Mini planning smaller and larger models to expand range
British firm’s chief says there is room for compact models and bigger SUVs in future line-up
Mini is keen to make models both larger and smaller than its current range, company boss Bernd Körber has revealed to Autocar.
Speaking at the Frankfurt motor show, he said he’d like to see Mini “grow in some aspects” while he’d also “love to see the core Mini shrink again”.
Körber said that although “it would be hard to imagine a Mini the size of a BMW X3 or X5”, there is a need in the next-generation Mini range “to address the growth in SUVs and look at if we need a compact SUV”.
Körber added: “The Countryman is a very small SUV. In the US and China, there are certain needs. We will look at a compact SUV in the next generation. There’s lots of benefits with a car like that for urban use. For me, it’s a good match.”
Körber said that although such a car would be the biggest Mini, it would still be one of the smallest SUVs in its segment. “There’s interest in the small car segments. We can stretch the interpretation of Mini always being the smallest but I can’t imagine being bigger in a segment. We need to fulfil a requirement on size.”
As for making a smaller Mini, Körber was referring to shrinking the size of the current three-door hatchback rather than a production version of the Rocketman concept, which, Autocar understands, is also a live project within the company as part of a joint venture with its partner in China, Great Wall.
“We are having proportion and design discussions at the moment,” he said. “The task now is to design it. In three to four years, I’d like to see the start of the next generation.”
He added: “Hopefully in the next generation, we can make it even more compact, back to where Mini comes from.”
Körber said Mini would continue to offer internal combustion engines in cars in the next-generation range alongside battery electric versions, something that would be the case for at least the next five to 10 years.
In the long term, he believes Mini’s customer base and brand positioning are well placed for Mini to become a solely electric brand but that is some way off for now.
Source: Autocar Online