2018 Mini Hardtop spy shots

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Mini’s third-generation Hardtop (previously referred to as a Cooper) is approaching the midway point in its life cycle and will soon be updated to keep it looking and feeling fresh.

A prototype for the updated model has just been spotted ahead of a likely debut late this year or early next. We should see it arrive in showrooms as a 2018 model.

The internals of the headlights are new and it appears that some tweaks are being made to the taillights, too. The bumpers are the same units found on the current model though these will likely switch to a revised design on more advanced prototypes.

This particular prototype is for the sporty Cooper S Hardtop but similar changes should feature on the base Cooper and high-performance John Cooper Works versions, too.

Not much else is known about the updated Hardtop. While the current inline-3 and -4 powertrain offerings should carry over, there’s the possibility that Mini adds the plug-in hybrid powertrain debuting in the 2017 Mini Cooper S E Countryman as an option. The setup combines a 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-3 with an electric motor for a combined output of 221 horsepower.

Stay tuned for updates as development continues.

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