MINI Talks About New Models

The brand will radically change the model range and get rid of hybrids.

MINI is going to rethink its model range: a new compact hatchback will take the place of the MINI Cooper, the Countryman will grow in size, and the niche between them will be occupied by an electric crossover. Meanwhile, the company may stop producing the unpopular Convertible and Clubman, as well as plug-in hybrids.

MINI Talks About New Models photo 2

These changes are aimed to remain competitive in the rapidly “green” car market and to eventually become an eco-friendly company. However, MINI does not plan to completely abandon the ICE in the near future.

MINI CEO Bernd Körber said that the development plan for the new car generation was 80 percent ready. The first of the three key models will be released in 2023 – it will be a compact three-door hatchback, which will be available with an electric powertrain and petrol engines. Last year, Körber told about the possible return of the classic Cooper. The CEO would like to make it “as compact as possible”.

The electric variant of the new hatchback will be released worldwide and produced at the MINI and Great Wall joint venture in China. The petrol version will have signature dimensions and design but will be assembled at the Oxford factory on the BMW platform.

Unofficial rendering of the MINI hatchback/MINI electric crossover Unofficial rendering of the MINI hatchback/MINI electric crossover

The hatchback will be followed by a completely new model, namely a crossover with an alternative electric powertrain. The release of the model, with which MINI wants to enter the increasingly popular segment of “green” crossovers, is planned for 2024. The new car will be based on the same Great Wall platform as the hatchback. Its production will be set up in China.

The Countryman, which is the largest vehicle designed by MINI, will grow even more in size in the future. According to Bernd Körber, the Countryman will approach the size of the BMW X1 with a 4.4-meter body but will retain “the MINI dimensions”. The latest “five-door” model reaches 4,299 mm in length.

Its new engine range will also include completely “green” powertrains and petrol engines. However, the future Countryman will be based on the BMW platform. Hybrid versions will be excluded from the line-up. Bernd Körber said that they would not be able to compete with EVs that have a drive range of more than 400 km.

Rendering of the new Countryman Rendering of the new Countryman

The future of the Clubman and Convertible has not yet been decided. However, the MINI CEO hopes that it will be possible to extend the life of the open-top model, which is “so important for the brand”, for at least another generation. In August, it was reported that the coupe may stop being assembled in 2024, after almost 20 years of production. The reason is poor sales: in 2019, MINI managed to sell just over 4,000 convertibles in the United States. This is 25 percent less than in 2018.

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