We’ve seen it, driven it and reviewed it. But we’ve never taken our time to bring you the ins and outs of the F56 MINI until now. The Chicago Auto show media days afforded us (Nathaniel and I) a chance to get some quality time with a Volcanic Orange Cooper S with barely anyone around – not something that was possible in Detroit or LA. What that gives you is a great look at a few of the details you might have missed in the official MINI press photos.

Our opinion after seeing the car in person again? For me this marks the forth occasion I’ve seen the F56 (three of those in final production form) and the initial questions I had with the front of the car (specifically the chin and the size of the overhang) have completely worn off. Replacing it is just excitement to get back in and drive it. For Nathaniel, this was his first time seeing the F56 in person. His immediate reaction was one, “now I get it” to the front and rear of the car. He can elaborate a bit more himself but it was similar to my first reaction in that the dimensionality of the car only really came out in person.

The F56 will be on display at all major auto shows in the US including Chicago which runs until February 16th. The first cars will hit dealers in the UK in March and Europe and the US in April.