In 2014 Mini will launch the next generation of MINI Cooper models. The second generation Cooper will be the first to use the new front-wheel drive platform developed by BMW.
The new hatchback is said to retain the retro MINI style and the biggest surprise could come from the inside. Recent spy photos reveal an interior design which is very BMW-like. In a way, the design cues resemble the ones found in the 1 Series, with the typical arrangement of gauges, radios buttons and dashboard as seen in BMW vehicles.
Will MINI go through with such a radical change? Hard to predict at the moment, but there is also the possibility that the spy photos captured the BMW 1 Series GT with MINI-style body parts in order to hide the field testing of a BMW with the front-wheel drive platform.
The 1 Series Gran Turismo, also known internally as Compact Activity Tourer, will be one of the first front-wheel drive vehicles from BMW. Design wise, the 1er GT follows the steps of the 5 Series GT niche model and also the future 3 Series GT. 1 GT will be 2 inches (5cm) longer than the 3-door and 5-door models, but it will sport an unique front-end. To reflect the Gran Turismo design, the 1 GT will have an elevated driving position, as seen in the 5 Gran Turismo.
Earlier this week, in an interview for Automotive News, Dr. Kay Segler, Head of MINI, says the company will add three models by the end of the decade. Segler refrained from offering specific details on the three models, but they will likely use the upcoming front-wheel drive platform that will be shared with the BMW family as well.[Source: InsideLine ]