Mini previews the upcoming fourth generation of its modern-day hardtop in a series of official photographs depicting a disguised prototype of the new model, which is due to go on sale in North America in 2023.
Described as being slightly smaller in overall dimensions than today’s third-generation hardtop, the new Mini model retains the same familiar styling as its predecessor.
The appearance is characterized by Mini’s traditional hexagonal-shaped grille, distinctive round headlamps with LED graphics, minimal overhangs front and rear, frameless doors, an almost flat roof, prominent taillight and a near-to-vertical hatchback-style tailgate.
Alongside with the two-door previewed in its latest photographs, Mini plans to continue with a four-door hardtop model. Officials with Mini parent company BMW also confirm a cabriolet version.
The early 2023 hardtop prototype shown by Mini is described as a successor to today’s electric-powered Cooper SE. It is planned to be produced at a factory in Zhangjiagang, China, in a joint venture between BMW and Great Wall Motor.
The new electric hardtop is based on a new dedicated electric platform developed by BMW and Great Wall Motor – the latter of which is expected to use the structure for new models from its ORA electric vehicle sub-brand. Electric motors, batteries for the new Mini model and other components are planned to be sourced from China in a move aimed at reducing production costs.
Gasoline-powered versions of the new Mini model are also planned. They will be based on BMW’s front-wheel drive FAAR platform and will continue to be produced at the traditional British automaker’s Oxford plant in England.
Production of Mini models at the VDL plant in the Netherlands, meanwhile, has ceased.