MF Exclusive: Leaked MINI Prototype a Fake

Photoshop of MINI Crossover Exterior from Automobile.fr

Last week we exposed the interior image seen in Automobile.Fr as a forgery. This week we’re doing the same to the exterior photoshop image. Instead of debating the image for days upon days we thought we’d go straight to the source and ask the always candid Gert Hildebrand (director of all things design at MINI) while at MINI United. His response was straight forward and clearly sincere. The images (interior and exterior) are both fake. A simple answer from the man who would know.

Written By: Gabe

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1238400603 Jack Mosher

    Well, at least it’s from a reliable source! Interested to see what the real deal looks like…

    Sounds like fun across the pond, wishing I could be there!!

  • Danny

    I googled Gert and found this video of him talking about the 2008 MINI Cooper D Clubman:


    He even mentions Motoringfile.com!

  • lavardera


  • viley

    Phew, im relieved. The hood was absolutely terrible.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1478389903 James Irmiger


  • C4

    Perhaps it would be a good idea to double and triple check your “sources” before posting dubious photos of fakes.

    Just a suggestion, don’t take it the wrong way.

  • JonPD

    Actually have to disagree with you on that C4.

    Rumors pertaining Mini is a good point of topic at times since it allows Mini to see the reaction to things like this. Also I think that if a majority of other news media didn’t discuss rumors pertaining to many actions of our government we would all be in a much worse place. rumors can sometimes be true or based in truth., even better the discussion about them can bring up credible points of views. imo

  • that.guy

    Shocking development.

  • AN

    @JonPD Exactly right.

  • lavardera

    plus its always good to know who is likely to panic in a crisis

  • http://www.motoringfile.com/ Gabe

    @C4: They weren’t our sources. You may need to ready the article again, the images came from the French magazine automobile.dr and had nothing to do with our sources. They were then picked up by most of the online automotive media. Clearly it would have been out of character if we didn’t report that the images were out there. However rather simply post it and be done with it like the rest of the automotive media we leveraged our connections within MINI and went straight to the top to get an answer.

  • viley

    I think any development, be it real or fake, is a good thing to post. Hopefully even through reactions to these fake posts MINI can take into consideration the reaction of its community to changes considered.

  • lavardera

    Yes, as well as identify who is likely to fly off the handle irrationally so they can ignore them in the future.

  • Pingback: MotoringFile » Archive » Is This The Next MINI? More Images Surface of Supposed MINI Design Mock-up()

  • Nick

    This is obviously a 1/24 model of a Mini Cooper that someone fancied up.

    Notice how they are absolutely no wheel bolts or studs, or even a cover that would house such items? All we see is a nice black “hole” in the center of each wheel…interesting….

    Perhaps the most telling point is the gas cap….it’s exactly the same as the Burago 1/24 die cast model I am holding up in front of me right now which I bought from wal-mart. Unless Mini specifically designed an unopenable gas tank that is fused with the body and has the same color (going against previous generations).

    Most importantly, there is absolutely no size reference in any of these pictures. Some person mocked up a small 1/24 model and managed to initially fool so many people :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=721410455 Vin Reddy

    Say what you will about the styling, etc…. You’ve got to admit whomever is behind this has got some mad photoshop skills.

  • Alex Thompson

    Sorry, but I’m still not convinced this is a fake!

    This MINI designer might be a straight talking kind of guy, but never in a month of sundays would he confirm it’s a genuine image. Sure, he could ‘no comment’ or play dumb, but this wouldn’t do much to quash people’s thought’s that it could actually be the 3rd gen mini (and indeed all of the ‘i hate the 3rd gen’ malarkey that comes along with that).

    Of course I’m just hypothesising here, but it just strikes me that asking someone from MINI about this on record would only ever result in one answer being given.

  • http://www.motoringfile.com/ Gabe
    This MINI designer might be a straight talking kind of guy, but never in a month of sundays would he confirm it’s a genuine image. Sure, he could ‘no comment’ or play dumb, but this wouldn’t do much to quash people’s thought’s that it could actually be the 3rd gen mini (and indeed all of the ‘i hate the 3rd gen’ malarkey that comes along with that).

    This may help. He specifically put it this way… when you see the 3rd generation MINI, you’ll know this isn’t it.

    Trust me on this one… this isn’t real.

  • lavardera

    Gabe said he corresponded with the director of design. If he was not definite in his denial your theory might have some legs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1232156929 Mike Roberts

    @Gabe: And when will that be?

  • viley

    The 3rd gen is still a ways off. Id think itd be more likely to get a peek at the refresh soon than a gen3 mock up. Just sayin’

  • C4

    By late 2004, early 2005, we were already been flooded with pics and specs of the then prototype R56. Perhaps MINI will keep the third gen tests mules more under wraps this time around.

    Lavardera: I can’t wait for your anti-3rd gen MINI rants. We shall see who is going to fly off the handle first.

  • lavardera

    I’ll be you can’t. Can I talk you into holding your breath?

  • Pingback: 2012 MINI Cooper i-MegaCity Spied, Maybe [Spy Photos] | Car Advisory()

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