Mini has been caught testing its upcoming Cooper Crossover in the deserts of California, and these two prototypes, despite their psychedelic paint schemes, provide the most clear view yet of the small soft roader. What's of particular note is that these two prototypes do not share the same front end, perhaps because one is the naturally aspirated model and the other turbocharged. The trailing Cooper Crossover prototype features a more typical Mini grille with horizontal slats and a fog light at each corner. The prototype leading the pack, however, features a mesh grille and lower air intake with two inlets.
Based on the Mini Crossover Concept that debuted at the 2008 Paris Motor Show, the production version appears to have more in common with the standard Mini Cooper than the extra large Clubman model. While it does sport an extra pair of doors like the Clubman, these prototypes appear to feature rear lift gates that swing up rather than being split vertically down the center. And while ground clearance does appear to be up relative to a standard Mini, these long-wheelbase, four-door Coopers are far from being rock crawlers.
Check out the rest of our latest spy shots in the high-res gallery below.
[Photos: KGP Photography]