- the next-generation mini cooper hardtop has leaked in new spy shots that show an uncamouflaged prototype testing in china.
- the front end is similar to the current model, but the taillights now feature a sharp, triangular design and are missing the union jack motif.
- the next cooper hardtop is due in 2023 and will come with both electric and gas powertrains.
back in november, mini showed off a camouflaged prototype of the next-generation cooper hardtop and told us that it would be offered with both internal combustion engines and an electric powertrain. now the next mini cooper’s design has been leaked in full, thanks to journalist greg kable, who snapped photos of the future cooper hardtop undergoing testing with disguised prototypes in china.
the front end isn’t a drastic departure from the current cooper hardtop, featuring the same bulldog-like face with big round headlights and a chunky grille. the grille looks mostly blocked off, with only a small opening in the lower third, and the prototype appears to lack exhaust pipes, leading us to believe this is the electric version of the next mini. the interior includes a large circular screen in the center console and what appears to be a head-up display taking the place of a gauge cluster behind the steering wheel.
the most noticeable change is at the rear, where the rectangular taillights have been swapped out for triangular units that seem to have ditched the kitschy union jack motif. a gloss-black trim piece spans the width of the tailgate and links the taillights, while the bumper sports a simple, clean design. the next-generation mini cooper hardtop is expected to arrive in 2023, when a new countryman suv will also debut. the electric version will ride on a platform jointly developed by bmw and chinese automaker great wall and will be built in china, while the gas-powered cooper will be built in oxford, england, likely on an updated version of the current cooper’s platform.