Internally referred to as the F55, the 2018 MINI 5-Door Hatch wears vinyl camouflage on pretty much the entirety of its body shell. The pre-production prototype, however, lets us peek at the design of its overhauled headlights and the somewhat different taillights. Don’t expect a change in the shape of the taillight cluster, but a bettering of the taillight graphic.
Life Cycle Impulse changes further benefit the front and rear bumpers, whereas the “S” badge in the grille and the twin-exit central exhaust system offer an idea as to what hides under the scoop-less hood. That’s right, boys and girls, this appears to be a hell-bent for leather Cooper S.
Because there’s no JCW treatment available for the 5-Door Hatch, the Cooper S serves as the range-topping model in the lineup. In pre-facelift specification, the front-wheel-drive hot hatchback offers 192 PS (189 hp) at 4,700 rpm and 300 Nm (221 lb-ft) of torque between 1,250 and 4,750 rpm. Not bad for a 2.0-liter turbo-four engine, but not a wowzer either.
From the singular spy photograph of the interior, it’s hard to tell if anything is different from the 2017 model year updates brought by MINI to its entire range of models. Interestingly enough, the infotainment screen of the pictured car is gifted with quite the ominous sticker: “! do not remove !”
As ever, customers will be offered a choice between a manual (pictured) and an automatic transmission, as well as an entry-level powerplant in the form of a 1.5-liter three-cylinder turbo. Expect the refreshed MINI Hatch, including the 5-Door, to be undressed of all its secrets by the end of 2017.