2014 MINI Previewed: The Design
today starts the beginning of an entire week here at MF centered around the upcoming and completely new 2014 MINI.
The Cladding is coming off and the next generation MINI is taking shape. As these exclusive spy-shots (via MF reader Øyvind Repvik) show, the three door F56 hatch will will feature a very similar silhouette to the outgoing R56 and the R50 before it. But don’t let the overall shape fool you, this is an entirely new car. From the drivetrain to the design in and out the F56 is the biggest re-think of the MINI since the 2001 R50.
While we’ve had several readers tell us about seeing F56 mules almost without camo in and around Germany, what we have here is a group of heavily clad F56 test mules going through a final cold-weather evaluation. That means all exterior lights are faked and the details of the front and rear facia covered up by plastic and then taped. But we can still see a few notable details here. For one the rear tail-lights will be moving on from the floating design from both the R50 and R56. That means the inner cut-line will not also double as the edge of the hatch. It’s a cost savings measure that we hope allowed BMW to put more money into drivetrain development. And knowing what we do, we have a hunch that’s exactly what has happened.
With the F56 being developed alongside the new front wheel drive BMW, one of the more pressing question in the minds of most MINI fans is probably this: is there enough difference between the new BMW and the F56? Do the cars share so much that the soul of MINI is lost in the cost savings of sharing platforms with the Bimmer? Is the new MINI just a badge change? Based on sources we’ve spoken with inside MINI and BMW who’ve seen both new designs (people have been in the room with both of the prototypes), the answer is a resounding no. The takeaway we’ve heard? You’d never guess the same chassis platform was underpinning both cars.
Despite concerns on the interwebs the next generation MINI isn’t getting larger outside of perhaps an inch or so to deal with crash standards. And it’s also not getting heavier. In fact our sources are telling us to expect the opposite.
While all the F56 test mules we’ve seen thus far have been heavily camouflaged using tack-on panels and MINI’s normal psychedelic yellow pattern, our sources have helped us peel back the tape a bit.
Let’s start with the one thing that caught the most attention – the elongated nose sprouting out far over the front axel. The MINI has always been known for it’s wheels on the corner stance and this test mule seemed to be completely at odds with it. Luckily we believe this is not a hint of it’s final production form.
Sources have been telling us in the past few months that the front of the F56 will be very reminiscent of the Rocketman concept in the way the hood is less sloped and more flat. According to these same insiders the F56 will also feature the Rocketman’s large upright grille but with a chrome surround instead of black.
Elsewhere looks for a few more creases – notably just above the plastic wheel arches which are also confirmed for the next generation MINIs.
Around back the F56?s rear logo is no longer set in the body, but in the plastic trim/grab handle. Otherwise the rear should be a natural evolution of the current MINI form language.
But that doesn’t mean we’re not in for a number of small surprises. One that we can share has to do with the fuel filler cap. On the Cooper S, the S logo is pressed into the chrome fuel filler cap itself.
Also worth noting, the F56 will be offered with an optional slim-line roof rail whih fit very close to the body. This is very similar to BMW’s offerings on the new X1, X3 and wagon models. This option will allow for a much easier and non-evasive way to attached bike racks etc.
Wheels are growing slightly with sizes ranging from 15″ to 18″ from the factory. And yes, the MINI will be moving to a five bolt pattern to match the new front wheel drive BMWs.
In the coming days we’ll be going into details on the new MINI focusing more on the interior technology and finally the new family of three and four cylinder engines powering the car.
Written By: Gabe
Sort by MINI model
- Ask MINI USA Execs Anything You Want
- BMW Introduces 360-degree Collision Avoidance & Fully-Automated Parking
- Woofcast #533: Thank you Japan
- MINI Undecided on Producing the Rear Wheel Drive Superleggera Roadster
- BMW Group’s DriveNow Launches in London
- EVO Reviews the F55 Cooper S (Video)
- Woofcast #532: The Alfa Romeocast
- US Customs Destroys a Gorgeous Classic Mini to Protect US Citizens
- MINI’s 3 Cylinder Wins Wards Engine of the Year Award
- MINI Extends Dakar Rally Commitment until 2017
MotoringFile on Instagram
- Ask BMW Executives Anything You Want
- Video Profile: 1970’s BMW Designer Paul Braq
- Options of the Future – What to Expect on 2016 & 2017 BMWs
- BMW Introduces 360-degree Collision Avoidance and Fully-Automated Parking
- Former BMW Factory Driver Hand Heading to Ford
- The Best Car Review Ever Written is About the BMW 2002
- BMW Group’s DriveNow Launches in London
- The 2 Series Coupe Gets the MINI 3 Cylinder Among Other Upgrades
- 2015 BMW 6 Series and M6 Mega Gallery
- World Premier: the Refreshed 2015 BMW 6 Series & M6
- The Morning Scooter Commute
- The 2StrokeBuzz 2014/2015 Cold Weather Challenge
- Honda Recalls 10,000 Grom and Forza Models For Fuel Pump Issue
- Report Predicts Bright Future for Electric Maxi-Scooters, 3-wheelers
- Video: MotoGeo Rides the Vespa 946
- Opinion: If I were Scomadi
- Ride the Brickyard at Amerivespa 2015
- Comparison: Vespa Primavera 125 vs. Peugeot Django 125
- Video: Scomadi Turns to Crowdfunding to Accelerate 300cc Model Production
- Video: Vespa Assembly Segment from How It’s Made
MINI Model Cheat Sheet
R50: One & MC Hatch
R52: All 1st Gen MINI Convt.
R53: MCS Hatch
2nd Gen MINI
R60: MINI Crossover
R61: MINI Crossover Coupe
3rd Gen MINI
F55: Five Door Hatch
F60: MINI Crossover
Advertise with MotoringFile
MotoringFile Buyers GuidesR50 ('02-'06 MC) Buyers Guide
R53 ('02-'06 MCS) Buyers Guide
'12 JCW Coupe
'11 Fiat 500 Sport
'11 Tesla Roaster 2.5 '11 Countryman Comparo
'11 Cooper S Hatch
'11 Countryman MCS (FWD)
'11 Countryman MC (auto)
'10 Mayfair MCS (auto)
'11 Countryman MCS (ALL4)
'10 MINI E
'10 Tesla Roadster Sport
'09 Cooper S Convertible
'09 JCW Hatch
'09 JCW Clubman
JCW Stage I vs JCW Stage II
'08 Clubman S (Auto)
1st Drive: '08 MINI Clubman
'08 Smart Fourtwo
Comparison: '08 BMW 135i
'06 R53 MCS vs '07 R56 MCS
'07 R56 JCW (Stage 1)
'07 MINI Cooper S Long Term
'07 BMW Z4 M Coupe
'07 MINI Cooper & Cooper S
Audio: '07 MC/MCS at the Track
'06 JCW GP Long term
Reader Review: JCW GP
'06 JCW Cooper S Long Term
Comparison: '06 Lotus Elise
Comparison: '06 Mazda MX5
Comparison: '06 UK Focus ST
Comparison: '06 Civic Si
Comparison: '04 TVR T350
Comparison: '06 Nissan 350z
Comparison: '06 VW GTI w/DSG
Podcast: Cooper S Auto
Podcast: BMW 325i
Podcast: JCW MC Soundkit
'04 JCW MINI Cooper Tuning Kit
'05 MCS: One Month Review
'05 MCS Auto
'05 JCW S 1st Drive
'05 MINI Cooper
'05 MCS Conv. Long Term
'05 MINI Cooper S
'05 MCS Cabrio 1st Drive
'04 JCW MCS First Drive
'04 MC w/JCW Tuning Kit
BMW M3 SMG Vs. MCS
'04 MINI Cooper CVT
'02 MCS 3 year Review
Autocrossing the MINI Range