News : MINI lifts the curtain on new model – a bit

Our readers will probably have seen the – rather ungainly – pictures of the next MINI popping up all over the Internet. Being shot from a long distance during an official photoshoot, they prompted a quick reaction from MINI…

Here at AROnline we prefer to wait for the official pictures to arrive – the practice of running even the most un-flattering spy-shot or not keeping to publication embargoes will be left to others. Anyway, here you go, the first official outing of the next-generation MINI.

Outrageous! MINI secretly photographed at private getaway.

Paparazzi attack on British small car top model. Impatient photographers unable to wait for official presentation. Leads to distorted pictures at dawn.

Oxford. Aggressive and relentless papping is something British celebrities have had to learn to live with. Members of the Royal Family, as well as actors, footballers and top models are all familiar with the sensation of being caught in uncompromising situations, and now MINI is the latest victim. Absolutely unaware and without make-up, the youngest member of our family was caught by sensationalist photographers in a highly private moment. The young one was yellow and completely defenceless. We understand the worldwide interest in our family but it is not the British way to send such unfavourable pictures around the globe.

But like a good stiff-upper-lipped Brit, MINI shall not complain, although we would like to officially state that we are not flattered. The published pictures do not reflect our good looks any way. As every celebrity knows, those extra long telephoto lenses have the devastating ability to negatively distort all surfaces, lines and angles. Therefore our advice: next time come closer to the object of desire. If that doesn’t work, don’t worry, shortly you will have the opportunity to experience the MINI up close and personal, and to take pictures from all angles.


Alexander Boucke


  1. The Peugeot 407 frontal overhang is being blamed on telephoto lenses?

    If that was the case, the internet specialist video industry would be placing an order!

  2. It seems to be getting bigger again?

    At this rate, it will be bigger than a Sherpa Van in a couple of generations.

  3. If its like every other Bini variant then this probably is the most flattering portrait- nicely wrapped in a tarp and bits of bin bag.

    Certainly it will be more attractive than when ‘John Cooper Works’ fit it with hideous alloys and nasty stick-on graphics.

  4. I think I’d rather have a 4star NCAP rating and 150kg off the kerbweight, and better styling. Saying that, the Fiesta and Mazda 2 disguise their long noses well (unlike the new Clio and 208).

  5. Just checked out the naked pics link supplied by Jeroen Wolf- it looks like a cheap Chinese plastic toy that has been left in the sun too long and melted….

    Those headlights- looks like it is rolling its eyes (as indeed am I)…

  6. Looking at the spy shots, there is no way around it, that is one ugly car. The cars that people love tend to have faces, like the frog eyed sprite. Alas the new Mini looks like it is gurning.

    So it will be an expensive car, with no luggage room, no room in the back for passengers, and not really a small car. A fat ungainly Mini. The only it had going for it, vaguely decent looks, has now gone. Well done BMW.

  7. Autocar had some decent shots of it a few days ago, the colourful paint sadly can’t hide the fact that it looks even more bloated than the current model.

  8. From MotoringFile:
    “These are taken using extremely long zoom lenses, so the views we’re seeing here are going to have a lot of telescopic compression, in addition to being from a strange, high angle. So don’t take the exact shape of anything too seriously. A couple of key things worth pointing out straight away. We’re finally seeing the full extent of the Rocketman Concept’s influence on the F56. As previously reported, the LED “halo” headlight surrounds will serve as fulltime running lights on the F56.”

    Looks good testing at the Nurburgring:

  9. I think the only decent photos are when its covered up,how long before people grow out of a trinket like this a dive into the new A class for same monthly money? Not to worry,exports,kebab shops and estate agents can still get this advertising hoarding and keep it going.

  10. Looks fine to me, I’m sure I’ll get used to the new nose. I bet the new engines are brilliant. The anti MINI people on this board never liked the MINI, so this won’t change their minds. For the sizeable group of people who like the car, I’m sure they’ll contuinue to like it.

    The A class is just another lower medium hatchback, now more a rival for the 1 series and A3.

  11. @7 Chris Baglin,
    And how exaxtly would you like the new Mini to look then Chris? Or perhaps you would prefer the original one to still be in production. Have you ever driven a Mini JCW? They are actually quite fantastic and great fun to drive, and they don’t have to come with all the extras. Wouldn’t you agree the new Mini is a wonderful British automotive success story and continues to be even more so, and perhaps should be applauded and not derided by tiresome grumpy internet trolls? Just a thought.

  12. They’re an absolute hoot to drive.

    I used to be sceptical. It helps if you think of them not as redefining packaging economy cars (of which would either be a slow seller as per the iQ, or it would be impossible to build in the UK to make a profit as per the Pixo or Sandero).

    I really warmed to them thinking of them more of a sports hatchback. The kind of thing Alfa Romeo should be producing.

    As the defining shape of the MINI is, well, the Mini, the design of new model has to be evolutionary, like the 911, Range Rover etc.

    They can’t exactly go for Cortina-Sierra / Escort-Focus moments.

    Evolutionary styling also helps the resale value of older models (2001 models still look surprisingly fresh), meaning that a 3 or 4 year PCP can have a guaranteed value at the end, bringing the price of these down.
    Something the germans are very good at, almost a feedback loop – low monthly payments -> higher demand -> higher resale values -> low monthly payments.

  13. I’m really not sure why the MINI gets such a hard time on here.

    Possible reasons –

    1) it’s expensive for a small car. Yes, but the UK is an expensive place to build a small car. It sells though.

    2) It’s bigger than the original Mini. Yes, but so are most cars when you compare current models to 1950s/60s designs.

    3) It’s no bigger on the inside than the original Mini. No, but it’s far more comfortable and has more ‘content’. The original Mini was sold as a family car, the current MINI is purchased mainly by singles and couples or as a second car.

    4) The company is owned by the Germans. Yes, which means it still actually exists, provides UK jobs, is profitable, and produces stylish and reliable cars that people are queuing up to buy.

    5) It’s ugly. Not to all eyes, and it sells largely on looks and image so ‘ugly’ must be good.

    6) There’s a large contingent on here who would prefer it if BMW made an MG6 equivalent that was a mediocre product, wasn’t marketed effectively and didn’t sell.

    The MINI might not be everyone’s ideal car but hey, give it a (MINI) break !

  14. Looks like it has now moved over to 5 stud hubs. Wonder will it be rover 75 / subaru / mg6 stud pattern and pcd or will it be bmw’s own?

  15. Every BMW MINI is superb to drive,i owned a cat c Cooper S works, so there is nothing im saying that i would consider hateful or trolling,the car sites are awash with comments like “WTF,is that it?”.

    Of course it will sell,but as far as im concerned,being a complete petrolhead this car just looks plain gawky when BMW promised a revolution not an evolution-and there is nothing fanciful in that statement,BMW said it.

    I am also not some sheep that will buy this car because Joe Bloggs or a bit of fanny drives it,course its fun,i would not go as far as premium.

  16. In general – and there are always exceptions – the owners of a car (including the Bini) think its the best thing since sliced bread. In general – and there are significant exceptions – the none-owners think the car is rubbish. It is rare to meet a non-owner of (say) a 2CV who thinks they were great cars yet I’ve never met a 2CV owner who didn’t think it was the best and most fun car they have ever owned.
    This is why some of us by a Bini and are chuffed to monkeys and lots of you are hell-bent on criticising a new model you have seen rotten pictures of before it is actually released – which in my view is just bad manners to say the least. That was my one and only negative when taking CAR magazine for umpteen years – some guy made it his business to photograph cars that were not released yet. Why? How would you like to have your product splashed all over the Internet if you were still developing it?
    I suspect anyone under the age of 50 thinks I’m from another planet but I’m actually quite proud of some old fashioned stuff called morals – my gosh how unfashionable is that?

  17. This all reminds me of a well known quote in the story below…..often told by John Cooper about the early days of the ‘ugly’ classic Mini…. 🙂

    [B]John Cooper – ‘the early years’[/B]
    “During the sourcing of the Formula junior (A-Series) engine and John Cooper’s involvement with Alec Issigonis, the subject of the soon to be announced Mini often cropped up. John was extremely interested in the car, mainly due to its unconventional layout of transverse engine, front wheel drive and rubber suspension. He and his grand prix driver Roy Salvadori were loaned a pre-production Mini for the Italian Grand Prix in 1959, but John was unable to drive the Mini to the meeting, as he had to trailer a F1 car, so Roy Salvadori drove it instead. Both men were later amused to find that the Mini had beaten fellow Formula 1 star Reg Parnell on the journey from London and he had been driving an Aston Martin DB4GT. The car was then used as a run-around during the meeting and both men were very impressed. While at the circuit, Aurelio Lampredi, famous chief designer for Ferrari, spotted the Cooper Mini (although it had not been given a name as yet) and took it for a drive. He was gone for several hours and Cooper was convinced that Lampredi must have crashed, finally he returned breathless and excited, exclaiming that ‘if it were not for the fact that it is so ugly, I’d shoot myself if that isn’t the car of the future’. From this point onwards John Cooper knew that the Mini was the road car that he should use for the basis of his performance car.
    [url=]The Mini Cooper[/url]

    John Cooper had competed against Mini designer Alec Issigonis in hill-climbs 1946-47, and after the Mini’s sensational launch loaned one at Monza to Fiat’s ex-Ferrari chief designer Aurelio Lampredi – who returned it grinning from ear to ear: “This is the car of the future…”, the great man declared, “If it wasn’t so ugly, I’d shoot myself!”. John would recall: “I put it to George Harriman, BMC’s new boss, that he should market a tuned version.
    [url=]John Cooper CBE[/url]

  18. Surely the new range of MINI engines are quite a revolution compared to using the A-Series for 40+ years…… 🙂

    MINI’s 3 Cylinder Engine Previewed

    300+ HP From MINI’s New 3 Cylinder Possible According to BMW M

    Meet the N37; The F56 MINI’s Three Cylinder Engine

  19. @27
    I have been working as a mechanical design engineer for over 30 years including some in automotive and would be interested to know just what facts you base that statement above on….from what I see going on at the MINI Plants in Oxford, Hams Hall and Swindon not to mention the various UK based suppliers thre is a lot of engineering content, and you have just insulted the work of a lot of hard working engineers who have helped to revive the UK motor industry with successful cars like MINI, Jaguar and Lsnd Rover!
    Perhaps you should book a Plant Tour below and see just what we engineers achieve, whether based in UK or Germany…..

  20. @28 mab01uk
    The truth is a fundamental fact not a flawed human perception but to some on this website it is easier to insult and criticise than to listen and understand. The glass bowel sink I have just fitted in my bathroom – now that is a triumph of marketing spiel over engineering. It looked great on the Internet – but it’s rubbish. I’ve been tucked up like a turkey!

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