AutoBilde on the Next Generation MINI

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.