Four years on from its debut, the third-generation MINI Hatch has been given a facelift, which has just been launched in Malaysia. As before, the fashionable supermini is available in two bodystyles, the F56 3 Door and the F55 5 Door, with numerous detail changes on both.

The 3 Door and 5 Door are available in Cooper S form, with the 3 Door also being offered in the most powerful John Cooper Works variant. The Cooper S 3 Door is priced at RM226,888, while the 5 Door version retails at RM236,888. The JCW, meanwhile, costs RM283,888. All prices are on-the-road without insurance or GST, inclusive of a four-year, unlimited-mileage warranty and a four-year/60,000 km free service package.

The big news is under the bonnet, where you’ll now find a new 2.0 litre turbocharged petrol engine from the BMW Group. It benefits from numerous upgrades to the engine itself, the turbocharger, engine electronics, oil supply, intake air ducting, cooling and exhaust. For instance, the direct injection system now delivers fuel at a higher pressure, while the turbo fins are made of a more heat-resistant material. The engine cover is also now made from carbon fibre, making it 13% lighter than before.

All this means that while outputs on the Cooper S remain identical at 192 hp and 280 Nm of torque, the new mill achieves a five percent improvement in fuel consumption, rated at 5.5 and 5.6 litres per 100 km for the 3 Door and 5 Door respectively. On the JCW, the engine is boosted to 231 hp and 320 Nm, and has a fuel consumption figure of 6.0 litres per 100 km.

As for performance, the 3 Door goes from zero to 100 km/h in 6.7 seconds, while the 5 Door completes the same sprint a tenth slower at 6.8 seconds; both will hit 235 km/h. The JCW, on the other hand, blitzes its way to 100 km/h in 6.1 seconds before reaching a top speed of 246 km/h.

Even bigger news is that the old six-speed automatic gearbox has been ditched in favour of a new seven-speed wet dual-clutch transmission on the Cooper S, which is claimed to provide smoother, faster shifts with zero interruption. The JCW instead gets an eight-speed torque converter automatic.

Both sports transmissions will now allow the car to coast in the default Mid drive mode, instead of only in the most economical Green mode. They are operated using a new BMW-style electronic gearlever and paddle shifters on the standard-fit JCW multifunction steering wheel.

Very few changes can be found on the outside, with the only discernible difference (apart from the flatter MINI badges) being the new light units. The headlights, which are still bi-LED, get redesigned LED daytime running lights – which also function as indicators – that form a full ring around the new projectors. But it’s the intricate Union Jack full-LED tail lights that really steal the show.

The Cooper S 5 Door goes one further with the fitment of the John Cooper Works aerodynamic kit that consists of an angrier front bumper with a protruding centre air intake, deeper side skirts, a more aggressive rear diffuser design and a larger tailgate spoiler. As for wheels, the 3 Door comes with 17-inch Cosmos Spoke alloy wheels, while the 5 Door gains JCW Track Spoke rollers – both are finished in black.

The JCW gets the same exterior kit as the 5 Door, plus an even bigger rear spoiler, piano black instead of chrome exterior trim and unique side scuttles on the front fenders. It rolls on 18-inch JCW Cup Spoke alloys hiding larger JCW brakes with red brake callipers, and linked to retuned suspension with adaptive dampers.

On the inside, the Cooper S 3 Door receive the new MINI Yours Illuminated Cockpit, which consists of trim panels featuring stylised Union Jack graphics, lit up in 12 available colours. The 5 Door makes do with Black Chequered trim, but the seats on both models are upholstered in Cross Punch Carbon Black leather.

The JCW stands out with bespoke sports seats upholstered in Carbon Black leather and Dinamica microfibre, as well as Glowing Red interior trim, JCW-badged side sill plates (also fitted on the Cooper S 5 Door) and stainless steel pedals. Like the Cooper S 3 Door, it also gets the MINI Yours Illuminated Cockpit.

Also fitted on both the Cooper S 3 Door and 5 Door is a revised MINI Visual Boost infotainment system, now with a touchscreen – albeit still the smaller unit measuring 6.5 inches, rather than the 8.8-inch item fitted to the JCW. The latter also receives a 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, a head-up display, Qi wireless smartphone charging and a panoramic sliding sunroof.

Other standard features include MINI Logo Projection puddle lights, Comfort Access keyless entry, a toggle switch engine starter, auto lights and wipers, dual-zone automatic climate control, reverse sensors and a reverse camera. Safety-wise, all models come with six airbags and Dynamic Stability Control with an electronic differential lock, but none are offered with autonomous emergency braking.

The colour palette includes Chilli Red and Pepper White across the range, with the Cooper S also available in White Silver, British Racing Green and the new Starlight Blue. The 5 Door version receives an exclusive Emerald Grey, while the 3 Door gets Thunder Grey and the also-new Solaris Orange.

Moving over to the JCW, the high-performance model is offered in Rebel Green and Midnight Black as its exclusive hues. The Cooper S 3 Door and 5 Door is available with a black or white roof, door mirror caps and sports stripes, while the JCW has them in either black or red.

Interestingly, MINI Malaysia is introducing MINI Yours Customised Accessories for the first time in South East Asia. The service offers retrofitted accessories like the side scuttles, the dash fascia, illuminated door sills and door projectors all personalised to the owners preferences. Buyers can design their accessories at www.yours-customised.mini.

Read our review of the facelifted MINI Hatch from Mallorca, Spain here, and browse full specifications and equipment of the 3 Door and 5 Door at CarBase.my

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