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AutoBilde on the Next Generation MINI

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AutoBilde, a popular German automotive publication, has an interesting article on what we might be seeing with the next generation MINI. Here's an excerpt (loosely translated from the original German article):

BMW/MINI designers and technicians are currently working on the successor of the standard hardtop model with a strategic goal of lowering production costs. Therefore the complex one-piece hood will be replaced by a front-end created from flexible plastic. In order to create place for the new engines while meeting new EU requirements of the pedestrian protection, the front overhang will also be extended by several inches.

Otherwise the successful stylistic idiom of the MINI is to be modified only slightly. That does not apply however to the interior, where materials for the next MINI will be of a higher order and less playful control elements will be used. The Tach will remain in it's current position but the center console will be cleared out. The GPS monitor will be similar to the 1 series, popping up while in use and resting within the dash when no. Most of the secondary indicating instruments will be positioned directly behind the steering wheel.

They go on to talk about some of the new variations that are being considered and show off a few in house photoshop jobs; a speedster, coupe, wagon, and off-roader. While it's all very interesting there's no telling how accurate the information actually is.

You can read the entire article (provided you read German) here.

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Written By: MF Staff

  • Kal

    I love the detail on the rear of the wagon….especially the trim around the light clusters and the oval door handle.

  • michael Boice

    A coupe and a speedster…I now know my next car, and I have a choice. A front end that extends by several inches is somewhat alarming, however.

  • http://www.hubertus.net/mymini Philip

    I really really hope they are NOT introducing these designs.

    The front window is so flat that I'm pretty sure I won't be able to sit in the car any more.

    I'm a little under 6.5 tall and one of the reasons I bought an MCS was that I can sit very comfortable – without the A frame being very very close to my head.

  • TJKonarski

    I like the Speedster's angled windshield and cleaner lines with a flush tonneau for the convertible top. The Off-Roader looks really raw and really fun — completely unique styling. I don't like the Wagon, it looks like a hearse. And the top of the coupe looks like a morph — very unnatural. Just my opinions…

  • ChrisW

    Nas-T.

  • R50

    Ack! The coupe has yet another Audi TT roof rip-off. Not very “Mini-like”

  • Sean Bancroft

    Sorry but this is just plain crap.

  • http://www.motoringfile.com/ Gabe

    Yeah I would not put much faith in those renderings from AutoBilde…

  • Wraith

    that coupe is to ugly to qualify as a MINI

  • Vanwall

    I'd go for the speedster and the wagon. Very nice, clean and in the Mini & MINI spirit. Is their Photoshop guy available for MINI to hire in Styling? ;-)

             BCNU,
           Rob in Dago
    

  • Garrett in SF

    The coupe looks like the lovechild between a Mini and a VW Beetle! Interesting design, but would never fly.

  • James Irmiger

    I really dig the rendering #12 in their gallery of the Mini-Van. #13 is of the original 60's version. Other than that…total shite. Cool ideas, bad execution.

  • rossii

    One word….”ugly”

  • Mark

    I wonder if they're considering a hardtop convertible version (MB SLK) for the speedster…although that would probably eatup ANY boot space…but then who buys a speedster for boot space.

  • DCE

    There's no doubt that the next generation MINI will use more technology and design elements from the the 1 series BMW. Since the initial success of the MINI, BMW has wanted to increase their profit per unit without substantially changing their price point. And without the design impetus of it's creator, it will become a more homogenized, corporate product. sigh

  • http://www.design76.com pooc

    very ugly, the vagon looks like a funural car

  • Luke

    What a laugh it would be to just mess around with designs for MINIs all day. I bet that's alot of people heres dream job! They are all very clever, though the off road one is a bit blade runner…

  • jonfusapa

    Love the way they hide the whole rag top whne down and the clean lines in the ROCK !

  • Frank

    I really dig the MINI station wagon rendition of the 1960's MINI Countryman Traveller wagon.

    It never ceases to amaze the narrow mindness of some in this forum…

  • MINGuy

    I'm not too sure about all this cost-cutting… That off-roader looks pretty fun though!

  • Siddhartha

    Mmmm. I prefer my '04. Not sure how evolutionary FX will affect my current MINI fascination. Regards, Sid

  • Shawn

    Looking at the speculative renderings is cool but some of the changes written about here concern me. The metal work on the one-piece hood is just beautiful and to chuck that for a plastic one makes no sense. Glad to here the interior will be moving up in quality but what does it mean that the center console “will be cleared out?” Does that mean the center speedometer is history as well?

  • http://cooperchronicle.com sdiver

    Kinda neat, but I wouldn't put much stock in these designs. Most of these are things that have been thrown around in one form or another for the past few years now. A fun design excercise, and while the ideas may be real, the concepts are just speculation. I do like that speedster concept though, kinda neat.

    It'll be a shame to see the 'playfulness' of the interior go away, but I guess higher quality materials inside the cabin is a good thing. It'll just be a shame to see the MINI's cockpit go 'corporate'. Oh well, I guess we'll find out soon enough. I don't think it'll be all doom and gloom for the next generation MINI, as some people seem to think, but it'll have it's differences – good and better, for better and for worse.

  • Kyle

    Hmm… wagon… ugliest car ever? I think so. It looks like one of those insane ayslum vans…

  • Herman L.

    speedster and off roader seems mildly intriguing, but to me the best is still gonna be the hatch

    coupe? that kinda defeats the purpose, and the wagon is just plain ugly.. i wish they just use castaga to redesign it again

  • Joey

    speedster and coupe are cool but the other 2 are retarded

  • http://www.motoringfile.com/ Gabe

    Yeah Frank – there's an unusual amount of narrow-minded comments on this one…

  • Weslim

    I think the idea of a speedster is quite good and would fit in quite well in the current rage. I´m not so sure about the others.

  • Christopher W

    I find the very steeply raked windscreen and roofline curvature to be a real departure from current MINI design. Not that it's a bad thing (the proportions are a tiny bit off, but since these are just Photoshop images it's useless to nitpick). I just wonder what both changes might do to the create inefficiencies in interior volume.

    -CW

  • Bill Lawrence

    “….and less playful control elements will be used. The Tach will remain in it's current position but the center console will be cleared out.”

    I don't like the sound of that! The materials of a “higher order” sounds good, but I love the current interior.

    The center speedometer is one of my favorite parts of the car. I can't imagine a MINI without it (no offense to my friends with NAV's and guage packages). The toggle switches in the center is another MINIism that must remain.

    The MINI is one of the few cars that is as recognizable from the inside as it is the outside. If any BMW/MINI people are reading this, I beg you to PLEASE not make changes that will cancel out MINI's distinctive interior features.

  • RB

    Gabe & Frank…

    debate

    To contend in words; to dispute; hence, to deliberate; to consider; to discuss or examine different arguments in the mind; — often followed by on or upon.

    It seems to me that, this time around, anyway, at least the comments are civil and a debate should have all sides or it's just a backslapping contest.

    By the way I think the moderne MINI MOKE is a kick!

    *RB

  • AlanB

    I have seen the coupe on Monster Garage! It is the new AMC Pacer! Give me a MINI not some sort of crossover thingy!

  • http://www.motoringfile.com/ Gabe

    Oh no – I love a good debate… it's just the sorta mindless two word comments that always bother me.

  • MrsMini

    I'm not big on station wagons but the coupe, speedster, and offroader pretty cool!! motor on

  • http://www.design76.com pooc

    What are core values of the Mini as a Mini? I have bought my Mini because it’s retro urban car with the spirit from the past. My previous comment was regarding this issue. As a mini owner I’m not considering to have another mini and especially not something that doesn’t look or feel Mini. I like to read comments, but sometimes I feel like ppl don’t have a lot of criticism (or it’s because I’m designer myself :-) Sorry if I was hurting someone’s feelings. Ciao

  • http://www.motoringfile.com/ Gabe

    pooc – being a designer myself I'm always one to trust the designers… at least initially. And especially at this level. I also don't like to second guess anything that is just conjecture at this point. However it's fun to read the opinions and conversation that follows articles like this… it's great to hear well thoughtout opinions and ideas. Frankly these are conversations that designers and engineers at MINI should be reading.

    But of course two word negative comments don't exactly help anyone.

  • http://www.mini2.com Ben Auty

    UTTER CHUD … This is not MINI … Dont stray away from the original and best ! You are going to turn a tradition into euro shat !

  • Ryan

    The speedster is pretty cool looking. The off-road is interesting, but I'd never drive it. I agree with the person who said the wagon looks like a hearse, and the coupe is the worst of them all. Changing the roof like that is not true to the idea of the traditional Mini

  • flyboy 2160

    nonononononono you idiots don't change the basic car!! if you put a big european nanny car snout on it, you'll ruin the looks. if you want to cut costs, delete extras like the body computer and the electric windows and locks. if the metal hood is too hard to stamp or deep draw, make it out of smc, but don't change the shape or the size, so you can avoid the naany car regulations WE DON'T WANT A GOLF OR A WRX.

  • Steve or liza

    I hate that red car with the top. Looks to me like an SUV that was in an accident.

  • BJ

    What a waste of time, planning on buying a 2005 mini s, mainly because It would not change in a long time, (what they said). Now it is just another 3-4 year car. How about that, now they are copying from the Japanese, “change the car when ever you can”. A shame for some of us who are keepers, not pro-consuming type of people. That is right BMW, why don`t you make a crapy cheap car and sell it like it is, oh , sorry that is where you are heading, only you will sell it like a gem. Now availiable at every Walmart! FOCUS, Make the diference, BE Unique.

  • BJ

    P.D. I`ll better invest on a porsche.

  • http://www.motoringfile.com/ Gabe

    What are you talking about? The BMW updates models every seven years… a much longer time frame than most automakers.

    What your saying makes absolutely no sense.

  • Patrick

    Notice the side view of the speedster: one with the soft top and one with the hard top: the driver's window is shaped differently in each… so do you think the speedster would ship with two different sets of windows for seasonal change-out… now that's DESIGN!


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