Sometimes a polite “I told you so” is in order. It would seem that recent photos published in AutoExpress have verified something we mentioned last March on MotoringFile; MINI will indeed be keeping the clamshell style hood. When we first mentioned that the clamshell hood was staying it caused a bit of ruckus among readers since it had already been established as a sacrificial lamb in the name of cost cutting by the English automotive press. Here’s what we had to say in the “Next Generation Revealed” story we ran last March:

>In other news that’s sure to surprise, the hood will still be a clamshell design (despite what we had heard) however the headlights will not be integrated like the current car. Instead they will be mounted from underneath. Keeping the clamshell is a bit surprising as many of the UK mags had speculated this would be one of the first places looked at for cost cutting.

So there you have it. As we predicted the clamshell hood is back and the headlights will be mounted not on the hood but more conventionally on the chassis. You can read the entire article here:

[ Next Generation MINI Revealed ] MotoringFile

This picture above is also interesting in that it shows a nice cross-section of the hackwork done to camouflage various 2007 MINI. The wonders of black plastic never cease. The Cooper S (2nd from the right) is particulary nice with various holes apparently drilled into the plastic on the bonnet.

AutoExpress is available at bookstore throughout the UK. This story isn’t online yet as of Thursday the 9th of February.

Thanks to Jordan for the image.