Few, if any of you, will be surprised to learn that the next generation of the Mini hatchback (also known as the Hardtop) will keep the same basic exterior shape and styling as the two previous models developed under the ownership of the BMW Group. The retro design language defines the Mini brand, and its German owners do not intend to mess around with a successful formula.
That doesn’t mean there won’t be cosmetic changes on the outside, but you will have a hard time spotting the differences. Perhaps the easiest way to separate the Mk2 from the upcoming Mk3 hatch will be the all-new headlamp and taillights, which can be seen in this prototype model spied in Europe.
The interior, on the other hand, will feature some important changes, as previous spy shots show that Mini will replace the oversized speedometer from the center console with a smaller motorcycle-style instrument setup positioned in front of the driver. Interior quality is also believed to be improved on the new model.
While it may look the same on the outside, the F56-codenamed Mini hatch will ride on a brand new BMW Group-engineered platform architecture called UKL1, which will also be utilized on BMW’s own 1-Series Gran Turismo. Furthermore, the Mini model will be offered with the German company’s new family of 1.5-liter three-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, connected to six-speed manual or 8-speed automatic gearboxes.
It is very likely that Mini will hold the world premiere of the hatchback at the Frankfurt motor show in September 2013.
Photo Credits: CarPix for CarScoopS