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What the heck is this thing? We're so confused — there's nothing more for us to say. We're going to let spy photographer of the car stars Glenn Paulina of KGP take it from here:

"You see some pretty strange things monitoring an automaker's testing circuits, but things don't get much stranger than BMW's earliest development mules. The latest development mock-up we just snapped as it was being trailered to BMW's Munich Tech Center is sporting a Mini front clip and Mini tail-lights, and quite clearly has Mini proportions. But exactly what model does this mule foreshadow as Mini continues to work at expanding its brand? It's obviously difficult to say, given the Erector Set construction of this particular test mule.

A few niche models have been rumored in stories about BMW's expansion plans for the Mini brand, which would seem to be the leading candidates for identity of the mule. One of the suggested spin-offs is the Mini Moke—an off-roader more utilitarian than the upcoming Crossman crossover, which could even have a small pickup bed variation. Two more conventional models have also been mentioned: A new convertible with a retractable tin-top, or another open-air option dubbed the speedster, which would be a bit more stripped-down take on the sporting roadster.

Even if we can't exactly I.D. this future Mini model just yet, it's always encouraging to see that the brand continues to forge ahead with new model programs. It's also nice to see that this Mini model—whatever it may be—remains nice and compact, showing no signs of expansion above the Clubman and Crossman models. At least not for now.