As we approach the November 18 debut of the new Mini Hardtop, the trickle of news is starting to increase. We've already shown you the exterior of the new hatchback, and now we can show you the interior. These images, captured by Car News China, show a cabin that maintains a few key Mini styling items, but is a fairly progressive evolution of the current R56 model.
Mini's most iconic interior treatment, its center-mounted speedometer, is now gone. The new speedo sits atop the steering column, flanked by a (too tiny, in our opinion) tachometer. In the speedometer's former position are the radio controls. Our friends in China put it best when they say, "The large dial is much uglier than before." There's a mass of buttons and unfriendly black plastic that, at first glance, look far cheaper than the rest of the cabin. Of course, we'll wait to see how this is all ironed out for the production-spec car.
The other parts of the interior, however, look quite good. There's a small bank of toggle buttons at the bottom of the center stack, and the checkerboard dash insert looks clean as well. The seats sport extensions for the bottom cushions, meaning there'll be the option of more support for drivers with longer legs. GTI fans might also notice the plaid bolsters on the seats. Mini's treatment is a bit more subtle than what you'd see on a Volkswagen, though.
While this provides our best look yet at the new Mini's cabin, there are a number of things we can't see in these images. The doors and the area around the shifter and parking brake are covered, meaning there may be a number of small styling details that we're waiting to see. We'll have more on the new Mini ahead of its debut on November 18.