2013 brings us huge changes to the MINI family and these are the first images of that change via Worldcarfans. Yes that is the mythical F56 on the road testing for the first time. While the car is dramatically camouflaged this is unmistakably the next generation hatch.
WCF may have the photos but they’ve off in several aspects of the story. First off the Clubman side-door? Yes that’s fake. And the BMW-esque interior? That’s an easy one. Because this will be the first MINI based on the UKL BMW Group platform, the testers simply shoe-horned a BMW dash onto the MINI for camo purposes. So no, the center speedo isn’t going away. However it is changing and we’ll have more on that soon. And those odd looking lights? 100% camouflage. Expect something closer to what we saw on the MINI Rocketman concept.
Some things we can note right away. First off the size of the car (as sources have told us for well over two years) will be almost identical to the current hatch. In fact we expect the car to become lighter in most configurations thanks to the switch to BMW’s new three cylinder powerplant family.
Codenamed the F56 and replacing the R56, the three door hatch will sport completely new interior design (with improved interface design) and an evolution of the MINI exterior design language. Look for other variants to push the envelope a bit, but not the bread and butter that is the hatch. But make no mistake, the hatchback will set the tone for MINI’s new design language on all products.
But perhaps most importantly, there will be the new technology and powerplants. BMW will debut itâ€™s new range three cylinder engines in the F56 that will ultimately go on to power much of the (approximately) 12 forthcoming UKL based models.
Look for the 2013 MINI Hatch to debut next summer and be at dealerships by the fall. And of course look no further for all the news you need on the new car as products nears.
You can see the entire set of images in high-res over at World Car Fans.