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NAIAS 2018: Bolder-looking Mini Convertible, Hardtop revealed


2019 Mini Hardtop, Convertible get fresh new look, dual-clutch transmission

A few months ago, our spies were able to catch the updated Mini going through its paces around the Nurburgring. Based on the photos, the British marque introduced several exterior and interior updates on the iconic hatchback as well as a new dual-clutch transmission.

Fast forward to present day, and Mini has officially revealed the refreshed Hardtop and Convertible models for the 2019 model year. Set to make its public debut at the 2018 North American International Auto Show next week, the hot hatch features a new set of headlights and taillights, new color options, additional interior trim and equipment list and a new seven-speed Steptronic dual-clutch transmission.


Starting off with the exterior, both the Hardtop and Convertible models feature redesigned headlights that give the car a fresh new look. Standard models come with halogen lighting which now come with a black panel accent. On the other hand, LED illumination is available as an option that features a new design on the LED modules. It also comes with a new turn signal indicator that surrounds the entire headlight assembly for a sleeker look.

While the front fascia only received a minor update, the rear gets a significant change thanks to the new 'Union Jack' LED taillights. First seen on the GP Works Concept from last year, the taillight pays homage to the brand's British origins and is available on the 3-Door, 5-Door and Convertible models.

Completing the exterior changes on the 2019 Mini Hardtop and Convertible are three new metallic paint hues; Emerald Gray, Solaris Orange and Starlight Blue. There is also another color available called Piano Black. When specified, the chrome trim pieces on the exterior are replaced by gloss black trim which accentuates the hatchback's dark finish.

Other than that, an array of newly-designed 17-inch alloy wheels were also introduced for the Hardtop and Convertible.

Inside, new leather trim options are now available in the Mini along with additional trim surfaces and design. A new 6.5-inch infotainment system makes its home inside the hatchback though a bigger 8.8-inch screen (with navigation) can be specified. Other feateures introduced in the 2019 model year hatch include 4G LTE connectivity, Apple CarPlay support, Connected Services and wireless smartphone charging as such.

As mentioned earlier, a new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT) is now available for the 3-Door, 5-Door and Convertible models. Unlike the older six-speed automatic, the new dual-clutch uses navigation data to know exactly when to shift up or shift down on full automatic mode. When it sees an upcoming curve, the transmission can immediately downshift a gear to make use of engine braking. It also comes with a crawl function which smoothens the operation of the DCT in city or stop-and-go driving.

Like the pre-facelift version, a range of TwinPower Turbo engines will be available for the 2019 Mini Hardtop and Convertible models. However, Mini has yet to state whether these have been carried-over or were given mild upgrades.

The refreshed 2019 Mini Hardtop and Convertible will be shown in the metal next week in Detroit, Michigan.

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