We’ve seen this car before. It wasn’t the F56 then. It’s not the F56 now. Yet World Car Fans is showing off a set of photos of what they’re reporting to be a next generation MINI Cooper undergoing winter testing. While that’s a reasonable assertion, it’s not exactly correct.

Our sources are telling us that this car is actually the test mule for the upcoming FWD BMW camouflaged to look like a MINI. Because it shares the chassis platform with the F56, this FWD BMW 1-series mule has what is basically an improvised R56 body on top of it and an equally improvised BMW interior. Given the platform sharing, you could say this is the F56 in a round-about sort of way, but that body shape you’re seeing there is nothing to bother about. We know from sources deep inside MINI that the next generation MINI Hardtop will be a much more radical departure from the current MINI or even the R50/R53. This mule isn’t radical at all. It’s just swirly.

As we reported last week the F56 (the next generation MINI) will be unveiled a year from this spring as a 2014 model.