According to MINI Australia product planner Sue McCarthy, the new Cooper will have its global unveiling in LA before commencing sales internationally sometime in the first quarter of 2014.
Speaking with TMR at a MINI press event today, Ms McCarthy also indicated that local sales will likely begin in the second quarter of 2014.
More specific details on the new MINI are still to be confirmed, however a MINI representative did tell the media that three-cylinder powertrains were under consideration for the Australian market.
Pre-production development cars have been spotted undergoing testing, revealing that the 2014 MINI Cooper hatch will retain most of its retro styling cues, but package them in a slightly sleeker shell.
The new Cooper will be the first vehicle based on the BMW Group’s new UKL1 platform, expected to underpin the next generation of MINI derivatives and a host of BMW models.
A five-door version of the new hatch is also expected, adopting a more conventional design - rather than the quirky layout (albeit logical in its way) of the current Clubman.
Entry-level Coopers are expected to make use of a new range of three-cylinder petrol and diesel motors, to be shared with BMW's new compact car line up.
Turbochargers will be extensively employed, and will also make use of BMW's TwinPower twin-scroll turbo technology as well as direct injection.