Courtesy of these latest images of F56 prototypes give us the best look yet and the differences between the Cooper and Cooper S design differences. Lets take a look.

Since 2001 the Cooper S has been defined upfront by hood scoop be it real with the R53 or faux with the R56. While we’re not sure if there’s any plumbing behind it here (not likely) MINI has clearly decided it’s a core component to the MCS design language for the F56. Also carrying over in similar fashion are the MCS (and JCW) exclusive brake ducts on the outside of the lower grill.

A new addition to the design language is the “S” logo used as a badge on the left side of the upper grille. In our mind it’s a great idea but the continued use of the questionable “S” script design is a little eye-rolling.

Consistent on both is the Rocketman-like grille surround and subtle creases above the wheel slats.


Xenons vs LEDs

The photos at the top of the page show us the two premium lighting options MINI will offer on the F56. But perhaps more importantly the photo directly above gives us our first look yet of the LED headlight and foglight option. Brighter light with less energy required LEDs are the future of all automotive lighting. However until now they’ve been exclusive to high-end cars. Our sources who have seen the lights at night call them unreal.


Around the back the F56 Cooper and Cooper S take the core design languages and simply grow them a bit without increasing the size of the car. Think of everything getting slightly more aggressive and rounded in design with the intrusion of key creases here and there to add some dynamic qualities.

And those lights. Yes they are bit and they extend into the hatch. One detail that will become more clear soon; it looks as if the Cooper S central exhaust is now turned longitudinal rather than latitudinal in the current R56.

Release Dates

The F56 will debut on the web in very late summer likely a week before the Frankfurt Auto Show where it will publicly debut. Look for it to his Euro dealers in late 2013 with US sales beginning in February of 2014.