The 2022 MINI refresh isn’t just about design. There are actually a fair amount of new technology and features that will be rolled out in conjunction with the revised line-up. And when we say line-up we mean the entire line-up. Yes some of this new tech will also debut on the Clubman and Countryman starting with March production. So what’s new beyond the look? Lets dive into the details.
Heated Steering Wheel
After years of fielding requests, MINI is finally offering a headed steering wheel. For cold weather markets (especially on the Convertible) this has been a highly anticipated option that had been rumored for years. But it’s not just on the refreshed models. Starting with March 2021 production MINI will offer a single stage heated steering wheel across its entire range. The system is operated via a small switch on the left side of the steering column.
Lane departure warning
For the 2022 MINI refresh, the brand will offer a Driver Assistance Package, available as an optional extra for the MINI 3-door, the MINI 5-door and the MINI Convertible. The key new feature for MINI here is lane departure warning. This new technology helps the driver stay safely in their lanes between
70 KPH and 210 KPH. To prevent unintentional lane departure, the system registers markings at the edge of the lane and alerts the driver if there is a risk of deviation by vibrating the steering wheel. Unlike some BMW systems this version of Lake Departure Warning will not steer for you or tug at the wheel to correct.
New Active Cruise Control – featuring Stop & Go
This upgraded option is available for the first time for the MINI 3-door, the MINI 5-door and the MINI Convertible starting with March production.
The new Active Cruise Control (which is included in the Driver Assistance Package Plus) now also offers a Stop & Go function in conjunction with an automatic transmission. It automatically maintains the desired speed and the distance to vehicles ahead in four stages. The system uses data registered by the front camera installed in the upper part of the windscreen frame to adjust speed and distance according to the situation. The combined speed and distance control can be used in the range between 30 and 140 km/h. If necessary, the system can brake the vehicle to a standstill. To start up again from a standstill, you only need to briefly depress the accelerator pedal. This feature will eventually find its way to the F54 Clubman and F60 Countryman.
Frequency Selective Damping
There’s really only one mechanical change and it has nothing to do with the engine, transmission or even battery in the Cooper SE. All small MINIs now features frequency-selective damping as part of the optional adaptive chassis.
It achieves an optimized balance between sportiness and ride comfort through the use of continuous frequency-selective damping. An additional valve acting on the traction side takes over the task of smoothing out sudden pressure peaks within the damper. Making this possible is the speed of the adjustment – within 50 to 100 milliseconds.
Depending on the driving situation and road conditions, the damping forces can be reduced by up to 50 percent. This is intended to significantly increase ride comfort and handling composure over rough roads. The result should be that sport mode should be less punishing on rough roads while still delivering the aggressive feel of the current system. The new damper technology is available for all model variants except the MINI One First, the MINI One and the MINI Cooper SE.
The New Driver Assistance Package(s)
The Driver Assistance Package includes Park Distance Control with sensors at the rear and the rear-view camera, as well as cruise control with braking function and Driving Assistant including the new lane departure warning. With the Driver Assistance Package Plus, these functions are supplemented by the Parking Assistant and Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function.
Electronic Parking Brake
In the US market, all MINIs with automatic transmissions will get an electric parking brake as standard. It is activated and released with a button on the centre console as we’ve seen in the Clubman and Countryman previously. The best news to us is that models with a manual transmission retain the standard parking brake so e-brake turns are still on the menu for those that want them.
New MINI operating system with additional connectivity features.
The operating system of the MINI 3-door, MINI 5-door and MINI Convertible has been updated with a new visual design and interface. That new interface includes widgets which allow for quicker control of the audio system, hands-free telephone system, navigation and apps. The screen display with symbols and white text on new colour backgrounds has a very different look that in our eyes feels more modern and inline with the type of design we see in apps and newer digital experiences.
The desired menu items are displayed as “live widgets“ and can be opened by swiping the touchscreen, whereupon they are shown in enlarged form in the centre of the display. .
Advanced connectivity features, audio and navigation features are combined in three further equipment packages that build on each other. The multifunctional instrument display, MINI Connected, ConnectedDrive and Remote Services are all components of the Connected Media package. The Connected Navigation Package adds the MINI navigation system including Real Time Traffic Information and Apple CarPlay preparation. The Connected Navigation Plus package also adds MINI Connected XL, Concierge Services, MINI Head-Up Display and telephony with wireless charging. Note some of the details of these packages might change based on specific markets.
The new MINI App
The new MINI App offers an advanced user experience that is designed to be more intuitive while offering more functionality. It allows drivers to contact their MINI at any time, for example to see information on the car‘s status or to prepare for a trip. The MINI App, which can currently be downloaded free of charge from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store in 30 European countries as well as in South Korea, serves as a universal interface between the smartphone or other personal devices and the car.
The new app carries over all the functionality of the previous app (like fuel level, navigation integration and location) but also adds the ability to lock and unlock doors. Service appointments can also be arranged very conveniently using the MINI App. Model-specific MINI Electric services are another component of the app. The charging process can also be controlled from a distance and – depending on the time of year – the auxiliary heating or auxiliary air conditioning of the MINI Cooper SE can be activated. By mid-2021, the MINI App will be available in more than 40 countries and 23 languages including the North American market.
Interior Design & Functionality Improvements
At first glance, the 2022 interior seems very similar to what came before it. However look again and the array of detail updates MINI has introduced become evident. Fewer joins and buttons give the cabin a more clean and modern feel. The clear cockpit layout with new multi-function steering wheel integrates more functions yet reduces the number of control surfaces. The digital instrument cluster on the steering column and iconic central instrument with all-new user interface point the way into the brand’s digital age.
One feature that you can’t see is the use of 100% recycled material for the surfaces of the Light Checkered design sports seats
Improved Ambient Lighting
MINI has increased the amount of ambient lighting, adding a light strip in the dash (below the trim and above the belt-line) and in the doors. Additionally these lights respond to driving modes “Lounge” and “Sport” directly to further the concept of how those modes change not just the driving experience but the cabin environment as well.