MotoringFile reader James gives us this sneak peak of the Paris autoshow where the new MINI will be unveiled to the public for the first time:

>I was taking some honeymoon pictures today on one of the Seine River cruises and came across what looks to be the NEW MINI debut tent for the Paris Auto Show later this month! There weren’t any cars visible but I could see a sideways-mounted ramp on the bridge-end of the tent for a display car and a
very large, white, reception tent on the other side of the bridge. They were apparently still setting things up as we passed by. An interesting note is that the cars pictured on the side of the tent are of the new R56. The slanted headlights and revised side gills were pretty visible.

>The big auto makers are setting up
temporary concept boutiques all around Paris highlighting new models,
technology, concept cars, and providing a place for post-show parties.
I walked into several on the Champs-Elysee that were open to the public
including Toyota, Citroen, and Renault. The multifaceted, four-story,
Peugeot building was still being constructed and is really wild from
the outside. So back to MNI. Both tents are still basically empty and
incomplete, but what really piqued my interest was between the two
tents, under the bridge itself! As we walked under, there appeared to
be an underground meeting hall of some sort (Tunnel pic: entrance
inside tunnel to left of lorry). Inside, the hall was already
decorated and lit up, dance-hall style. Reggae music was pumping
loudly and right there in the doorway was one of the new MINIs, sadly
covered. I popped my head in to try and get some pictures, but the
on-site security quickly asked me to leave. There were actually two
MINIs present, but I could only get a picture of the first one. I was
dying to see the final interior, but, oh well.

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