New F56 Spy Shots Confirm Rocketman-style Headlights

As test mules continue to circle Germany for the next generation MINI hatch, spy photographers are snapping more and more photos of the car’s details. This latest image confirms something we’ve been reporting for more than a year: the F56 will have Rocketman-style headlights. The “halo” light rings aren’t turned on for this test mule, but they’re clearly visible. Also obvious in these shots is just how much cladding is sitting on top of the car’s true shape (look at the access hatch seams, for instance). Completely hidden are the car’s front grill shape and hoodline, which we also expect to be heavily influenced by the Rocketman Concept. All of this bodes well for the F56’s final design.

We expect the F56 to debut online in late in the summer of 2013, with a public debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. Production should start at Oxford shortly afterwards with European deliveries happening as early as November. Look for the car make it’s way to the US in late 2013 or early 2014.

After 2013 and the launch of the F56 and new platform, things will move rapidly. First up is the F55 five door hatch mentioned above. Then MINI will be quickly introducing the next generation Clubman, Convertible and Countryman with new engines, in that order. By 2017 we expect MINI’s entire line-up to be switched over to new platforms.

For a full rundown on the next generation MINI check out our exhaustive report on the car, its design and its new technology.

Via: AutoEvolution

  • ulrichd

    As someone who really likes the Rocketman concept this is good news. I know the euro pedestrian impact standards are influencing the front end design heavily, but I am cautiously optimistic that the F56 will resolve this better than the current model.

  • Cladding or not, I hope AutoEvolution aren’t correct about the length of the new MINI. I love my 3.63 meter car! Can they make it back to that? (Or smaller?) 4 meters would be obese.

    • They’re wrong.

    • They’re incorrect. They’re likely basing that assertion on the length of the FWD BMW concept recently revealed. The cars share the same platform, but not the same wheelbase. Additionally, they infer that the new car would be both bigger and heavier. Our sources are telling us that the F56 will actually be lighter than the R56, which was itself lighter than the R53. Further evidence against the perennial aluminum foil hat theory that BMW is secretly conspiring to make every MINI bigger and heavier.

  • A Grenon

    So, any thoughts on how close it will resemble the pictured Rocketman, especially in terms of the grill. I was re-reading the “exhaustive report” and it says that it will resemble that grill but I was just curious if we know how much so. I definitely dig the light halos, very futuristic looking. Like exterior angel eyes!

    • ulrichd

      Impossible to tell. There is so much cladding on the car they had to put in a hood hatch for engine access. You can see it in the pic above.

      • My estimation is that it will have the general shape and position of the Rocketman grill, but retain the traditional slats. At least, that’s what I’m hoping for.

        • John

          Would certainly look more like a classic Mini.

  • The third generation has been quite the contrast with the constant “teasing” BMW engaged prior to the release of the R56. As far as back as 2004-2005, MINI were touting the R56 at every opportunity they got. With the 3rd gen, they have been much more tight lipped by comparison…

  • Eric


    The F56 will be available in the U.S. in late 2013 or early 2014? Does that mean the R56 will be available until then?