MINI is planning new model derivatives that could take the total range to 10 models. InsideLine says that among the versions being considered are a sedan, small sports cars and another SUV.
MINI Sports Cars
MINI brand board member Harald Kreuger told the U.S. magazine that some of these models are yet to be greenlighted, but the options are on the table. The MINI Sports Car will follow the idea of Mazda MX-5 Miata, a small, affordable and fun front-wheel drive car. MINI has just launched the Roadster model that comes with a premium price. Will there be room for an “entry-level” MINI with two seats and enough power from a three-cylinder engine? All is possible, but we believe unlikely to happen.
A MINI Sedan will fit perfectly in a fast growing market like China where the demand for premium and spacious cars has been rising over the last few years. It remains unknown what the design could look like but the MINI Traveler is one that comes to mind. Its internal name is “Spacebox” because it is all about increasing practicality and flexibility of a MINI for the customer who has to move to another brand because they have a family that has grown or simply need more space.
Probability? Fairly high since it can be built atop the upcoming FWD architecture.
You might say: isn’t it MINI already building an SUV? Yes, the Countryman is sometimes labeled as an SUV and other times as a crossover, but it essentially fits in the segment of premium cars with a high ride height and plenty of space.
So what’s this new MINI SUV we are hearing about? “A lot of customers would like to stay with the brand when they need something bigger,” says Kreuger for InsideLine, “and a Volvo or a BMW will not do.” All Minis will have “go-kart handling, emotional design, exude Britishness and be profitable,” he adds.
Some of you might remember the Beachcomber Concept. The MINI Beachcomber was built as a preview of the new Countryman, but in a stripped down version. Beachcomber lost the doors and roof panels in homage to the Moke – the legendary Mini-based take on the classic beach buggy. The platform and design also allow for a four-door setup, turning it into an SUV-like vehicle.
No predictions here though since the information is highly speculative at this point.