- The 2015 Mini Cooper was caught undisguised at a photo shoot.
- New headlights and taillights are the most noticeable changes on the outside.
- Underneath, this Mini will share a front-wheel-drive platform with a new range of front-wheel-drive BMWs.
SANTA MONICA, California — The all-new 2015 Mini Cooper was spotted nearly undisguised at a photo shoot recently, revealing a subtle makeover as it heads into its next generation.
At first glance, the new Mini doesn't appear much different from the current model. The overall size and shape hasn't changed drastically and even the Mini's signature painted roof remains intact.
Closer inspection reveals a few small details that will define this Cooper as a next-generation model. Up front, the headlights are now laid back slightly and are more tightly integrated into the front fascia. Instead of multiple lenses, there appears to be a central beam surrounded by smaller LED marker lights on the perimeter.
The grille now integrates the bumper with the upper opening making it one cohesive piece. The lower grille opening is smaller, yet still incorporates air intakes on each side. Foglights still reside at each corner of the front fascia, although they appear slightly smaller with a different housing.
At the rear, the big change is a new set of taillights that are larger and integrated slightly different than before. Instead of sitting outside of the hatch, the new lights overlap the cutlines, a change which should result in a wider overall opening. Below that, the exhaust opening in the fascia now wraps tighter around the pipes, although the overall size of the hole is about the same as before.
Apart from the styling changes, this new Mini Cooper's biggest change will be a switch to an all-new platform that it will share with a new range of front-wheel-drive BMWs. Both three- and four-cylinder engines will be used in varying levels of displacement along with both manual and automatic transmissions.
Look for an official reveal of the 2015 Mini Cooper this fall with sales in the U.S. beginning early next year.
Edmunds says: It may be all-new underneath, but Mini didn't mess with its signature styling on the outside, a smart move for a brand defined by its unique look.