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MINI Lineup Will Grow to Ten Models

At the NAIAS this year in Detroit, MINI featured the new Roadster — their latest addition to the MINI model lineup. For those keeping score at home, that brings the total number of unique MINI configurations up to six:

  • Hardtop
  • Clubman
  • Convertible
  • Coupé
  • Roadster
  • Countryman

Count the production version of the Paceman concept due out next year and that total climbs to seven. However, MINI is far from done at lucky seven. Dr. Kay Segler, head of MINI worldwide gave the the automotive press the magic number of ten MINI models by the end of the decade. What could those other three models be? Regular MotoringFile readers already know most of the answers.

The MINI City Car

We know of several projects specifically that MINI has had in the works for some time now. Firstly, there’s the city car. Not to be confused with the Rocketman concept itself (although there were surely key learnings there), MINI has long wanted to go back to its genuinely small roots and show microcars like the Smart what a real small car can be. Recent rumors have MINI possibly sharing some platform elements with Toyota’s iQ, although we’ll believe that when we see it. Will the MINI City be model number eight?

The MINI Spacebox/Traveller

Code-named “Spacebox” and known as the Traveller (or even the MINI Activity Tourer) the car will be based on the front wheel drive BMW Compactive Sport Tourer or ‘FAST’. The idea (for both but especially the Traveller) is all about increasing practicality and flexibility for a customer who would have had to to move to another brand because they’ve simply run out of space. Both but especially the Traveller will be the most utility oriented of all of BMW or MINI’s upcoming products based off of the UKL1 platform. That makes nine.

The MINI Beachcomber?

We’re not entirely sure what’s up MINI’s sleeve for model #10. Every once in a while, we hear something new about the Beachcomber or even a three-door variant called the Canyon. This original Countryman derivative predated the production Countryman itself. Taking its inspiration from the Moke of old, this open air beach-mobile falls into “just crazy enough to work” territory. Modular doors and lots of open space could let you take the MINI experience out of the city and possibly well off the beaten path. Could MINI push that much closer to a legitimate small trail vehicle to challenge the Range Rover Evoque?

We’re only able to speculate at this point, but with the next generation hatch sharing so much more with parent company BMW, the cost savings and deeper development will likely mean a greater variety of MINIs is that much more financially viable. With such common underpinnings, and heavy investment from BMW, these kinds of variations are not only possible, but likely profitable. So even if models like the Spacebox aren’t your cup of tea, chances are MINI will have something in its lineup that is right up your alley.

Written By: Nathaniel Salzman

  • Jamesn

    Really can’t wait for a MINI City car, I have a 1979 Mini 1000 as my first car over here in the UK, I feel that now the countryman has been launched, and the addition of maybe the paceman and traveller, i’ll never have to buy from another brand, hopefully by the time i have a family of my own the countryman will have depreciated enough to be around the same price as a 2006 R56 is now. If the city car is launched, then it will make a great everyday mini experience so Von Smallhausen, as i aptly name my current orange mini, can sit in the garage as my weekend show and shine car.

  • http://www.mynameisjay.com/ Tendonin

    There’s something very compelling about the traveller. I like the looks of it more than the Countryman. Those sliding doors would come in handy too.

  • JamesW

    Car magazine in the UK had it different. 6-door clubman, 5-seat van thing, 5 door F56. The Rocketman won’t be built (suggesting the F56 being the smallest): there was a nice mock-up of a F56 – R56 but with rocketman lights: looked cool

  • Mark Smith

    Hey MF crew! Didn’t you all recently banter about the idea of a 5 door F56 Hardtop variant? Does anyone here reading this think it sounds like a cool idea? I’m on the fence???

  • Anonymous

    did somebody say Canyonero? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4QgWRycd7I

    • Bob Hayhurst

      Ha, I love it…”…it’s two lanes wide and unexplained fires are for the courts”. This is why I love the Simpsons…

  • http://www.facebook.com/memphismini Christy Sere Gibson

    Someone refresh my memory…what would be the difference between the Canyon and Paceman?  Would the Canyon be the three door variant of the Beachcomber?

  • tec

    I don’t think the MINI City Car will be something like the Smart or the Toyota iQ, rather I hope it will be based on the next Toyota Aygo, that has the same dimensions of the Rocketman.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/5ROTFGBXDNA5L6MFCDJ2GOIV5Y creed

    I love the idea and look of the Rocketman and Traveller.  I would really like to see a smaller Hatch, a larger Hardtop with the option of four real doors and AWD.  I also am excited to see the interiors changed and improved (I’m over the Mickey Mouse dash on the Countryman.)

    • Mini Girl

      Why you don’t look at another brand then?

  • Nick Dawson

    According to a usually reliable source, the ten MINI models are:

    Hatch 3 door Hatch 5 door Convertible Clubman Countryman Roadster Coupe Paceman Traveller Sedan 4 door

    The latter seems an unlikely choice, but is said to be codenamed F59 and due to be launched in late 2016. The model is aimed primarily at the increasingly important Asian markets, where sedans are viewed as more upmarket than low rent hatchbacks. 

  • Tristan

    A modern moke would be awesome! With some offroad capable hardware plus style then it will definetly sell, just look at the fj cruiser.

  • Mab01uk

    What about the MINI Van/Cargo based on the Clubman rumored to be shown at Geneva in March?

    The original 1960’s-80’s classic Minivan was once a very popular model in the UK and Europe for both private and commercial buyers.

  • Planeguy96

    Would the traveler actually be larger than the countryman

  • Herr26

    Because MINI now shares with BMW’s new platform strategy , MINI aims to capture the more youthful side of the premium market , whilst BMW aim for the more mature element of the Premium market.  BMW will not be as expansive as MINI with their smaller FWD Concepts , BMW have proved how the idea will work already with the X1 and the countryman. One is more premium than the other but they occupy the same entry segment.

    They really want to do the MINI Rocketman. There is many supporters of that project from the design department and the BMW Board of directors, who think a small sub mini-MINI would be very popular amongst entry customers. The interest is so far ahead that the design department have even came up with ideas to illustrate the personalisation and model variety (Cooper S Rocketman anybody?). Another idea is for the Rocketman to introduce a sub-brand for MINI. A brand within a brand that would cater for the smaller concepts such as the proposed MINI branded Scooters.

    The Countryman can no longer be dismissed as it is MINI’s best selling model globally, The MINI Paceman aims to follow the same idea between the BMW X5 and X6 and forthcoming X4 and the X3. That in principle the two can co-exist as they are entirely different in style and character, The Paceman is also being paid particular attention to regarding a more sporting drive. The less popular option is the Beachcomber which has been dismissed because not every city has a beach, nor the weather to accomodate the Beachcomber.

    The Spacebox/Traveller is also a favorite within the design team , especially when it compares to what is already out there which the answer is nothing entirely like it. It is identified as the MINI equivalent of a “Swiss Army Knife”   SpaceBox/Traveller would possibly be a rival for VW’s Bully update.

    They are not entirely sure about a five door MINI either as the BMW City Compact will also come in a five dr format. Some feel a five dr MINI might be too counter productive especially for a brand that embodies the three dr Concept as it’s main model.

    The MINI Coupe and Roadster have now been launched so it is too early to discuss their success. But if they get to be replaced then they could be considered under a stand alone philosophy with a different body with plenty of MINI styling elements but not have an entirely carry over body like the current cars.  

    A MINI badged Sedan is being considered , especially when BMW have dismissed Sedans for either the F20 1er and the City Compact. As BMW do not want to give competitors an advantage over the entry 3er models in crucial fleet markets in europe.

    One car seen in the MINI engineering car park is the Honda CRZ which embodies a sporting profile with a hybrid drivetrain but not an overly sporting drive. In terms of a replacement MINI E they are thinking of the direction undertaken by BMWi and introduce a stand alone electric concept and not just introduce an electrified hatch.

    Later this year the BMW brand will start the journey that will lead into the first introduction of its FWD strategy.  

  • Nick Dawson

    Nevertheless, development codenames have been allocated to the following ‘F’ series MINIs, which seem to indicate a strong commitment on behalf of BMW:

    F56 3 door Hatchback – late 2013 F54 5 door Hatchback – summer 2014 F55 6 door Clubman 2 -summer 2015 F57 Convertible 3 – ? F58 5 door Traveller – spring 2016 F59 4 door Sedan – late 2016

    A 4 door Sedan version of the original Mini was proposed by BMC as early as 1957, and documents held by British Motor Heritage Trust show that Alec Issigonis, the Mini’s designer, was working on the project as late as January 1962. Nothing came of it, except that certain aspects of the Sedan were carried over to other production versions of the Mini, such as the longer platform in the Mini Traveller and Van, and the extended trunk on the two upmarket Mini versions, the Wolseley Hornet and Riley Elf.

    Perhaps the most interesting version of the still-born Sedan was the Mini ‘Beach Car’, which had nothing in common with the later Moke. Nine prototypes were built, one of which was loaned to Queen Elizabeth for use around the grounds of Windsor Castle, one was offered as a prize in a contest held in the US, and some were sold to luxury hotels in hot climates. Three are known to have survived, and photos of the Beach Car clearly show the four door-apertures and extended trunk. No doubt the Mini ‘Beach Car’ was the inspiration for the MINI Beachcomber concept  

    • Anonymous

      I dig a certain amount of symmetry and therefor I find “F59 == 4 door sedan” slightly irksome.  One would think the F59 would be a Roadster based on the 3rd gen platform, no?  Like F56 == third gen R56, ditto the clubman (R/F55) and ‘virt (R/F57). Anyway, had to get that off my chest. ;)

  • goat

    As halo cars for the entire brand, they need just two: (1) a City Car in the spirit of the original mini, meaning truly tiny and full of space-efficient innovations coupled with driving joy; (2) a hot hatch (preferably symmetrical AWD) that will strip the varnish off a barn as it tears by on a back road. If they offer those two, engineering and sporting cred will be present in sackfuls to stuff into the back of the seemingly-requisite-for-financial-growth Countryman, SpaceBox, PickUp, etc.

  • Nick Dawson

    Here is a photograph of the 1961 Mini ‘Beach Car’, based on the aborted Mini 4 door Sedan.       


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MINI Model Cheat Sheet

1st Gen MINI
R50: One & MC Hatch
R52: All 1st Gen MINI Convt.
R53: MCS Hatch
2nd Gen MINI
R55: Clubman
R56: Hatch
R57: Convertible
R58: Coupe
R59: Roadster
R60: MINI Crossover
R61: MINI Crossover Coupe
3rd Gen MINI
F54: Clubman
F55: Five Door Hatch
F56: Hatch
F57: Convertible
F60: MINI Crossover
F58: Traveller

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