MINI Crossover Design Leaked? Not Quite.


The French magazine “Automobile” claims to have acquired two images of what appear to potentially be initial design mock-ups the upcoming MINI crossover (coming in 2010 as a 2011 model). But there’s more here than meets the eye and we believe both of these images are not quite what they claim to be.

At first the exterior design looks like it could be the 3rd generation MINI (on target to be released around 2012. However upon closer inspection the height of the model makes it obvious that it’s more likely the front of the new Crossover. Of the two images here this is the one that seems the most legit of the two.

Photoshop of MINI Crossover Interior from

It’s the interior shot that really raised our suspicions. First off the interior clearly is based on the R56 design language with some nips and tucks here and there. However something looked familiar. So we took a look at the interior design images of the then unreleased R56 leaked back in 2005 (a full 2.5 years before the car’s eventual release). As you can see above in the leaked image from Automobile, someone has simply taken the 2005 image (seen below) and photoshopped some alterations. While these alterations may be taken from inside information, this is not really an image of anything but simply a sophisticated photoshopping job.

death rattle

So what does all this mean? While there’s an argument to be made that this is either the R56 refresh or the 3rd generation MINI, our money is on the first image being an early version of the MINI Crossover. It’s clearly more aggressive and taller than the R55 and R56 and it shares a lot of its design language with the Crossover Concept.

The interior image clearly is a photoshop job and doesn’t really show much that seems relevant or even probable. For one BMW is going to 8.8″ wide navigation screens – what is seen here almost looks square. Furthermore the photoshopped trim area seems much less elegant and well proportioned than the current car or the R50. It’s a change we can’t imagine MINI design making.

We’ll have further information on the Crossover, R56 refresh and the 3rd generation MINI in the coming weeks. And as always we’ll be trying to see through the glossy images and bring you as much clarity as possible.

MINI Crossover Concept Gallery

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  • Larry Simpson

    I give this post about 3 hours till Mini makes motoringfile take it down!! Looks good, cant wait till it comes out!

  • Gary

    Gaakkk…what are those on the headlights in the (NFR/W?) exterior photo — eyelids? Heaven help us…

  • Jonathan Ikemura

    looks like MINI keeps making their headlights bigger and bigger.. I just got used to the R56 headlights, im sure these will grow on me too

  • DanC

    The picture of the exterior looks like it is of a toy model. I do remember design cues were leaked this way before.

  • James Irmiger

    The design language is all wrong. I mean, who the heck flame surfaced a MINI? Plus, even with a fisheye lens, the proportions and angles of the car shot are all wrong. Both of these are sadly more Photochopped garbage designed to add readership.

  • Hai

    BMW outdid itself by making the headlights even uglier than those on the R56.

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  • Pete

    LIke all of us, beauty fades with age…alas, the poor MINI seems to be going that way too.

  • Eric

    After seeing the photos, I feel my R52 is everyday becoming more of a wanted classic MINI.

  • DCMotoring

    If the interior shots are photoshopped, the exterior shots probably are too. I wouldn’t get too worked up over it. As I was looking at the exterior pictures, my first thought was, “it looks French.” That’s not a shot at the French either, the styling just looks like a French car to me.

    But regardless of what the next MINI looks like, my ’06 Astro Black Cooper will still be the most beautiful MINI ever. 😉

  • Joe Covington

    unfortunate MINI never made that wood finish available – would of looked brilliant with the Tusacan interior as opposed to the darker one they offer now

    two things about the top image: (1) kinda miss the throughly stylized character lines on the hood of the current MSC – then again this does appear to be the Cooper model (2) not so sure about the way the body resolves itself around the front foglamps – very unMINI and too Vectra or even CC

    oh and ill be very disappointed if the new headlamps go the way of 7-series with signed eyelids and coronas – they should turn the ring jewels of the current model into daytime LEDs

  • robble

    why all the moaning over these two pictures?

    they are photo chops of old pictures. It’s not the first time we’ve seen photo chops that didn’t look anything like what came out.

  • Seth L

    If true, those headlights appear to be migrating, flounder-like, into Morgan Aero 8 territory.

  • Brendon

    Mini should change their name… could this possibly be considered a “mini” R53’s are going to be worth Alot in the very near future

  • robble

    once again..

    this is not really an image of anything but simply a sophisticated photoshopping job.
  • alpinamike

    It looks like its mad at something, possible the picture taker? 😉

  • SFRedMCc

    Photo #33 with the blue body/silver roof looks like the most reasonable take on what the Crossman might look like:

  • bee1000

    For Disneyland Nerds: RE: Top interior photo:

    It’s a hidden Mickey!

  • JMills

    Well it is interesting that there is a hood cutline showing, as opposed to the single bonnet on the real MINIs, this could very well be what the new Crossman will look like.

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