While it may appear to be just the standard Mini out in the snow, some closer inspection will reveal something else. Caught by spy photographers during some winter testing in Sweden, closer inspection will show some yellow stickers on the side windows stating that it's a hybrid prototype. And there also appears to be a package under the rear axle. What does this mean? It's a four-wheel drive Mini Cooper S hybrid prototype.
According to reports, the front wheels are powered by a conventional engine and the rear wheels receive their power from the electric motor. Mini hasn't given an official date for when the technology will debut, but we're guessing it'll be for the 2013 model year. With this prototype, it appears that the hybrid technology will not be limited to larger models such as the Countryman, but will also be used in the smaller Cooper and maybe the upcoming Coupe and Roadster. We wouldn't even rule out the Rocketman, if it were to make production. Photos courtesy of gmotors.co.uk.