Tuesday, January 27, 2015

BMW And Toyota To Collaborate To Produce Next MINI; May Actually Be Small

MINI Minor aka MINI Rocketman

The MINI brand of cars has become, well, not so MINI. There's the Countryman CUV, the upcoming four-door, and the strangely sized Paceman. Well, it looks like MINI's next offering might just be, well, small.

The Rocketman concept has been tossed around for a few years, but according to Automobile magazine, there will be a smaller MINI on the horizon, possibly called the MINI Minor. The "big" news comes from the fact that there might be an odd partner involved: Toyota.

Toyota and BMW are supposed to be collaborating on a host of other automotive endeavors, such as Supras, new Z4s, and who knows what else. But apparently a new, smaller MINI Minor is also in the works. Could its platform replace the Aygo? Will it come to the U.S. to battle the Fiat 500? How big will it be? We're not sure. What we do know is that it's apparently happening.

The MINI brand seemes to have lost its way recently. Sales have been down and the lineup is a bit of a mish-mash of hardtops, convertibles, coupes and roadsters, all using similar platforms. Apparently, MINI will be revamping its lineup and the MINI Minor will be a part of it. I'd love to see it come to the U.S., but I wouldn't be surprised to see it relegated to European city car duty.

With the increasing size of MINI models, a "smaller" breath of fresh air might just help the brand. Frankly, I'm glad it's going this way and not to a seven-passenger crossover.

3 comments:

Tony said...

I recently visited the NAIAS for the first time ever.. there was a new 4 door hardtop Mini Cooper S there, just a regular Mini, with four doors.. the back door was unusably small. All images I can find online make it seem not that bad, but in the flesh.. it appears the back door is half the length of the front. As a 6' 240lb male getting in and out of it was hilariously bad.

sglider said...

As a former 2007 Cooper S owner, I have several things to say about this. I certainly hope Toyota adds some quality and reliability to the mechanicals (which is kind of funny considering Toyota's own recent issues) because BMW's were awful, at least for the 2nd gen Cooper S cars. I unloaded mine because of the completely junk engine that sunk me with costly repairs. Further, I think BMW destroyed the whole idea and concept behind Mini by releasing all these larger variations. IMO, serves them right that their sales are heading south.

Ducati Scotty said...

That concept car pic looks closer to the original than anything to date, like an original outfitted with super low profile tires. On the other hand, it also looks small enough to be relegated to the Euro city car role and never see the US. Fingers crossed...