The next MINI, dubbed F56, will make its debut next year at the Frankfurt Auto Show. A new front-wheel drive platform will be shared between the F56 MINI and a new family of FWD BMW vehicles, which are scheduled to debut in concept form in September at the Paris Auto Show.

Under the design direction of MINI’s new head of design, Anders Warming, the F56 will compete with offerings from Audi, the A1 and other non-premium European brands.

Along with a new and fresh design, BMW will also introduce a new family of three-cylinder engines for the MINI. We expect to see an entry-level MINI One and MINI Cooper with power rated just under 100, respectively 130 horsepower. The more powerful models Cooper S and John Cooper Works will continue to use four combustion chambers, but each should provide a little more power than the current generation R56.

The new front-wheel drive platform is well suited for all-wheel drive vehicles, but it remains to be seen if MINI decides to give their sporty and small vehicles four driven wheels. Regardless of the setup offered, we expect to see an F56 model that will impress with its very direct steering behavior and fun go-kart feeling, a trait that has turned MINI into a globally recognized brand with a loyal customer base.

[Source: Bimmertoday]