Next Generation MINI Spied for the First Time

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 it’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.

  • Nathaniel Salzman

    Is it just me, or does that front overhang look enormous?

    • It’s likely not much (if any) different than the R56. Regardless the shape and size is dictated by EU regulations. 

      • Yeah, I’m hoping there’s some extra cladding on there. No getting around the impact standards, obviously. 

        • HERR26

          Don’t worry there is excess cladding on the front of the car around the headlights.

        • Anonymous

          thats good because it was looking decidedly chinese knock-offish there!

        • JonPD

          There is a shock Lav, we agree on something hah

        • Anonymous

          thats good because it was looking decidedly chinese knock-offish there!

    • invaliduser

      n/m… the side profile shows a better angle.  Its just an optical illusion where the camo pattern changes.

    • That was my initial reaction, too.

      All I can say is that the vinyl camouflage works well here.  Very well. I have no idea what to think about the F56.

  • Frederic Paolozzi

    The dashboard look like is from a bmw. hope it’s not the final one.

    • Don’t forget to read the article. This is from the first paragraph: 

      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.

      • Frederic Paolozzi

        My bad :p

  • Been looking at these pics all morning. Going through all the phases when something like this comes out 🙂 I think they have done a great job, liking it so far 😀

  • MINImofo

    This might just be me, but it looks just like an R56. And it looks bigger….

    • T.

      For the first time on a MINI.   Added surface design elements and creases.

  • KPH

    Can’t jump to any conclusions (or hope to) but the upper grill harkens back to the 1st gen design doesn’t it? Glad to hear over all size is remaining as is at least.

  • invaliduser

    is that a cowl type of inlet i see on the hood just above the upper grill… where the scoop on the current S is located?

    • invaliduser

      n/m… the side profile shows a better angle.  Its just an optical illusion where the camo pattern changes.

  • This appears to be an “S” (center tail pipes) and it also appears that there is no hood scoop. The variation (appearance of a scoop) looks to be strictly in the camo wrap. Could the traditional mail slot bonnet scoop be a thing of the past come 2013? 

    Also, the rear bumper cut out for the single exhaust is on the left instead of the traditional right. This may simply be camo for mis-direction like the dash. 

    • Anonymous

      The scoop in non-functional on the current mini, so they may just not have it on there for testing

      • I Definitely see some kinda vent on the front… maybe more evo X style than hood scoop… perhaps an aero mod instead of a drag non functional hoodscoop. 

        something else i’m surprised no one noted… there’s definitely a second door on the back passenger side… i think this might be the clubman, or they’re adding a clubdoor to the new hatch… either way there’s two distinct lines that may or may not be a 3rd door. 

  • Anonymous

    Is it just me or does the door look extra long, like it almost goes to the back wheel, and the door handle is placed behind the back of the front window?  Extra long doors to help people get in the back?

  • Sean

    Please bring the BMW 2.0L over!

  • Anonymous

    If this is an evolution of the current design, which in my opinion is getting a bit stale after 10 years, will this be just dated looking. I know this is a heavily camod car but I am hoping for more Rocketman influence and less R56.

  • I Definitely see some kinda vent on the front… maybe more evo X style than hood scoop… perhaps an aero mod instead of a drag non functional hoodscoop. something else i’m surprised no one noted… there’s definitely a second door on the back passenger side… i think this might be the clubman, or they’re adding a clubdoor to the new hatch… either way there’s two distinct lines that may or may not be a 3rd door

  • HERR26

    G. The first Teaser for  “This MINI will love it”   The new MINI Coupe is up @ my blog. At GermanCarForums. @eddc5aa745653c02642a6d1089225ad5:disqus Start the countdown.

  • Justin

    It’s ugly.  I’m glad I have a first gen.

  • JonPD

    Yep looks like a early prototype. Right now the only thing that is looking very odd is the windscreen. It looks odd for some reason, can’t tell if its the shape head on or the angle but something looks wrong with it.

    • Scott K

      Looks like the upper edge of the windscreen has lost it’s radius, and has been made almost straight.  I don’t think this looks as good, but will probably allow the driver to see overhead signal lights more easily.

  • I like it, but what would be the very latest you could order an R56 before the F56?

  • Forgot to mention: thanks for posting, Gabe.

  • minipuma

    Looks like they crossed the bulldog with a dachshund.

  • Nick

    I see Countryman style head and tail lights rather than Rocketman. But I’m probably wrong about the headlights, I hope.

  • Nick

    I see Countryman style head and tail lights rather than Rocketman. But I’m probably wrong about the headlights, I hope.

  • Billy

    As mentioned this is definitely riding on the shared BMW Mini platform – check out the 5 wheel nutts as opposed to the usual Mini 4 This will be the first or one of the first prototypes built by hand in Munich, I guarantee Oxford hasn’t produced this beast yet! The windscreen has extra black edging…assuming to hide the bmw dash?

    The car also seems to be using more modern ‘aero’ windscreen wipers…for what its worth

    I’ve heard rumours of optional reversing cameras and speakers under/in the front seats for the F56

    • jeff

      why would you need reverse cameras under the front seats…?   😛

  • Billy

    As mentioned this is definitely riding on the shared BMW Mini platform – check out the 5 wheel nutts as opposed to the usual Mini 4 This will be the first or one of the first prototypes built by hand in Munich, I guarantee Oxford hasn’t produced this beast yet! The windscreen has extra black edging…assuming to hide the bmw dash?

    The car also seems to be using more modern ‘aero’ windscreen wipers…for what its worth

    I’ve heard rumours of optional reversing cameras and speakers under/in the front seats for the F56

  • Billy

    As mentioned this is definitely riding on the shared BMW Mini platform – check out the 5 wheel nutts as opposed to the usual Mini 4 This will be the first or one of the first prototypes built by hand in Munich, I guarantee Oxford hasn’t produced this beast yet! The windscreen has extra black edging…assuming to hide the bmw dash?

    The car also seems to be using more modern ‘aero’ windscreen wipers…for what its worth

    I’ve heard rumours of optional reversing cameras and speakers under/in the front seats for the F56

  • Rhawth99

    I wish that they would angle the windscreen back a few degrees so that it was less upright. Would help with the aerodynamics as well as fewer rock chips.

  • Michael

    World Car Fans High Resolution pictures show an extra rear door like the Clubman.  They said it would be longer and wider – Car creep like the Honda?  Don’t like the idea of a 3 cylinder automobile.  I’m happy I have my R52 S Sidewalk – It’s a classic MINI, and not a baby BMW thank you.

    • Very very slightly… but it’ll also be safer, faster, more fuel efficient and lighter.

  • Anonymous

    Not sure how I feel about the Rocketman headlights.  I hope that’s not the case.  I think they suit the Rocketman because it’s super futuristic, but I like a little more throwback to the classic days ala R53 or even R56 but still “MINI-like”.

    Too soon to tell about the body changes yet!  Can’t wait to see the new interior!

  • Nick Dawson

    You say that the Clubman side-door is a fake, but it has been revealed that MINI is planning to introduce a five-door version of F56. It’s a subtle but significant evolution with an unchanged silhouette . Clubman 2 (F55) on the other hand will be a much larger car sharing its wheelbase with the front-drive F45 BMW 1-Series.

  • goat

    It’s still so early in the process but I do hope they change the wheel arches from the “flat” look they have on the R56 (and on this mule too). They should be more aggressively angled and look purposeful rather than how they are formed on the current car. Otherwise, glad to see the greenhouse the way it is (upright windshield is a good thing for a MINI, IMO). Hope the hood has some contouring and sculpting so it doesn’t look “bloated” like current car and, of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that I would like to see the headlights pointing forward rather than walleyed like current car (so using Rocketman headlight cues is fine by me).

  • Bilbo37B

    Are my eyes deceiving me or has the fuel fill migrated to the right hand side?

  • Anonymous

    The headlights suck. Takes away the characteristic of the MINI and it’s appeal.

    • mczinn

      Yeah, that was my first thought when I saw the car too.  Could it be that the cladding is causing them to look so bad?  I sure hope so.  Otherwise it may be a deal killer for me.

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  • KPH

    To Herr 26: The count down began some time ago, just like the day after Christmas. Windshield: A few degrees is OK, but more is literally a slippery slope to Focusworld. Gas filler door: A plus imo, the gas station lines are shorter and sometimes vacant for passenger side fuel doors…for now. If not part of the camo then over the rear arches is a definite concave area. Hmmm.

  • I love these engineer’s sense of humor. Not only the BMW dash shoehorned in, but the gaffer-taped fake winglets on the front bumper … priceless!