MINI is now offering a retrofit xenon headlamp kit for MINI owners. This is perhaps the first of such programmes offered officially in the world, as we’ve never heard of an official aftermarket retrofit accessory to replace halogen headlamps with xenons before.
The MINI retrofit xenon headlamp uses projectors instead of reflector bulbs. A set of projector lenses and the whiter light beam of a xenon bulb can do wonders to uplift the outlook of a car and give it a more premium feel, so this would be one option for owners of the Malaysian-spec MINI One and MINI Cooper to splurge on. The retrofit xenon headlamps have a 4,500 K colour temperature.
Difference between the factory-fitted xenon headlamps and the retrofit xenon headlamps are the 25 W power rating for the retrofit pair compared to 35 W for the factory pair. They are also manually adjustable, with no automatic levelling system. The retrofit lights have a reduced light flux of 2,000 lumens, which makes it legally possible to install the headlamps without retrofitting the headlamp cleaning system and automatic headlamp height control. Other differences are the Titanium Grey trim cover finishing by default, though black versions that look technically identical to the factory-fitted xenons are also available.
I say legally possible because those are the rules in Europe – UNECE Regulation 48 calls for lights above 2,000 lumens to have auto levelling systems and lens washers. Factory-fit 35 W xenon headlamps have an output of over 2,000 lumens, so they need the additional equipment because they are so bright, and thus must always be properly aligned as to not blind other road users. In Malaysia, cars such as the lower-range F10 BMW 5 Series have xenon headlamps installed without any headlamp cleaning system, so it’s either a cost saving measure because there are no rules here, or we’re getting 25 W headlamps instead of the more powerful ones.
MINI has also introduced retrofit LED daytime running lights, which also act as foglamps, and are installed into the standard foglamp housings. As you can see from the image above, the LED foglamp is constructed with a similar look to BMW’s LED headlamps. The ‘bulb’ is a horizontal bar and has a colour temperature of 6,000 K, which is bright white.
The LED daytime running lights illuminate around the LED foglamps. The light is produced in a ring shape by means of full-circle light conductors fed by 15 LED units per side. When the side lights are switched on, only five LED units are active in the upper third of the ring.
No prices for these lighting retrofit kits have been mentioned as of now, but once they are available in Malaysia with proper price tags, we’ll definitely update you.