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AutoExpress Imagines the MINI Cooper 5-door

It just wouldn’t be new MINI product cycle without some exploratory Photoshop on the part of AutoExpress. At least this time they’re admitting that the images are what the next generation MINI “could look like.” But lets be clear, this is not a rendering based on insider info. This is a shot in the dark at best.

Looks like they’ve started with the R56, added in the headlights and other details from the Countryman and a couple extra doors. For all their speculation, these images show a reasonable indication of just how four doors could work on the MINI F55.

For all the info you could ever want check out MotoringFile’s massive feature on the next generation MINI in both three and five door varieties.

Source: AutoExpress

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Written By: MF Staff

  • John

    I just don’t see the point in this AND the Clubman. Why build this at all?

    • R.Burns

      I don’t see why you talk of the Clubman…

    • CV

      Think of the Clubman as the wagon version. Look at VW, who builds the Golf/GTI 4-door and the Sportwagon.

  • http://twitter.com/japandrej andrej tsukamoto

    uh don’t tell me it’s known already that the 3rd gen is gonna have those countryman-shaped front lights?

    • http://bridger.us/ Gabriel Bridger

      It won’t.

      • Bob Hayhurst

        whewwwwww…I am so (relieved) (happy) (excited) that that the shape of those headlights is going into design element history.

  • birddog2

    What’s next- a MINI limo ?

  • Blainestang

    This is what the Countryman SHOULD have been. It adds the practicality of 4 actual doors, with only a very slight performance penalty… very much like the 4-door GTI which adds just ~70lb to the weight of the 2-door. In reality, this car is likely to be a better marriage of practicality/performance/efficiency, the hallmarks of the original Minis, than most of the other current models [Convertible, Coupe, Roadster, Countryman].

  • piper

    How about adding another axle for a six-wheeled, 5-door behemoth. All of these designs are about distorting the MINI concept. In keeping with the trend may I suggest a name change to BIGI.

    • http://bridger.us/ Gabriel Bridger

      The MINI concept has to evolve with the needs of the marketplace. The original Mini was an answer to a market’s need just like a five door MINI hatch will be. The trick will be keeping each product the most MINI-like in their respective segments.

    • Blainestang

      I couldn’t disagree more. This should be barely bigger than the hardtop. If anything, this car will be the closest thing to the original Mini formula of practicality and fun… other than the regular hardtop. Like the 4-door GTI (and unlike the Countryman), it will add little weight as a penalty for it’s added practicality. In fact, if you skip all the gadgets and doodads like sunroof, nav, auto trans, and unnecessarily large wheels, a 5-door may even weigh the same as loaded hardtop if the weight difference between the two is similar to the difference between the 2-door and 4-door GTI. If MINI was already making this car, I’d have one in my garage instead of a GTI. If executed properly, this will be a very “Mini” vehicle and be a great option for people who want a 4-door MINI, not an miniature SUV.

      • BimmerFile_Michael

        If the 4 door M3 only weighs 70 lbs or so more than the 2 door, I would bet the MINI 5 door would be within the same range if not less.

        • Kev50027

          The M3 coupe is a massive vehicle already, so they didn’t have to do much to add extra doors, and that’s also an M3, where they have a lot of money to spend on weight savings.

        • BimmerFile_Michael

          The base models are basically the same split- I should have said 3 series. The sedan was to market first and are now designed separately. MINI will take much of the same route. It will not be all that much weight with a boat load of added function. What’s the split for the Clubman Hardtop in terms of weight?

      • http://twitter.com/matthewwanderer matthew

        “If anything, this car will be the closest thing to the original Mini formula of practicality and fun… other than the regular hardtop.”

        How is this true, exactly? The Mini formula never included four doors.

        • Blainestang

          I didn’t say it had the same number of doors, I said it matches the formula of practicality and fun… and I explained it above. The extra doors will add a piddly amount of weight (if the GTI or M3 are any indication), meaning effectively just as much fun, but with added practicality. I’ll take added practicality anytime if it means no real penalty. The difference is, most of the other MINIs give up significant practicality (Coupe/Roadster) or performance (Countryman) for the other. The 5-door will add practicality without sacrificing performance.

  • IowaM1N1

    I like it. That extra bit of practicality will be enticing to a lot of potential buyers. Personally, we will look at the 5-door very closely when we get ready to buy our next MINI. I often miss the practicality of 4 doors that I had in my ’02 WRX wagon.

  • CV

    I think this looks pretty good. Somebody did some nice photoshop work. If this car was on MINI lots right now, I bet it would sell pretty well – and perhaps even give the existing 2-door hardtop a run for its money!

  • MVJCW

    The front end looks like the Chinese MINI Lifan 320. Replacing the clean geometry of the current headlights with the Countryman’s ugly version completely tarnishes and destroys what is universally loved about the MINI. What Frank Stephenson developed as an evolution of the original was brilliant and extremely appropriate. Instead of refining the form, change for the sake of change is deteriorating the overall balance and minimalist aesthetic of a great car. Hope this is just a bad exercise.

    • http://www.nathanielsalzman.com/ Nathaniel Salzman

      approved

    • Blainestang

      Agreed… the headlights are garbage. The 5-door is a good idea, in theory. Success will be based on execution. Can they keep the weight down to near-hardtop levels? Can they make it handle similarly to the hardtop? Basically, can they make it like a Clubman or better… where it seems like you’re driving a 2-door hardtop unless you look behind you? That’s the key for success, IMO. At least, for what I will consider a success. I’m not saying it will or won’t be a sales success if it’s JUST like the hardtop. I’m clarifying what I think makes it a success.

      • http://twitter.com/matthewwanderer matthew

        “Basically, can they make it like a Clubman or better”

        Which begs the question, Why not maintain the hardtop’s mystique, and instead modify the existing Clubman to accommodate four doors? That in combination with the Clubman’s barn doors seems so much more appropriate. IMHO, OC.

        • Blainestang

          I’m not opposed to that idea, either. We almost bought a Clubman, but it didn’t add quite enough practicality to the hardtop. The Countryman sacrificed too much performance and driving dynamics.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tryon.lippincott Tryon Lippincott

    Disgusting!

  • ulrichd

    I hope that’s not how the real front end for the third gen hatch will look like. I was looking forward to the design direction, especially the headlights, from the Rocketman. Let’s keep the Countryman design influences where they belong.

    • http://www.nathanielsalzman.com/ Nathaniel Salzman

      This is AutoExpress pulling something out of thin air. We have actual source information pointing toward a lot of Rocketman influence for the actual car. So your hopes are likely to be realized.

    • http://twitter.com/matthewwanderer matthew

      Library of Motoring has a spy shot of the headlights (by way of autoevolution). They appear way more Rocketman-like than Countryman-like:

      http://libraryofmotoring.info/2012/11/27/new-third-generation-mini-spy-photos-show-more-details/

      • http://bridger.us/ Gabriel Bridger

        As we’ve been reporting for 18 months :)

  • slap

    Looks much better than the Fiat 500 4 door.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nathan-Fong/100000353101204 Nathan Fong

    Mixed emotions if the Cooper went 5 doors… I currently have a Countryman-S ALL4. But would I have bought a Cooper 5 vs a Countryman ALL4?… I doubt it. Unless you get the Cooper 5 w/ an S upgrade (to haul the extra weight), but wait the Countryman does come in a S w/o the ALL4 package…. so why get an Cooper 5? … THe Cooper 5 has a closer family resemblance to the Cooper. But the Countryman has the ALL4 system…. and I highly doubt that MINI would consider adding it to the Cooper 5…. so back to would you want it? for me…. nope. Unless they drop the Countryman-S ALL4 model and put that system onto the Cooper 5..


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