As we've mentioned previously here on MotoringFile the next MINI will more of a evolution rather than a revolution in terms of it's design and styling. Autocar (UK) has a spy pic and some information about the next iteration (due in late '06 as an '07 model) in it's current issue. Here's an excerpt:
Although it’s wearing a disguise over the new nose, it’s easy to see the changes to the next-generation Mini. Looks similar to current car, but there’s a conventional lift-up bonnet and fixed- position headlamps.
Look closely at the shape of the much bigger grille and the bonnet’s leading edge. In order to meet next autumn’s pedestrian safety regs, the bonnet has been placed well above the engine bay’s hard points.
[Full Article / Autocar]
Nothing really new here except for the photo. You can find out more on the next generation MINI (and it's engine) in these various MotoringFile articles.
A big thanks to frequent contributor Dave Bunting for sending this our way. Dave also had some thoughts on one of the changes in particular:
It is interesting that the article mentions bigger wheel wells to fit
18's. With the current MINI, 17's already appear to be relatively large
for the size of the car. If 18's become fitable without modification,
what's to say we won't see 19's or maybe even 20's fitable with a little
rubbing or fender/liner modification.
I've heard that 18's will be a more prominent option and could very well be optional from the factory on the R56. The problem currently with 18's is the rubbing that happens under moderate loads. However I can't see MINI offering or even recommending anything larger than that. 19's will be just outrageous on such a small car. Especially as a daily driver.