Development of the all-new Mini has switched to the Arctic Circle ahead of its launch later this year. The Mini Cooper spied here will be one of the launch models for the third-generation version of Mini’s staple hatch under BMW ownership.
The new Mini, codenamed F56, will be part of a Mini range that will grow to encompass 10 individual models as the British brand becomes fully integrated into the BMW family. Another nine Mini spin-offs will be launched by the middle of the decade, including a new interpretation of the Clubman estate and Mini’s take on the MPV — known internally as the ‘Spacebox’ but likely to wear the evocative ‘Traveller’ badge.
The new-generation Mini will be based on a brand-new BMW-engineered platform called UKL1. This front-drive architecture will come in two wheelbase lengths and is based around MacPherson strut front suspension and BMW’s Z-axle rear end. BMW recently announced a £500 million investment in converting the Cowley, Oxfordshire plant to accommodate the platform.
Most of the Mk3 Mini line-up will be powered by a new range of advanced BMW three-cylinder engines. They will be just as powerful as the existing Mini four-cylinder engines but are claimed to be significantly more frugal.