Mini bigwig Dr. Michael Ganal said all new models of the Mini had completely new four cylinder engines, which he claimed increased performance and decreased fuel consumption by 20 per cent.
Other new features included an optimised chassis, new six-speed transmission and electro-mechanically assisted power steering.
The new Mini is boasting itself as the safest car in its class with six airbags as standard. Ganal said the exterior changes are subtle because Mini buyers don’t like change, so the rounded headlights and hexagonal grille have had only slight design tweaks to bring them up to date.
Inside is a different story, with a complete revamp for a more spacious and sporty feel, he said.
The CARSguide test team is currently in Barcelona for the official worldwide launch of the new Mini, and our test drive reports will be available in coming weeks.