Next Generation MINI Cooper Prototype Scooped Uncovered?

The current MINI hatchback, which is essentially an evolution of the previous model presented in 2001, has only been around with us since 2006, but according to a new set of spy shots from French car magazine L'Automobile, the British automaker is well ahead in the development of the next generation model.

The car depicted in the photos appears to be a clay model (notice the blacked out windshield) and it suggests that the new MINI is adopting many of the styling cues seen in last year's Crossover Concept like the larger grille and sweptback headlamps. If you head over to L'Automobile, you can also check out an early mock up (or proposal) of the car's dashboard.

While retaining the same design theme as the current MINI, the revamped dash features an even larger, but positioned lower, central dial that appears to be inspired from the Crossover Concept's so-called "Centre Globe" that controls the entertainment, telecommuniction and navigation systems.

Via: L'Automobile