MINIs stopped being mini years ago and they’re about to go through another growth spurt. Take for example the next-generation Countryman, which is widely expected to be nearly as long as the new 4.5-meter (177-inch) BMW X1. An expansion of the lineup could also see the introduction of a Volkswagen Golf, a compact hatchback that’s 4.28 meters (168.5 inches) long.
Head of MINI Stefanie Wurst hinted in an interview with British magazine Auto Express about the prospects of a larger model positioned above the 5-Door Hatch: “We have a small and flat car [Cooper], we have small and high [Aceman] and we have large and high [Countryman]. But we don’t have large and flat. Another body type is feasible. I’m a big fan of analyzing different body types.”
Although the Clubman is still around, MINI’s head honcho suggested its replacement could adopt “another body type” that would move away from the wagon-like shape. Auto Express has it on good authority from sources within the automaker a “Golf-sized’ hatchback is on the agenda, complete with gasoline engines. It’s expected to ride on the BMW Group’s FAAR architecture, an evolution of the UKL platform used by the current crop of MINIs.
Stefanie Wurst said new models will have to remain affordable, hence why MINI won’t use the Neue Klasse platform for the time being. Underpinning the latest 1 Series, X1, 2 Series Gran Coupe, and the 2 Series Active Tourer, the front-wheel-drive-based FAAR has been engineered to accommodate all types of drivetrains: gasoline/diesel, plug-in hybrid, and purely electric.
The clock is ticking for combustion engines as MINI has pledged to abandon sales of ICE-powered cars from early next decade. Rolls-Royce will lead the way for BMW Group in 2030. The next-gen MINIs will be the last to offer gasoline engines and they’ll be sold alongside the Aceman and the larger Countryman electric crossovers.
Source: Auto Express