New petrol MINI Cooper spotted testing in hatch and cabrio guise

The petrol MINI Cooper has been spied testing, and it looks to be a heavy facelift of the outgoing car

  • Entirely different platform to all-electric MINI Cooper
  • Heavily based on outgoing petrol car
  • Three-door hatchback and cabriolet models spied

MINI has been spotted testing the petrol version of the MINI Cooper and Convertible in Germany. It comes following the full reveal of the all-new electric model last month, but the latest developments suggest that the petrol model will be completely unrelated under the skin, essentially consisting of a heavy facelift of the outgoing petrol car. From 2030, every MINI will be electric, so it’s likely this version of the Cooper will be the last combustion-engined MINI developed.

While many of the design features of the disguised new cars have been tweaked, the latest spy photographs allow us to make out the general outlines of panels and lights, which appear more similar to the outgoing car than those of the electric model. Most notably, the rear lights look the same shape as those of the outgoing petrol car, even featuring the same union-jack light signature, rather than the more triangular-looking units from the EV.

Along their sides, the disguised cars also feature the old-style protruding door handles, rather than the flush, body-coloured versions on the all-new electric MINI.

We’re yet to see images of the upcoming petrol MINI Cooper’s interior, so don’t yet know if the hi-tech, circular central display from the electric model will make it into the ICE car. 

Despite the fact that the new MINI will be based on the same platform as the outgoing car (the MINI F56), which is shared by the BMW 1 Series, 2 Series Gran Coupe, X1 and MINI Clubman, the brand has still given it a new model codename, dubbing it the F66 generation. 

It’s expected that the outgoing base model MINI Cooper’s 134bhp figure will rise to 155bhp in the new car, while the Cooper S’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine is expected to get a power increase from 176bhp to 200bhp, narrowing the gap between it and the range-topping John Cooper Works, which will retain its 231bhp figure.

However, the brand is set to discontinue the manual gearbox across the entire MINI Cooper range, with all models getting a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

The choice to base the next new petrol MINI Cooper on the outgoing model will undoubtedly be down to cost, allowing the brand to keep the price of this ICE model down as the entry model in its range. While pricing is yet to be announced, the existing petrol MINI starts from just under £23,000 – with the all-new electric model to get an approximate £30,000 price tag, we’d expect MINI to undercut this significantly with the new petrol model, with prices only rising slightly from the outgoing car.

Read our review of the outgoing MINI hatchback...

Charlie writes and edits news, review and advice articles for Carbuyer, as well as publishing content to its social media platforms. He has also been a regular contributor to its sister titles Auto Express, DrivingElectric and evo. As well as being consumed by everything automotive, Charlie is a speaker of five languages and once lived in Chile, Siberia and the Czech Republic, returning to the UK to write about his life-long passion: cars.

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