With engineering work well underway on the next-generation Mini, and the secrets of the car’s new engine revealed, we didn’t expect to get a tip-off about the new car’s looks. But these official sketches released by BMW’s Designworks studio seem to give more than a hint about the look of the next-generation Cooper S. Close examination of this rendering appears to confirm that it is a version of the Mini 2: note the hidden wipers, conventional bonnet, extended rear haunches and the new, one-piece grille opening.
With the supercharger’s bonnet air intake set to go, BMW needs a way to make the new hot Mini instantly recognisable. This aggressive bumper treatment and faired-in driving lights could be an ideal solution. (New pedestrian safety regulations are expected to outlaw separate driving lamps).
Designworks’ other sketches show some of the wilder ideas for a replacement cabriolet. An unusual open-back targa design (with more than a hint of Audi TT about its tail) has been developed, one that could also be converted to into a compact estate with double side-opening doors.
Perhaps the biggest surprise is a design sketch for a future Mini that shows a completely different face – and one strangely reminiscent of the short-lived Jensen SV-8’s.