Advanced technology aims to turn the latest Oxford-built Mini into the car offering the maximum choice in the world.

Buyers of the new hatchback, which was unveiled to the UK press this week, can browse an online shop to select parts and customise them to produce a unique vehicle.

Mini owners can design their own personalised strips for the interior, side flashes, LED door sill finishers and LED door projectors that are then produced using 3D printing and laser engraving.

Speaking at the car’s launch in Oxford, Nicolas Griebner, head of product for Mini UK, said design was paramount to Mini owners.

He said: “Design is the number one reason behind people choosing to buy a Mini and second is the technology built inside the car.”

Priced from £15,900, all new Mini hatchbacks will be fitted with a 6.5-inch colour ‘infotainment screen’ with USB and Bluetooth connectivity, super-bright front and rear LED laps and a multi-function steering wheel as standard.

Upmarket options include headlights that can be left permanently on high beam and automatically extinguish parts of the light so oncoming drivers are not dazzled.

Wireless smartphone charging and touchscreen satellite navigation are also available and from July the car will link up with the Alexa app.

As important as technology is to the Mini, its true appeal is its on-road excitement and a 50-mile run in the new model around south Oxfordshire this week proved the car has lost none of the kart-like handling and impressive ride that made it such an instant hit.

New colours, new interior and exterior trim and a new seven-speed, semi-automatic gearbox are all available for the popular little car, with five engine choices on offer for the three-door hatch.

Even more technology includes a 4G SIM card built into the car operating a system that can detect if the car has been involved in a crash and automatically alert emergency services with the car’s location.

The car can also spot traffic jams ahead and avoid them and also connect with a ‘concierge’ service where a real person can offer advice on nearby hotels and restaurants and also make bookings for you.

Another 2018 option for hatchback and convertible models is Mini Find Mate which consists of tags with a Bluetooth tracking function that can be attached to items such as bags, cases, key rings and rucksacks. Their position can not only be displayed on the car’s on-board computer, but also in a smartphone app preventing personal items getting lost or left behind.

While the Mini continues as a worldwide sales success, the Oxford plant itself is proving a huge draw, with thousands of visitors pouring through the factory each year on a series of award-winning tours.

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the first factory-built Mini Convertible, this year Mini is planning to build a limited edition model of the Cooper S with just 300 being made, priced at £32,990 on the road.

Mini facts

  • The classic Mini was built at Cowley between 1959 and 1968 when a total of 600,000 Minis rolled off the line
  • Production of the BMW Mini started in Oxford in 2001
  • 1,000 cars a day now roll off the line in Oxford each day – one every 67 seconds
  • There are about 3,600 components in a new Mini hatchback
  • More than 1,000 robots apply between 4,000 and 6,000 spot welds to create the new Mini bodyshell
  • 80% of Minis are exported to more than 110 countries.

Mini factory facts

  • About 4,500 people work at the Oxford plant
  • 21,000 people visited the factory last year – a 35 per cent rise on the previous year
  • Taking Minis by train saves more than 1.4 million lorry miles per year
  • More than 200 checks are carried out in assembly to ensure the correct parts are fitted and quality is as high as possible
  • About 40% of components for the Mini come from UK-based suppliers
  • The Mini paint shop was the UK’s second biggest construction project after the Millennium Dome and cost £80m.