New 2023 Mini 3-door Hatch: new look leaked in online images
19 December 2021 - Autocar
Mini's flagship will enter a new generation in 2023 – and leaked images suggest the redesign will be extensive
New images leaked online give a good look at what appears to be the next-generation Mini 3-door Hatch.
The shots, which look to have been taken at a private Chinese testing facility, first appeared on Chinese media but are now circulating widely on social media (as below).
A number of prototypes appear to be undergoing testing in the images, most in camouflage, but one has been shown without its wrap, giving us our first uninhibited look at how Mini will reinvent its flagship model for its fourth generation.
The leaked images come shortly after Mini released official pictures of a prototype for the next-generation Mini, which hinted at a subtle styling evolution for the Fiat 500 rival.
But it's clear that underneath the camouflage, more radical design tweaks are on the cards, particularly at the rear, where striking angular light clusters replace the round items on today's car and are linked by a new piece of black trim that spans the width of the bootlid.
The front, too, is clearly distinguished from the current Mini range but retains the wide bar across its large grille and characteristic circular headlights.
What isn't immediately clear is whether Mini has taken steps to 'shrink' the fourth-generation hatch, as has long been reported to be the priority.
These shots only show the exterior from select angles but, as with the earlier official images, the indication is that the next generation will feature largely familiar proportions.
The leak also gives clues to Mini's new-era interior design ethos. True to form, the Mini hatchback features a large, round central display, although a head-up display looks to have taken the place of the conventional gauge cluster above the steering wheel, which adopts a new two-spoke design.
While the combustion-engined version of the next Mini hatchback, due in 2023, will be built in Oxford, the electric version is set to be made by BMW's Chinese joint venture partner Great Wall Motors.
The petrol variant will use the new front-driven FAAR architecture, which is essentially an evolution of the current car's UKL platform. Mini has yet to confirm or preview plans for a five-door version, but a convertible will be built in the UK from 2025.