More Powerful MINIs are Coming in 2018

MINI 2018 LCI

Last week we broke the news of MINI’s plan to refresh most of its range beginning in March 2018. The one thing seemingly left out was the one thing many of you have been waiting for – more powerful MINIs. Instead of a power increase the hatch, four door and convertible will all be getting a number of key changes in design, technology and drivetrain.

Here are a few highlights if you missed our first report:

  • Redesigned Union Jack taillights with LED headlights
  • Redesigned Front headlights with 360 degrees DRL (similar to the MINI JCW GP Concept)
  • Chester Malt brown available on 3 and 5-doors with new stitching options
  • New wheel design
  • New MINI logo on the hood and backside
  • DCT optional on all models except JCWs
  • Revised engines with lower C02 emissions and smoother operation

That last bullet point has left many of us wondering why MINI would introduce a new revision of its three and four cylinder engines without any power increase. We now have a partial answer. According to sources, MINI is planning on raising the output of the Cooper S by approximately 4-5% bringing the total output close to 200 hp. However this change will not be part of the March 2018 refresh.

This power increase is what we had originally expected in the LCI and what we had been told previously by separate sources. However What still puzzles is why MINI staggering this update and the LCI revisions by three months. One would expect it comes down to production timing -something that is incredibly complicated when you have thousands of components being developed and produced separately and around the world.

MINI DCT

Left: The standard transmission in DCT and 8AT favors. Right: the 8AT Sport transmission

What about the Cooper and the JCW models? It’s unclear what if any power increases the Cooper will see but we’d be surprised if there were none.

Unfortunately we have no news yet on the JCW models but we expect several things to happen over the next two years that should breath new life into the sub-brand. For one the 280 hp JCW GP Will be a real thing and it’s coming in about two years. Then there’s the rumor (corroborated by several sources) that the JCW Clubman and Countryman will see versions with a similar 280 hp output around the same time if not sooner.

The standard JCW models could see some type of increase but what those figures are and the timing of that revision is unclear at this time. However we should have news on that front shortly.