18 November 2004

With less than two years to go before the third-generation Mini is revealed by BMW, the first engineering prototypes are testing in Germany. Last week we ran the first picture of the next-generation Mini, but these new scoops reveal even more about the car.

The current car’s exposed wipers have been recessed to sit beneath the bonnet’s trailing edge. This is partly to improve pedestrian head protection during an impact, but required a major re-design of the car’s frontal structure.

This prototype uses the current car’s headlamps, but the final car gets new units, sitting further forward. The side-on shot also shows the higher nose and larger arches needed for 18in wheels. Underneath the cladding are a conventional bonnet and fixed front wings.

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