New spy shots have emerged of a prototype Hatch testing in heavy camouflage, giving clues as to how Mini will update the current three-door in line with its newer electrified models. The fourth-generation Fiat 500 rival will arrive more than a decade after the current car – which has undergone two facelifts – went on sale.
The new petrol-engined hatchback will be sold alongside a visually similar (but mechanically unrelated) electric version built in China launching next year. Mini's final combustion-engined car, launching in 2025, is expected to be the next-generation convertible, which will be based on the hatchback testing here but is not yet confirmed to share a production line.
This prototype looks to be the successor to today's warmed-up Mini JCW, given the sporty large-diameter alloy wheels, prominent front air intakes, meaty brake set-up and purposeful rear diffuser.
Design changes are subtle - enough to mark it out from the current car while maintaining some differentiation from the more rounded, Chinese-built EV.
The front overhang looks to have been shortened slightly – in line with Mini design chief Oliver Heilmer's ambition to recapture some of the original Mini's compact proportions – and the bumpers and light designs have been reshaped, but otherwise the Mk4 BMW Mini looks to be one of the most subtle evolutions yet.
Other styling tweaks visible at this early stage include wing mirror-mounted indicators and a more prominent fuel flap - and while the front grille has been covered here, no doubt Mini will reshape the hatch's face to better match its incoming EV models.