These spy pictures are the first definite proof that Mini is working on a more conventional five-door version of its staple small hatchback.

As first revealed by Autocar in June, the new five-door Mini has a longer wheelbase and two short, conventionally hinged rear doors. The overhang at the back has been increased to house a bigger boot, something disguised by a sharply raked tailgate.

The rear doors are primarily designed to allow easy access for children, although a knock-on effect is shorter front doors, which should allow adults easier access in tight spaces.

Despite a longer wheelbase, the new Mini five-door will still be less than 4.0m long. The three-door model will also be longer than the car it replaces.

The five-door version of the Mini is in response to the declining popularity of three-door models, a problem for the market as a whole and not just Mini. The three-door and five-door hatchbacks are expected to be the launch models in the new third-generation Mini 
line-up late next year.

The new sub-4.0m five-door variant will also be joined in the 10-model-strong new Mini line-up by a larger five-door hatchback-cum-MPV, which sources are referring to as 
the Spacebox.

Its addition to the range will allow the second generation of the Countryman to be a much truer SUV, rather than having to combine the roles of hatchback and SUV.