Sorry folks, that headline isnâ€™t some coded reference to the return of a Morris Minor.
No, Mini has unveiled updates from 2022 that the brand calls â€œsignificantâ€� but in actuality fall under what we cynical scribes would categorize as a minor refresh.
To wit â€“ the exterior changes that go into effect for the models in question (Cooper, Cooper S, Cooper SE, John Cooper Works two-doors; four-door Cooper and Cooper S; Cooper, Cooper S, and JCW convertibles) involve the integration of the air curtains into the front bumper, a new hexagonal grille, and the removal of fog lamps. A body-color panel now hides a safety bar. S and JCW cars get a pair of air intakes with gloss-black on the left and right sides of the center intake.
The rear bumper is changed, and the rear apron apes the grilleâ€™s hexagonal shape, while the exhaust surround is now body-color. JCW variants get a rear diffuser.
The side scuttles of the cars get tweaked, the wheel-arch trims are changed, and there are new wheel designs across the board for the 17- and 18-inch wheel choices.
Three new exterior colors are available, as well, and hardtops can be had with a multi-tone roof.
LED headlamps are standard, and the turn-signal indicators are LED, too. The Union Jack LED taillights remain, and the available piano black exterior trim is now extended to door handles, fuel-filler lid (S, JCW), exhaust end pipes (Cooper, Cooper S), Mini logos, and model badges (Cooper, Cooper S, Cooper SE).
Inside, the changes include a standard 8.8-inch infotainment screen, updated infotainment software with two color choices, standard satellite radio, and ambient lighting. The steering wheel is redesigned and heating is available.
Driving Assistant is now standard and it includes lane-departure warning and adaptive cruise control â€“ with the latter being unavailable on manual-transmission models.
The SE EV gets the new bumpers, grille, tweaks to the side scuttles, multi-tone roof, and piano black trim, plus a closed-off radiator grille and unique badging. It will be available with 16- or 17-inch wheels. It will also get most of interior changes, include the new steering wheel, new infotainment screen, heated steering wheel, lane-departure warning, and standard satellite radio.
A limited-edition SE will be available, and Mini is vague on the specific differences.
Most trim levels will get a $500 price increase, though at least one (two-door JCW Classic) sees a $1,000 increase. Some trims hold the line in pricing, including the SE. Destination remains $850.
Minor or major, these changes do give Mini a fresh face. At a familiar price.