• MINI Vision concept previews upcoming Cooper
  • Boasts new styling inside and out
  • Next MINI likely to be revealed later this year

A new concept car teased MINI's plans for the next-generation MINI Cooper. The brand's recently released MINI Vision hatchback previews what the next MINI might look like when it's released later this year or in early 2014.

Revealed online, the MINI Vision retains most of MINI's classic design traits. That includes characteristic round headlights, black pillars, a short rear overhang and a roof that's colored separately from the car's body. It also uses the traditional MINI 3-door hatchback design.

But the MINI Vision boasts a few new touches, too. The front is more rounded. The wheel arches are painted a different color than the body. And in perhaps its most distinct touch, the Vision includes a painted panel that joins the wheel arches to the base of the windows -- a feature that almost makes the body look separate from the engine.

The Vision also previews several changes that may reach the production MINI's interior. The concept car retains the center-mounted gauges, though that area is now entirely an LCD screen. Other new items include vents shaped like the MINI logo's wings, blue backlit gauges and LED lighting in the dashboard and on the car's floor.

Of course, not all the Vision's design cues will see production. But the concept car gives us the best look yet at what MINI may have in store for an all-new model. Insiders expect to see a redesigned MINI later this year, possibly at the Frankfurt Auto Show, marking the first time the car will be completely redesigned since its 2002 debut.

Despite showing off the interior and exterior, MINI didn't announce what's under the hood of the new MINI Vision concept. Today's MINI Cooper offers a choice between two 1.6-liter 4-cylinder powerplants: a base-level engine with 121 horsepower and a turbocharged motor with 161 hp.

What it means to you: An all-new MINI could launch as early as next year, meaning the current model may soon see larger-than-usual discounts.

author photo

Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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