We’ve heard from several sources over the last few weeks (despite rumors saying otherwise) that BMW will not be branding the “Mega City” urban vehicle as a MINI. It was thought earlier this year that the idea of a rear wheel drive rear engined vehicle could potentially fall under the brand attribute that are associated with MINI. However it would appear that BMW is taking the approach of “ultra” efficiency and squarely putting driving excitement far down the lists of the mega city’s core attribute – something that doesn’t align well with the MINI (or BMW) brand.
The “Mega City” (as it’s been internally referenced) will feature several key new technologies and some borrowed from BMW’s motorcycle division. In the drivetrain department look for small petrol and diesel direct injection engines meant for extreme efficiency plus a hybrid and (eventually) a full electric version. One carry-over bit of technology originally proposed for the R60 MINI Crossover years ago that may see the light of day is a solar panel designed into the roof of the vehicle to help gather excess power.
So where is the MINI brand to go without this car? It would seem that space and energy efficiency will continue to take precedent but MINI will not forgo general sportiness and driver involvement along the way. What does this mean for other future products? There’s little question the brand will grow (we’ve reported on everything from the MINI crossover to a MINI space concept recently) but we now know the immediate direction will likely not be smaller than the current range.
BMW’s Project i / BimmerFile