The current MINI Cooper (R50) and Cooper S (R53) have had a hugely successful introduction over the last two years. They've helped redefine how good a small car can be and in a sense, create a entirely new category in America.
Now that they are firmly at the mid point stage in the car's lifecycle people are actively wondering what will be coming next. The next MINI will be known as the R56 just as the current car was known as the R50/R53. What we do know is that it will have a jointly developed BMW/Peugeot 4 cylinder and will most likely be slightly larger. There has also been speculation that BMW might turn to Peugeot for chassis development as well. Finally we also know that we'll probably see this car around '07 to '08.
We could also make the assumption that they won't alter the design too much and the general shape of the current car will probably remain pretty much the same. But this leaves a lot to be determined. While the interior will probably carry on the same general themes that we see today that's where I, personally, see the greatest room for improvement.
So if you could talk to BMW/MINI engineers and designers what would you tell them to change or leave alone with the next MINI? What would you tell them has been successful on the new car and what needs improving?