Next-generation Mini hatchback revealed in new shots, well ahead of its year-end debut

The third-generation ‘new’ Mini produced under BMW has been photographed undisguised, months ahead of its expected debut towards the tail-end of the year.

The look of the new Mini is greater removed from its predecessor than had been expected, with a few notable design changes at the front giving it greater visual distinction in the switch from second-gen model to third than first to second.

The circular LED rings in the more prominent headlights are perhaps the most significant change, these having been previewed on the 2011 Rocketman concept.

The front-end design is softer than before but much more distinctive with it; the front grille taller and narrower, and with more rounded edges and a 3D effect. The lower grille is also more pronounced, and is flanked by more prominent fog lights.

In profile, the new Mini looks slightly longer with a longer wheelbase and increased front overhang. The glasshouse has been narrowed slightly and the roofline angled more towards the rear tailgate.

At the rear, there is more of a nip and tuck than a change in philosophy, with the light graphic of the current car carrying over in larger rear lights. The lower bumper has been reprofiled, and the twin central exhausts of the Cooper S model (both Cooper and Cooper S variants have been snapped undisguised) made more prominent.

Previous spy pictures of the interior have revealed an adoption of a BMW iDrive-style controller for the infotainment functions, and more conventional dials under the large circular screen in the centre console. Insiders have reported a big leap in quality for the new interior.

The new three-door Mini hatchback scooped here is the first of 11 Minis and up to 12 BMWs that will be spun off a new front-wheel-drive platform known internally as UKL1. The platform, thanks to its longer wheelbase, is said to greatly improve the ride quality of the Mini and also further sharpen up the handling.

The new Mini will be offered with a choice of a petrol or diesel three-cylinder 1.5-litre engines from a new family to be shared with BMW in the UKL1 range. Higher performance 1.6-litre turbos are expected to continue in the Cooper S and eventual JCW versions. 

A six-speed manual gearbox will be available as the standard transmission, with an eight-speed automatic transmission optional. More Mini models may also receive four-wheel drive in the future as demand grows, with the technology an integral part of the UKL1 strategy.

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Comments
43

1 July 2013

What's with the huge front overhang?

Makes it look like a Peugeot 407.

The 1st and 2nd gen Minis looked good and handled well because of their wheel-at-each-corner stance. Something that was a homage to the original.

Looking at the side profile of this, the proportions just seem a bit off.

Maybe seeing it in the metal with bigger wheels it might look better....

1 July 2013

Talk about an open mouth, startled look at the front. And the rear looks squat and dumpy. The Mini is looking progressively worse since the 1st generation 'new' model which looked superb.

1 July 2013

BMW's incompetance in packaging is here for all to see!

What a great shame!

1 July 2013

Here's hoping the interior looks/is better at least ...

I'm also hoping the unflattering angle of the camera has more to do with the accentuating the 'smacked a***' look of the front and that the right selection of colour (i.e. NOT the "Baby Poo Yellow") will improve the looks further ...

1 July 2013

I think I'm going to be sick...

1 July 2013

the white circle on the headlights are cool but the headlights are not nice to beging with, overly slanted low and too much angle towards the back. a critical element of mini revival is its look, fail this and the mini fails. what a was sporty looking front now looks like a river fish

1 July 2013

Looks like something that lurks at the bottom of a pond and snaps at passing ducks. 

There's not a lot of cohesion in the shape and it doesn't look sufficently compact to be what it purports to be.

The expanse of black plastic along the bottom of the car doesn't help: it makes the front wing look very weedy and the rear flank simply doesn't look balanced. 

Add to that the bizarrely big front overhang and the guppy mouth and the whole ensemble looks like something designed as  various parts over the telephone and then thrown together for the first time before it was too late to change it. 

Something of a duck-billed playtpus in terms of design coherence. 

Still, it'll no doubt still sell in bucketloads and at about a 10% higher price than it should be, so where's the worry from BMW's point of view?

1 July 2013

That grill might look a bit better once the numberplate goes infront of it, but the placement of the headlights is what lets it down. They remind me of the old Morgan Aero 8. 

1 July 2013

I'm a big Mini fan but this looks like a poor Chinese copy of the current model. I'm hoping a different angle and colour will improve matters plus the standard Cooper will probably do away with those two poorly designed lower bumper scoops which will help tidy the bumper a bit, but I am clutching at straws a little here. I have a feeling EU crash test rules are the problem here.

2 July 2013

Will86 wrote:

I'm a big Mini fan but this looks like a poor Chinese copy of the current model. I'm hoping a different angle and colour will improve matters plus the standard Cooper will probably do away with those two poorly designed lower bumper scoops which will help tidy the bumper a bit, but I am clutching at straws a little here. I have a feeling EU crash test rules are the problem here.

Fair point about the EU crash rules, but look at the Volkswagen Up. That doesn't have a large overhang and that's obviously safe enough. Maybe BMW should be learning from VW.


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