Almost a year ago we reported that MINI was busy finalizing plans to launch an unprecedented 2nd facelift for its core small car range (the F56 family including the F55 four door and F57 convertible). Today we finally see it fully uncovered for the first time.

What you see above and below is our first full view of the 2022 facelift for the F55 five door, F56 three door hatch and F57 convertible. What does this photo actually tell us? First and foremost MINI’s Head of Design Oliver Heilmer is now fully in charge as these changes clearly show the simplified form language he’s hinted at for the last few years.

The Chin Is Dead

The original plan was the kill it in 2019 with the first LCI. Or so we’ve been told. But now with the 2022 MINI facelift we’re seeing this awkward, rectangular chine on the Cooper S and JCW models eliminated. In its place is a more refined looking series of air intakes that serve aero, engine cooling and as brake ducts. You can see it in camouflaged JCW form here

RIP chin. We won’t miss you.

Rear Refinement

While we don’t have any undisguised images yet, we can tell you based on what we know and the spy photos out there that the rear is all about simple lines and a functionally driven aesthetic. Those last words are music to our ears as we’ve grown tired of the overly dramatic rear valance on the Cooper S and JCW models. In its place are simple lines and a refined rear fog light design. You can see the Cooper S and JCW version here if you can get past the camouflage. 

2022 MINI facelift

2022 MINI Facelift: Timeline And Launch Dates

Based on sources, the 2022 MINI will have its internet debut likely later this year and should begin production in early 2021. We expect a slightly staggered rollout for some models but details are still scarce.

Why is MINI creating a second facelift or LCI? With BMW delaying the launch of the 4th generation “new” MINI to 2023, MINI needs to keep the F56 fresh. The originally planned LCI came and went in 2019 with only light changes. So light that we immediately wondered if it was a cost cutting move or something else was brewing. After reaching out to sources we learned that MINI was planning apply a second, more style oriented LCI later in the life-cycle of the car – what we see above.