Earlier this week, a photographer snapped the next-generation Mini hatchback. It's an inevitable part of car development: as soon as the cars are seen in the wild, the car will be photographed, and the pictures will appear online in a heartbeat.

Usually, however, these cars are sporting the sort of 'dazzle' camouflage that the Royal Navy once used to hide warships. But this week's pictures of the 2014 Mini were shorn of any disguise.

But, perhaps due to camera lens trickery or the peculiar angles from which it was shot, the photographs didn't exactly flatter the car.

Today, Mini has released a statement, along with its own 'spy shot':

"Aggressive and relentless papping is something British celebrities have had to learn to live with. Members of the Royal Family, as well as actors, footballers and top models, are all familiar with the sensation of being caught in uncompromising situations, and now MINI is the latest victim.  

"Absolutely unaware and without make-up, the youngest member of our family was caught by sensationalist photographers in a highly private moment. The young one was yellow and completely defenceless. We understand the worldwide interest in our family but it is not the British way to send such unfavourable pictures around the globe.