Currently reading: 2014 Mini pictured undisguised
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.

Mark Tisshaw

Title: Editor

Mark is a journalist with more than a decade of top-level experience in the automotive industry. He first joined Autocar in 2009, having previously worked in local newspapers. He has held several roles at Autocar, including news editor, deputy editor, digital editor and his current position of editor, one he has held since 2017.

From this position he oversees all of Autocar’s content across the print magazine, website, social media, video, and podcast channels, as well as our recent launch, Autocar Business. Mark regularly interviews the very top global executives in the automotive industry, telling their stories and holding them to account, meeting them at shows and events around the world.

Mark is a Car of the Year juror, a prestigious annual award that Autocar is one of the main sponsors of. He has made media appearances on the likes of the BBC, and contributed to titles including What Car?Move Electric and Pistonheads, and has written a column for The Sun.

Join the debate

Add a comment…
cabbageman 9 July 2013

same old car

This is the same old design BMW stole from Land Rover in Gaydon (where the new generation mini was designed). Can't BMW be creative and design a Mini all by themselves?

Andrew Lee 9 July 2013

For what it's worth...

I love it (even/especially in Bronze Yellow - remember that?)

ordinary bloke 9 July 2013


Disappointing to see, as others have said, that the looks are definitely worse than the previous versions and that BMW have done nothing to improve the packaging, it would seem. I liked the first MINI and thought the second version became a bit too stylised in comparison, this has just taken that a step further, with that ugly protruding front end and the ungainly rear. Let's hope the interior is better and less fussy than the current model, which has always struck me as a triumph of style over practicality, however well built it might have been. It would be a pity to see all versions becoming as downright ugly as the Countryman, although it doesn't seem to have stopped people buying those, judging by the number I see around my corner of Buckinghamshire.