The tiny hatchback just can’t evade our spy photographers, who once again caught a look at the new 2014 MINI Cooper — and this time they caught the car without any camouflage. The new Mini, codenamed F56, is built on the same “UKL” platform as the next-generation BMW 1 Series.
These spy photos confirm that the 2014 Mini Cooper will retain most of the cute, playful design language seen on the current car. Although it is noticeably wider and longer than before, the Mini’s petite proportions remain intact. Giant circular headlights and a wide polygonal mesh grille give the impression of a grinning face; the nose appears to curve downward more dramatically, leading to a redesigned lower air intake and foglights that are positioned at the far edges of the fascia. Both Cooper and cooper S models appear to have a slight hood bulge near the windshield, but only the S models get the familiar cooling vent at the front of the hood.
In profile, the 2014 Mini Cooper appears to have a more canted roofline than before. The front and rear windshields also appear more steeply raked. Cheeky color combinations and stripes are clearly still available — the cars spotted here have contrast-color roofs and mirrors, too. The liftgate and rear bumper look remarkably similar to the current MINI Cooper range, with vertical assemblies housing circular taillight rings and a chrome strip above the license-plate surround. Cooper S models get a chrome lower bumper trim piece that rides over the twin exhaust tips, as well as a small roof spoiler.
The 2014 Mini Cooper is expected to adopt a new range of more fuel-efficient engines, including 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder mills designed by parent company BMW. The sporty Cooper S, however, will continue to use a turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-four.
Our spy shooters previously glimpsed the car’s interior and revealed that the 2014 Mini Cooper will have many BMW-style interior components. The traditional Mini steering wheel is supplanted by a three-spoke BMW design; all the switchgear is larger and simpler, instead of the current funky toggle switches; a trio of intuitive knobs replaces the fiddly climate control buttons on today’s Minis; and a new controller on the center console mimics that employed for the BMW iDrive infotainment system.
The 2014 Mini Cooper will debut publicly later this year, likely at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. The car should enter production toward the end of 2013 and go on sale early next year.