2014 Mini Sturgeon, er, COOPER, spotted with new look and a new three-cylinder engine

Mini 2014 spy shot

The 2014 Mini Cooper has been spotted by the clever photographers at Leftlane News ahead of its official Frankfurt debut later this year.

As you can tell, the iconic Cooper, which hasn’t changed much since its original debut in 2001, will finally be a bit bigger and a bit more rakish. The front grille appears to have been extended and the headlights have been swept back a bit. The new headlights will feature LED daytime running lights. And the hood scoop will now be a “power dome.”

We can’t decide whether it looks more like a sturgeon or a Pikachu. Either way, we’re not loving the new looks.

Underneath that new skin is something perhaps more intriguing: a new engine. Leftlane reports that the new Mini will soon find itself powered by a 1.5-liter three-cylinder that will produce somewhere between 120-200 horsepower with a 300-horsepower John Cooper Works model in the pipeline. Whether Mini will make the switch to three cylinders for 2014 is not yet known.

We also hope that the new Cooper will include torque vectoring, as we found the uproarious S and JCW models too powerful for the front-wheel drive drivetrain. Get on the throttle and the Cooper got all squirrely. Torque vectoring should help firm up the handling.

The 2014 Mini Cooper will be officially unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show later this year. Based upon how quickly details seem to be leaking, however, we wouldn’t be surprised if more isn’t known rather soon, so be sure to check back.

Photo credit: Leftlane News