Big changes expected for 3rd-generation MINI Cooper, BMW design chief says

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 27, 2011

There will be dramatic changes in the next generation MINI Cooper and it will have a "bigger design leap than the last one,” according to BMW design chief Adrian van Hooydonk.

When the current generation model was launched, many MINI fans were disappointed because the car looked like any other hatchback on the market with the company’s decision not to fix something that’s not broken.

From certain angles, the current generation and the previous one appear nearly identical. However, the third generation model will have the most significant revisions since it was launched in 2001. In an interview with AutoCarmagazine, Hooydonk said that his team will start from scratch for the model to offer a more contemporary design.

Reportedly, MINI is working on a new interior design that may touch on its central speedometer that’s highly-stylized but similarly criticized.

AutoCar reported that Hooydonk was examining the new interior of the Hyundai Veloster at the Detroit motor show. It’s likely that the model would continue to appeal to a large portion of the market.

Actually, the Mk3 MINI will still be the brand’s core product. He added that the company has to balance this with the fact that it is the brand’s core model, “like the 3, 5 and 7-series rolled into one.”

It’s also probable that there would be an even more major change as signaled with the rumor that a 3-cylinder turbocharged unit will replace the 1.6-liter naturally-aspirated unit. Diesel versions are expected to have a big role in future sales, with the forthcoming Cooper SD expected to provide a clear indication of customer demand.

Topics: mini, bmw, design

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