Our spy photographers have managed to snap the first pictures of the 2013 MINI Cooper.
Caught undergoing testing in Europe, the heavily camouflaged prototype appears slightly longer and wider than the current model. Additionally, the car adopts a smaller grille, a longer hood and slimmer A-pillars.
While the exterior is instantly recognizable, big changes will occur inside the cabin. The photos show the next-generation Cooper will ditch the center-mounted speedometer for a more traditional instrument cluster.
Engine options remain a bit of a mystery, but we can expect a variety of fuel-efficient powertrains. Nothing is official, but we wouldn't be surprised if entry-level models are equipped with the new three-cylinder TwinPower engines.
I think there was some fear that the basic Mini 2 shape was going to change radically. Nice to see that isn't going to happen. Ditching the center speedometer is a concern though. Mini heritage has always placed it mid-line in the dash, and moving it to some other location is going to remove a trademark of MINI. Fuel consumption in this economy does make sense the introduction of a three cylinder. However as long as MINI continues to offer optional power-plants/set-ups designed to compete (four cylinders with Turbo or Supercharged options, and JCW packages) the racing, rally, and tuner community should be happy. Perhaps MINI shouldn't be competing with micro-boxes like the Yaris and Smart Car. Not everyone wants a dumbed down car designed just for commuting, daily drudgery, and basic transportation.
06/08/2011 @ 2:55 PM
This Mini does not do it for me. The abandonment of the central speedometer was a grave warning sign, but the prominent headlamps of the classical was a hyper-design element that this car lacks. Those two symptoms are worrying. Mini headlamps have been getting weirder with the Contryman, but even those look vastly superior to these. I am concerned.
If you look closely at the headlamps you can see that there is the round indentation of a traditional mini headlamp. Honestly it looks like they put flashlights in cups and then taped the camouflage around them where the real headlamps have been removed. This is a common trick on most prototypes that's used to completely throw off the real look of a car.
07/06/2011 @ 5:42 PM
I am already upset with the size of the second gen being bigger ..then the countryman came out,I hated it at first but I look at it like a SUV instead and it seems to be Ok cause they did that orignally making a bunch of different types of mini's so there just a new bigger version with improvements of an older vehicle it's just to much of the Subaru size for my liking,except it looks so much better than a Subaru! Now I've let the countryman grow on me a bit 4wheel drive an aggressive look nice.. But the boot on that thing im just not digging it,it's this big bubbly thing on there and the mini logo is huge! And now there going to make the 2013 wider and longer again! Noooooo! Yeah it will probably appeal to more of us Americans but that's a big part of what the mini is all about hinse it's name Mini.. Common mini we like it mini too..