AutoExpress has some news on the next iteration of everyone's favorite small car. Mechanically speaking there's nothing really new from the article that we haven't heard on MotoringFile many times before – including the new engine range. However it's the possible new look that may surprise some. Here's an excerpt from the article:

It's a MINI invention! BMW has already started one of the toughest design jobs of the decade, and this week's magazine has got the pictures that prove it! And you're in for a shock, because gone are the single round headlamps, replaced by controversial twin lenses. Gone, too, is the clamshell bonnet, in favour of a conventionally hinged one.

But there is good news for diehard MINI traditionalists – the new grille is getting bigger and will echo more closely the look of the original Mini, introduced 45 years ago.

The mag's main picture of the MINI 2 shows the new look – and it is backed up by the spy shot of the car testing, which reveals the twin lamps glowing behind disguise panels. The MINI 2 will debut late in 2006, and our spies spotted early prototypes undergoing high-speed track testing. Hotly pursued by a disguised version of next year's facelifted BMW 7-Series, itself not due on sale until the summer, the new model will be bigger, safer and more efficient than ever before.

While I'm not entirely sure the above photo does a good job of illustrating the next MINI, the article does a great job of summarizing many of the changes that we'll see with the R56. It also does a good job of confirming much of what has been said on MotoringFile for the past year or two. Especially that engine range news… something we've had information on for well over a year.

Now go read the entire article: [ Twin-lamp Shock For New MINI ]

photo courtesy of AutoExpress