There are reports saying that the next-generation Mini is almost getting the green light for production. It has received a new exterior design and still based on the current model and is anticipated to arrive by 2011.
New-generation Mini has received a new-generation design language from the Munich-based design team of BMW, which includes the introduction of a wedge-like appearance together with a more sculptured look to the sides.
The interior of the Mini has received a transformation but majority of the switchgear will be carried over from the current model.
There are some who are saying that the interior design will first be introduced to the 2010 Mini Crossover. The body of the Mini looks like it has undergone extensive re-engineering with a clamshell tailgate, together with a fresh front section that includes a shorter hood and a one-piece bumper mold.
Apparently the greatest transformation is a higher waistline, which, in combination with the sloping top, provides the Mini a highly dynamic and coupe-like external looks.
The clamshell tailgate is reminiscent of the rear body seam of the original Austin Mini. Even though the latest model is faithful to the design philosophy of the company's design boss Gert Hildebrand, it comes with more poise compared to the current model.
The trapezoidal rear lamps were also revised and up front the headlights received a more aggressive appearance with a subtle four-sided design instead of the regular round one.
The hood, which has received a reduction in length, is a consequence of pedestrian protection regulations. There are plans to make the front section come in a softer one-piece plastic mold. Noticeable are larger grill and lower air vent, pointing to the fact that the Mini 3 will come with the Valvetronic powerplants of BMW, together with larger powerplants than the current 1.6-liter unit.
On the inside, the dashboard received a new upper and lower molding and a distinct central speedometer. The lower half of the center console, including the steering and circular air outlets, remain untouched. [via jalopnik]