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Mini Vision Concept Provides Glimpse of Redesigned Mini Cooper

7/29/2013
A redesigned Mini Cooper is slated to arrive soon, likely as a 2015 model, and at a design event held in Munich, Germany, the automaker introduced a concept vehicle that provides a good idea of what the new Cooper will look like when it goes on sale.

Few details were given for this styling exercise, and Mini did not discuss what might be tucked under the scooped hood of the Mini Vision Concept, but industry reports speculate that the car's new front-wheel-drive platform will be shared with the next-generation BMW 1 Series.

One look at the Mini Vision Concept confirms that the new Cooper will continue to reflect traditional Mini design elements including a hexagonal grille design, round headlights, exposed fuel filler cap, central-mounted exhaust outlets, and a floating roof treatment in available contrast color. The Mini Vision's bumper and fog lights are integrated with the new grille, and the round LED headlights feature outer rings serving as daytime running lights.

Mini says close attention has been paid to maximizing aerodynamics, and that the new gray bodywork edging is "central to the exterior design language of the Mini Vision." Don't expect that bifurcating swoosh of trim to appear on the production model, however.

Inside, the Mini Vision Concept's cabin signals that the automaker plans evolutionary changes to the Cooper's interior. Traditional gauge pods sit atop the steering column, round outboard air vents punctuate either end of the dashboard, and a more prominent floating center console is installed.

The large, round center display offers analog or 3-D views of the instrumentation, switched by using a new Driving Experience Control system that also adjusts interior colors and ambience. In the Mini Vision, the Driving Experience Control even offers a "Mini Disco" footwell illumination treatment. Elastic fabric storage straps are located on the interior door panels, and new Mini Click storage solutions allow the car's owner to customize the interior to individual needs.

As is expected for the redesigned Mini Cooper, the Mini Vision Concept seats four people. It remains to be seen, however, if the concept car's Glamorous Gold paint will be available to the public.

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