Mini is seeking to go back to its roots by shrinking the flagship Cooper hatchback when it enters its fourth generation. Under the stewardship of BMW, the British brand will also launch an electric crossover.
Mini boss Bernd Körber said he’d like to see Mini “grow in some aspects” while he’d also “love to see the core Mini shrink again”. The crossover in question will be based on the BMW i3’s platform.
Mini's latest EV concept has given the firm a lot of input and know-how on how best to create a more compact pckage without giving up practicality.
The idea of a smaller Mini is currently the focus of the new car’s development. Within the company, there is an acknowledgement that the core three-door hatchback’s proportions lack the compact look of its predecessors, particularly around the front overhang.
Although the basic proportions of the new Cooper won’t be drastically smaller than the model it replaces, the altered dimensions should give it a more compact look. “We are having proportion and design discussions at the moment,” said Körber. “The task now is to design it. In three to four years, I’d like to see the start of the next generation. Hopefully in the next generation, we can make it even more compact, back to where Mini comes from.”
The fourth-generation Mini lineup will again include three-door, five-door, and Cabriolet models, as well as the Clubman and Countryman. The Mini family will grow to accommodate a new model that is larger than the Countryman. The firm could bring the Traveller nameplate back to life, and its EV trim will share major components and underpinnings with the next-generation BMW i3.
Developing a new small platform will allow Mini to build a long-standing ultra-compact hatchback, the Rocketman.
Although such a car would be the biggest Mini, it would be the smallest in segment according to Körber. For now, plans of offering an EV trim only include the current Cooper three-door hatchback. Mini will continue offering internal combustion engines in cars in the next-generation range alongside battery-electric cars. In the long term, the firm is looking at becoming a solely electric brand, looking at its current customer base and brand positioning.
Finally, the Oxford-based automaker is collaborating with Chinese firm Great Wall Motor to develop a smaller platform. This will allow Mini to at last create a production version of the ultra-compact Rocketman concept. A great many ideas are under development at the iconic carmaker. It will be interesting to see how the brand shapes up in this era of sustainable and smart mobility.