MINI’s Secret City Car Project


MINI has been working on the idea of a city car for quite some time. However it was only last year that things began to fall into place and allow the idea to become a reality. The key in making MINI’s city dreams a reality is BMW’s megacity program. We’ve been told that BMW model sharing will go both ways. Not only will BMW be getting a version of MINIs next generation car, but MINI will be getting it’s own version of a megacity vehicle as well. Keep in mind the Megacity program will in compass several vehicles ranging from two, three and four wheels. But at it’s core will be a small four wheeled vehicle that will have several power plant options.

There will be full electric, hybrid, diesel and three cylinder petrol power plants. At this time it’s unclear what power plant the MINI version will get but what we have been told is that the shape and concept will stay true to the MINI as we know it. That could mean front engined front wheel drive or even mid engined rear wheel drive. Whichever is chosen the final product will have a MINI characteristic look as well as incredible efficiency. Helping with that look, the length will likely be around the classic MINI proportions while being noticeably wider to accommodate modern notions of safety and comfort. In other words expect the bulldog stance that MINI is known for.

The ultimate goal for the BMW Group will be to expand market share of both the BMW and MINI brands. But that doesn’t mean the MINI city car is meant for every market. As we reported last year we do not expect to see the smallest MINI in the US. The benefit of ultra efficiency and ultra small packaging doesn’t work as well in a market like the US as it would in mainland Europe. And with the standard MINI set to go from four to three cylinders and gain incredible efficiency in it’s own right, we expect the brand to stay more closer to it’s current product line-up rather than gain something that sheds performance for packaging and efficiency.

That brings us to the name. Reportedly MINI is looking at the brand past and will bring the name “Minor” back to life with this new “mini” MINI however nothing is currently finalized and copyrights may come into play.

We expect the new city car to debut in concept form sometime over the next 18 months and then reach production sometime between 2014 and 2015. Until then check back to MF for more udpates.

  • JonPD

    I read the article recently and think this should be interesting to see if they can produce something the size of the Smart with good driving dynamics.

    I still think the option that would be incredibly cool would be to base this closely on the size of the original Mini. I know his would be somewhat of a hurdle to bring up to the current safety specs but would be awesome still.

  • KLF23
    Autocar has been told that Mini officials are keen to ensure it stretches to no longer than 3050mm — the length of the original Issigonis-engineered Mini.

    Sounds like this is what I’ve been waiting for.

    Please make it happen MINI.

  • JonPD

    Still no chance we will ever see it stateside I think

  • Peter Williams

    As long as they make it fun to drive… That’s key to MINI’s success in any form.

  • Tryon Lippincott

    I knew I had seen these before and it took me awhile to find it but these concepts have been around awhile. Are they resurrecting these models?

  • lavardera

    These were the early Rover concepts for the new Mini. I have to say I much prefer this two door design to the original R50/53 though I’m not sure they would have gotten the same driving dynamic out of the rear engine configuration.

  • Greg W

    There seems to have been method in the madness why BMW bought Rover (for FWD and Mini) and Land Rover (for X5 and 4WD). So the Rover designers were pretty much on track before the BMW takeover. My pick is MINI Minor and BMW Isetta.

  • Chilly

    I hope these never see the light of day. They look like they could be any generic brand and I doubt whether many MINI fans would be attracted enough to actually purchase one.

  • lavardera

    No, looking at a ten year old concept sure they look like “any” car today. These were way ahead of the curve in their time and make the R50/53 look positively PT Cruiser.

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