The MINI range of cars has some technical updates in the engine bay this year. First of all, it looks like the 1.4 litre Prince engine has been phased out in favor of detuned versions of the 1.6 litre engine in order to benefit from improved torque from the larger displacement. This is not really related to our market as the baseline MINI we get here is the Cooper.

The entry level MINI First gets a 1.6 litre normally aspirated engine making 75 horsepower and 140Nm of torque, while the MINI One’s new 1.6 litre engine now makes 98 horsepower and 153Nm at a low 3,000rpm. The 2010 range also adds a new MINI One Convertible, which shares the same engine.

No changes to the Cooper, but the Cooper S engine has had an update. Previous versions of the engine added direct injection but lacked the Valvetronic variable valve timing and lift system that the normally aspirated version had. This was the usual case with all BMW turbo engines until recently – because of complications in head design it was very hard to implement both Valvetronic and high pressure injection.

But since BMW has managed to do it with the new N55 turbo engine, it’s only a matter of time that the MINI’s turbocharged engine gets it and now it’s finally here. The new Valvetronic direct injection turbo engine makes an additional 9 horsepower – now peaking at 184 horsepower and a peak of 240Nm of torque (with 260Nm overboost) from as low as 1,600rpm.

MINI has also announced a new range of “Rainbow” paint options. You can either choose Sunlight Metallic, Asteroid Metallic or Nightlife Metallic. These shades use a water-based basecoat colour that produces a rainbow effect in bright sunlight.