The new Mini has a very British addition

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BMW has given the Mini a bit of a spruce-up with a new automatic gearbox, an extended choice of paint colours and some higher-grade hides for its leather seats.

But can you spy the new addition inspired by the Mini’s British beginnings?

Despite being owned by the giant German car manufacturer since 1994, the refreshed hatchback and convertible models now get spiffing Union Jack rear lights as part of its mid-life facelift.

Flying the flag: All facelifted 2018 Mini hatchbacks and Convertibles will feature Union Jack brake lights - a feature likely to be used across the whole model range

Flying the flag: All facelifted 2018 Mini hatchbacks and Convertibles will feature Union Jack brake lights – a feature likely to be used across the whole model range

You might think Mini is about as British as Bavarian bratwurst these days, but remember, the hatchback is still being built in Oxford despite its German ownership.

In fact, ever since the reborn posh supermini returned to our driveways in 2001 BMW has made the most of utlilising it’s heritage with a range of Union Jack motifs to raise the appeal of the iconic car – and sting buyers in the process with the pricey extras.

And plenty of drivers have fallen for it, choosing to adorn the roof and wing mirrors of their new purchases with a Union Jack sticker set.

But this latest addition is the best example of bringing some Britishness back to the Mini by taking the mundane brake lights and making them into glowing Union Jack works of art that’s been made possible thanks to LED technology.

The LED strips have been arranged in the shape of the flag and glow at the push of the brake pedal – though they’re purely red instead of red, white and blue. 

There are LED ‘Matrix’ headlights up front too, which prevent oncoming drivers from being dazzled even when on main beam – but there are no flags up front.

All models will feature the LED lights as standard from 2018, Mini confirmed this week

All models will feature the LED lights as standard from 2018, Mini confirmed this week

All models will feature the LED lights as standard from 2018, Mini confirmed this week

Prices for the refreshed Mini start from £15,900 and order books are open now

Prices for the refreshed Mini start from £15,900 and order books are open now

Prices for the refreshed Mini start from £15,900 and order books are open now

New wheels, LED 'Matrix' headlights, a refreshed interior and new paint options have also been added to the refreshed model

New wheels, LED 'Matrix' headlights, a refreshed interior and new paint options have also been added to the refreshed model

New wheels, LED ‘Matrix’ headlights, a refreshed interior and new paint options have also been added to the refreshed model

These are just two new features drafted in for the car, which also include new wheels and a touched-up Mini logo on the bonnet and boot lid to make it feel fresher than before.

But it’s the patriotic lights that will attract all the attention.

They were first previewed by the Mini E concept showcased last August – and they arguably made more of an impression than the bold claims the car maker was making for the vehicle’s zero-emissions driving range.

The dashboard panel on the passenger side will also showcase Union Jack emblem (though on the other side of the car for UK-spec models)

The dashboard panel on the passenger side will also showcase Union Jack emblem (though on the other side of the car for UK-spec models)

The dashboard panel on the passenger side will also showcase Union Jack emblem (though on the other side of the car for UK-spec models)

The Union Jack lights were first teased as a feature of the electric Mini E concept showcased in August last year

The Union Jack lights were first teased as a feature of the electric Mini E concept showcased in August last year

The Union Jack lights were first teased as a feature of the electric Mini E concept showcased in August last year

The real thing looks just as good, made up of LED strips that glow when the brakes are engaged

The real thing looks just as good, made up of LED strips that glow when the brakes are engaged

The real thing looks just as good, made up of LED strips that glow when the brakes are engaged

Thanks to that vote of confidence, the Union Jack lights will be standard across the range of three- and five-door hatchbacks as well as the Mini Convertible from 2018.

And if that addition wasn’t patriotic enough to get UK buyers interested, BMW has even stamped a Union Jack logo on the new dashboard trim. 

Prices for the refreshed Mini start from £15,900 and orders can be placed right now.

BMW has been using Union Jack motifs on the Mini since they relaunched the model back in 2001

BMW has been using Union Jack motifs on the Mini since they relaunched the model back in 2001

BMW has been using Union Jack motifs on the Mini since they relaunched the model back in 2001

Customers could even spec their new posh superminis with the cross of St George

Customers could even spec their new posh superminis with the cross of St George

Customers could even spec their new posh superminis with the cross of St George

While the addition of Union Jacks might make the Mini look British it is still a Bavarian-owned brand

While the addition of Union Jacks might make the Mini look British it is still a Bavarian-owned brand

While the addition of Union Jacks might make the Mini look British it is still a Bavarian-owned brand

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