11/30/13

Mini Turns Maxi: Bigger Model than Countryman Possible


With the all-new Mini hatch, the UK-based carmaker has debuted a new platform, the UKL1, which will also be used by a series of BMW models like the 1-Series GT MPV and even the next X1 crossover. This means the platform allows bigger models than the Mini hatch, and the British brand will take advantage of that too.

The new platform will give Mini “scope to be far more adventurous” on spin-off model derivatives, according to BMW sales and marketing boss Ian Robertson. Among these new models, there could be a car even bigger than the Mini Countryman crossover, the exec added.

“The Countryman is 4m 17cm [164.2 inches] and when we launched it we were very conscious that we had to remain true to the Mini brand. But sales of 100,000 Countrymans a year show that it has been a success, and that we are capable of more,” the executive was quoted as saying by Autocar.

So what exactly does he mean by “more”? There are some limits for a brand like Mini, Robertson believes. “I'm not sure we could sell a 5m [196.8in] Mini. But so long as we remain true to the principles of it being very much an urban car, with a good turning circle, a decent size to park and so on then I think there are areas we can explore,” the exec explained.

It looks like the only way for Mini is to go bigger, as Robertson said smaller models than the Mini hatch are off-limits, since they would have to be based on an all-new platform – which would be very expensive to develop. Sadly, this means the Mini Rocketman concept will probably be shelved forever.

By Dan Mihalascu


PHOTO GALLERY

MINI-Countryman-1MINI-Countryman-2MINI-Countryman-3MINI-Countryman-4MINI-Countryman-5

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