Update: As some of us suspected this isn’t quite an official leaked document but a white paper put together by Supplier Business. While it’s not quite from the inside, it could still prove to be accurate on some levels.
Autoblog.it has what appears to be a legitimate leaked product roadmap for all BMW Group development for the next seven years. While I’d urge everyone to look at the following information as strictly a rumor with nothing confirmed, it is an interesting read. The document gives a general idea of timetables for the next generation MINI as well as an idea of the different variants coming in the years ahead. Unfortunately we don’t really know if the timetable represents the start of production or the start of sales. Based what we’ve heard previously, the latter would make a bit more sense, however we won’t know for sure until official production information is released next year. With that said, let’s take a look at the timeline within the document and assume that it references production schedules. And remember… none of this is confirmed at this point. (You click on the image above to see the full version yourself)
The first thing you notice is a gap between the start of Cooper production and Cooper S production with the new 2007 car. According the the document, the current generation Cooper S will end production in the 3rd quarter of 2006. No surprise there as that’s what we’ve heard all along. However, what I find interesting is that the current generation Cooper will continue on into 4th quarter. Then (according to the document) the next generation Cooper will start it’s production in the 1st quarter of 2007, three months later than we had originally expected. Even more interesting, the next generation Cooper S (here labeled the R55) won’t start until the 3rd quarter of 2007!
Looking further at the document, it would seem the Cabio production for the current car would continue into the 1st quarter of 2008. Well past when the other R50 variants have been put to rest. The next generation cabrio (the R57) then seems to show production commencing in the 3rd quarter of 2008.
Also listed on the document is the MINI Traveller. However no timeframe is given and it’s listed as a “possible project”. This tell me that the document may not be entirely current since MINI has made strong suggestions that the long wheelbase estate version of the MINI is indeed coming in a few years.
At the end of the day, even if this document 100% legitimate, it almost creates more questions than it answers. We should have more on the next generation MINI timeline in the weeks and months ahead.