BMW, the owner of Mini, has been developing a 2014 replacement for its Mini Cooper and Mini Cooper S hardtop. We’ve known this for some time and even seen some of the prototypes testing out here in California.
But we hadn’t seen what the car would look like without heaps of camouflage until now. Caught in a photo session for press materials a full two months before its official debut at September’s Frankfurt Motor Show, the 2014 Mini Cooper doesn’t deviate too much from the tried-and-true formula of its predecessors. Yet, it appears to have the gaping smile face that first debuted on the Mini Rocketman concept in 2011. Not that we’re complaining; in fact, we would have loved to see that concept reach production.
The 2014 Mini Cooper will share BMW’s new UKL (Unterklasse, or sub-class) architecture with the front-wheel-drive BMW 1 Series GT and small van. It will also eventually underpin the next generation of Mini models after they all run through their seven-year cycles. It is expected that Mini will drop its current 1.6-liter four-cylinder co-developed with Peugeot in favor of an in-house 1.5-liter, turbocharged three-cylinder engine that will make between 120 and 200 horsepower. A four-cylinder engine may be retained, though.
Other noticeable changes to the Mini Cooper are its longer nose with a greater front overhang, LED headlight rings, a “power dome” hood, and greater rake in the windshield. We assume most of the changes in design are directly attributable to efficiency and pedestrian safety, the latter of which is a pretty big deal in Europe.
For the U.S., expect the 2014 Mini Cooper and Cooper S to make its official Stateside debut at November’s Los Angeles Auto Show, with the cars going on sale shortly thereafter.