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Future models - Mini

Mini’s Vision for tomorrow

New face: Expect this frontal design to carry over to the road-going Mini, due to appear later this year.

Future Mini models previewed by detailed rendering unveiled this week in Munich

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Mini logo26 Jul 2013

MINI’S ‘tomorrow’ will look a lot like Mini’s ‘today’, if a concept rendering released in Munich overnight is an accurate depiction of the BMW-owned company’s future product.

Called the Mini Vision, the concept two-door hatch bears more than a passing resemblance to the spectacular Rocketman concept first shown in Geneva in 2011, and subsequently ruled out of contention for series production.

The Vision, which is said to “showcase various elements of future Mini design”, also features the rounder grille and sleeker headlight design that is expected to feature on the next-generation Cooper hatch, which makes its world debut at the Los Angeles motor show in November this year.

Images of the new Mini leaked online at the start of July, eliciting a cheeky response from the company that alluded to ‘unflattering paparazzi shots’.

The retro exterior design again harks to the classic Mini’s of yore, but adds a new hexagonal grille with integrated fog lights and bumper. The nifty oval lights are full LEDs, and are surrounded by ring-shaped daytime-runners.

The blacked-out pillars clearly delineate roof from side panels, made from a strong, easily moulded and lightweight fibre-composite called ‘organo-metal’.

The rear haunches are more pronounced, the overhangs are shorter and the new spoiler design may appear on future JCW hot versions.

Also notable are the familiar twin rear pipes, mounted centrally, as well as the larger and blockier tail-lights and pronounced tailgate creases.

As well as giving a sneak-peak at the next Cooper, the Vision sketch showcases several new cabin gadgets, and previews Mini’s new interior design theme, replete with a cleaner and simpler floating dash and (somewhat unexpectedly) retaining the signature oversized circular central display.

Notable are the thinner steering wheel design, simpler fascia with a trio of rounded dials, Union Jack-inspired fabric straps and seats clad in tough blue material reminiscent of an expensive suit. The gold-and-blue colour scheme inside is a Mini-first, and sets off the vivid exterior paintwork.

One particularly intriguing feature is the Driving Experience Control Switch, which changes the colour scheme of the cabin – like an exaggerated version of the system used in the current Paceman – and switches that pronounced central display from analogue to digital 3D.

The Vision also features Mini’s ‘Disco Floor’, and “expressive interplay of colours, light and forms” on the car’s footwell.

As we know, the new road-going Mini that will debut in LA will share its ‘UKL’ underpinnings with the first of a new generation of city-friendly, front-wheel-drive BMW models – recently previewed by a pair of Compact Active Tourer concepts – as well as the all-new X1 compact SUV.

Rumour also suggests the modern-day Mini will abandon its traditional four-cylinder engine line-up in favour of a new family of 1.5-litre petrol and diesel three-cylinder engines that will include the traditional split between normally aspirated and turbocharged versions.

Petrol versions of these engines will form the ‘traditional’ half of BMW’s forthcoming petrol-electric plug-in hybrid i3 and i8 models, however there is no word on a possible hybrid Mini.

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