MINI’s new lineup of cars can’t come soon enough. It’s current crop of cars is old and outdated at best, falling behind its competition in terms of power, performance, and interesting designs. So when we see one of its new cars in public, we immediate take interest, to see how promising the next generation of MINIs is. (We don’t own the spy photos but they can be seen here)

While this new MINI Cooper is entirely new, it’s instantly recognizable as a MINI. To be blunt, it’s actually hard to see any significant differences between this camouflaged test car and the crop of MINIs that are currently on sale at first glance. Though, familiarity is likely by design. Few brands throughout history have the sort of instantly recognizable looks that MINI does. BMW absolutely nailed its revival in 1999, so compromising that with a radical new design language would be a mistake.

What’s also a mistake, though, is thinking that this new generation of MINI will merely be a redesign. The new MINI will be completely different, down to the nuts and bolts, and will be built for the future of the brand. That means electrification will be at the forefront of MINI’s priorities moving forward, until it becomes and entirely electric brand.

The car in these spy photos looks like an internal combustion version of the MINI. Even though it lacks visible exhaust tips, its front grille looks function—based on the vent holes—and it lacks the “Electric Test Vehicle” badge required for EV test mules. Despite the brand’s push for electrification, MINI will continue to be a genuine enthusiast’s brand, offering small gas-powered hot-hatches with manual transmissions. So fear not, petrol-heads, the traditional MINI recipe isn’t dead just yet.

However, when it does finally make way for electrification, things won’t change much. MINI is probably the brand that electrification fits best, so the go-kart fun will survive once gasoline-burning dies.

[Source: Car Scoops]