MINI Product Roadmap Revealed (Updated)

We know that BMW has grand plans for its smallest brand. MINI has gone from one shape and three models to three cars and well over a dozen models worldwide.

In 2001 BMW debuted the R50 MINI Cooper and MINI One to great acclaim. However tucked away in much of the press coverage of the launch was the fact that BMW didn’t expect to even break even on the development and launch costs over the course of the models life-cycle. The problem were economies of scale and the fact that the MINI was a bespoke platform designed from the ground up to be shared with nothing else on the market (save for the Chrysler developed engine). The writing was on the wall even then. BMW needed multiple variants of the MINI to make the brand stand on its own financially.

Fast forward eight years. MINI has successfully launched it’s second generation hatchback and along the way added a convertible and the long wheel base clubman – all based on the core R56 platform (itself based on the R50). But BMW is just getting started.

The 2010 MINI Countryman Crossover

The next MINI will indeed be the R60 crossover. While the debut has been pushed back slightly we still expect this car product to appear in the first part of 2010 with European and US sales starting in early spring. Without going into too much detail (you can naturally find that in our R60 section) look for MINI’s first all-wheel drive system, a range of familiar and not-so-familiar engines powering the crossover. Four doors and optional five seats will make this the largest MINI ever produced.

We expect the full range of models including a standard JCW and a very limited edition lightened JCW R60. Finally look for the R60 to be the first MINI to offer diesel power in the US.

The Countryman, like the original MINI, will feature a relatively bespoke platform. However, even with the R60 sharing components with the R55/R56, BMW intends to maximize the development costs of the new platform but spinning off several variants.

The MINI Moke Concept

The first of these will be shown in concept form sometime in 2010 most likely. However we believe production of this product has been pushed back in favor of the Roadster and Coupé concepts and eventual production cars. When the concept finally does surface (sources are telling us Detroit 2010) we expect it to resurrect the Moke name and feature a stripped down interior and an exterior devoid of a full roof. Imagine a small version of the four door Jeep Wrangler and you have an idea of what’s in store.

The MINI MPV Concept

Also on the drawing board is an R60 derived four door GTI type of vehicle. Lower to the ground and without the faux off-road baggage that the Countryman will be saddled with, the SpaceBox concept (as it is called internally) is intended to move the MINI brand into more mainstream waters and is aimed primarily at the European market (though still should make it to the US).

There are several other concepts sources have told us about (a sedan and a small truck to name two) but we believe what is mentioned above will have the greatest chance of making it to the showroom floor and possibly even production.

The 2012 MINI Roadster/Coupé

As we predicted last spring, MINI is indeed going ahead with production plans for the Roadster and Coupé models. MINI Design is working (through the night we expect) to finalize production versions of the cars that won’t differ outwardly to much from the concepts. Look for MINI to eventually offer Cooper, Cooper S and JCW versions of both.

The 2013 MINI Hatchback

It’s hard to believe but in four years we expect MINI to roll out an entirely new replacement for the R56. Details are very sketchy but we expect engines to generally get more efficient and for some to even lose a cylinder. As we’ve reported BMW is planning on sharing at least one three cylinder petrol powerplant (if not more) with this next generation MINI. It’s much less clear when it comes to the future of the current R56 engine range. Codenamed “Prince” the current engines were designed by BMW but built in cooperation with PSA. As has been recently reported, PSA is keen to continue the partnership and gain more access to BMW’s engine technology. However it’s unclear what BMW would gain from a continued partnership knowing that they have stated that they intend to share as much of the next generation MINI development costs with other BMW models. That of course include engines.

The MINI Vision Concept

Once again here’s where things get a little hazy. We’ve had several sources tell us recently that MINI is in the initial stages of creating their own “Vision Concept” similar to BMW’s in concept but thoroughly different in form. We expect Project i related technology and a smaller form factor but beyond that we don’t know much about this concept.

Here’s what we know in terms of launch dates so far (each links to its section on MF):

Here’s what we don’t know:

As always stay tuned to MF for more details as we get them.

  • zm

    No MPV for the US, eh?

  • Matthew

    It’s probably just me, but this reads a bit too much like an off roadmap (and, frankly, that seems ironic as hell in 2009/10).

    Offer a MINI with a power plant and values as revolutionary as the AI’s Mini, that’s something that gets me excited.

  • I’d really like to see the MPV concept come to the US as well. With two boys, the Cooper S going to feel small soon. The MPV would allow me to stay in the MINI family and have something that drives like a MINI Cooper S but with room of a (gasp) wagon. The current Clubman is not an option because I strongly dislike the asymmetric side doors and the split rear doors.

  • Meghan

    Great news! I’ve been saving my pennies for a coupe since the concept was revealed. Now I can really start planning.

  • zm

    agreed–if i need something larger, i really like the idea of the MPV in the US, vs the clubman or countryman. much more MINIesque than a PT cruiser on steroids.

  • Brian

    Great info. Thanks

  • Adam E

    I so want the Truck!

  • Goat

    Dear MINI – Kindly bring the Spacebox to Canada, especially without the “faux off road styling gestures”. Nice work seeing a market opportunity with a Moke as the Jeep original has grown unwieldingly large by several feet in each dimension. Thanks in advance for the upcoming “twin” performance-oriented MINIs. And kindly do all you can to sort the puffy R56 exterior styling at the mid-cycle refresh, as 2013 is very far away. Please and thank you.

  • Sideways Eh!

    I hope I am still with the MINI brand to see all of these exciting models come to market…

  • txdesign

    What about the facelift of the current car?

  • hardingsan

    if mini’s gonna offer the moke as a “wrangler replacement” the awd better be top notch. last thing they need is to promote a replacement for the jeep and not have it be able to get off the asphalt…

  • txdesign

    I would guess that 95% of jeeps never see anything but asphalt.

  • that.guy

    So a “lightweight” JCW R60 would seem to imply that they will be doing a lowered version with “street” suspension. Reducing weight with an SUV-esque suspension and COG is pretty pointless. If so, then this car gets on my purchase radar along with the 2010 Golf R.

  • All I want is the roadster!!!

  • CraigE

    Huh! I thought that the R60 would not be here in the USA until early 2011? Now it will be available in the 2010 model year?

  • I’m eager to see the MPV and Moke. I like the Clubman, but think a 4-door MC similar to the Mazdaspeed 3 or even Suzuki SX4 would be a great addition. The Moke would be excellent as well, as long as it has real off road capability. Though honestly, the old Moke photos I’ve looked at are pretty low to the ground, I’m not sure how far off road they went.

  • KPH

    A lot of seeds in the wind.

  • that.guy
    Gabe: We reported on the facelift earlier this summer.

    Yeah, but that was very vague and speculative. Have any details firmed up yet?

  • RJ

    That seems to be a pretty long lifecycle for the current R56 hatch, compared to the 5 model year lifecycle for the original hatch.

  • R58 & R59 are the new coupe & roadster

  • Typical BMW life cycles are 7 years- do not be surprised to see MINI doing the same thing as a lot of technology and components will be increasingly tied to BMW products.

  • that.guy
    Gabe: We reported on the facelift earlier this summer.

    Yeah, but that was very vague and speculative. Have any details firmed up yet?

  • that.guy

    My comment is awaiting moderation.

  • The MINI Moke Concept, very interesting (Detroit 2010 ?)

  • thought the r58 and r59 were scheduled for early 2011?

  • What about the facelift of the current car? Geneve 2010 ?

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