MINI has announced a major overhaul of its range for the coming years, which will have three core models: a 3-door MINI Hatch smaller than the current one, a new MINI Countryman similar in size to the current BMW X1 (C-SUV segment), and an electric crossover located between the two.
Models like the MINI Clubman are doomed to disappear, while others like the MINI Convertible are not yet assured of their continuity. On the other hand, the British firm will also eliminate its plug-in hybrid models, as its goal is to become a 100% electric brand.
The new 3-door MINI Hatch will arrive in 2023 and will likely be in the A-segment, competing directly with the newly revamped FIAT 500. It will feature both electric and gasoline versions. “When I say small, I say I want to make a small three-door hatchback again. Today there are some restrictions for pedestrian safety, but we would like, in terms of exterior design, to make a three-door model as small as possible,” says Bernd Körber, Director of MINI. We can expect it to be around 3.65 meters from the original 2001 MINI Hatch.
The electric versions of this model will be made exclusively in China in association with the Great Wall, while the thermals will be made at BMW’s Oxford plant. At the moment, it is unknown whether the current 5-door MINI Hatch, located in the B segment, will continue to coexist with the 3-door.
In 2024 MINI will launch its second core model, an electric crossover that will help the brand grow in China. It will also use a platform developed with Great Wall, possibly the same one already used in the beautiful ORA Good Cat. “The Countryman will move into a larger segment, and the new hatchback will be lowered, making room for another crossover.”
Although the three models will have a family resemblance, their aesthetics will be differentiated. The Countryman will have gasoline, diesel, and 100% electric versions, losing its plug-in hybrid variant, since Körber believes that when the electric ones exceed 248 miles of autonomy, the plug-in hybrid stops making sense.
On the other hand, the company wants to turn its John Cooper Works sports division into a sub-brand of high-performance electric cars, even winning its exclusive model (possibly the production version of the beautiful MINI Superleggera Vision from 2014).