

New colours lines are available for the cabin too, along with an extended range of leather upholsteries and interior trims - and yes, a rear-lit Union Jack dashboard motif is available too, for those feeling particularly patriotic.

A new steering wheel rounds off the interior design changes and new optional features include wireless phone charging, Real Time Traffic Information, the personal Concierge Service and Mini Online with news, weather and fuel price overview.

Furthermore, Mini Connected can now use your phone’s calendar to plan your route and recommend a departure time using real-time traffic data. You can also send a route to the satnav from your phone, while other remote functions allow you to check the vehicle’s status and even activate the ventilation system.

New dual-clutch gearbox

Those not opting for the six-speed manual will have a new seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox option, but other than that the mechanicals remain largely unchanged, with South Africans getting to choose between a 100kW 1.5-litre Cooper and a 141kW 2-litre Cooper S, both turbocharged.

However the Mini One (which does get a new engine in the form of a detuned version of the Cooper’s 1.5), won’t be part of the South African line-up any more, which is sad because it was arguably the pick of the bunch.

On that note, the facelifted Mini three-door, five-door and convertible models are expected to arrive on local shores during the second quarter of this year, around which time prices and local specifications will be divulged.

IOL Motoring