Next MINI Hatch: Larger or Smaller?

Discussion in 'Cooper SE' started by insightman, Dec 28, 2019.

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  1. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Now that BMW has hooked up with China's Great Wall Motor to build cars together in China, I've read that the next electric MINI will come from that country instead of Britain. Would BMW really abandon their high-tech factory in Oxford?

    There have been rumors that the Chinese collaboration could result in a larger MINI that could accept a larger battery pack to provide greater than 110 miles of range per charge. There have been other rumors that say the tiny MINI Rocketman concept could be brought to market as a BEV--perhaps for the Chinese market only.


    Could smaller MINI be what MINI head of design Oliver Heilmer was talking about in this Autocar interview about MINI adding a SUV to its lineup? The following is copied from the Autocar article:

    Heilmer said: “For future architecture, we’re having weekly discussions to improve interior space and reduce the car’s footprint. But it’s not solved yet. Maybe next year.” He also noted that the “development cost is also an issue”.

    “It’s not necessarily the internal combustion engine that needs the space – even with an EV (which has a smaller motor) you still need a crash box,” Heilmer continued, referring to the progressively deformable and substantial structure around the powertrain. “Crash performance is the bigger issue.”

    Another challenge is dealing with “an electric motor that might keep running”. This is a post-crash circumstance that does not usually affect cars with internal combustion engines.
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  3. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Bernd Körber, head of MINI, also had a few words regarding the size of the 4th-gen BMW MINI coming in "three to four years." He said he’d like to see Mini "grow in some aspects" while he’d also "love to see the core Mini shrink again."

    The Autocar article reporting Körber's comments continues:

    That latter point is currently the focus of the new car’s early development. There is an acknowledgement within the company that the core three-door hatchback has grown too large and its proportions lack the compact look of the earlier BMW-produced models, particularly around the front overhang.

    Although it won’t dramatically shrink the car’s footprint, the altered proportions, particularly at the front, should give it a more compact look. Mini is also seeking to incorporate some of the packaging lessons learned from the Electric three-door hatch into the standard car, which will be offered with petrol and electric drivetrains in its next generation.

    "We are having proportion and design discussions at the moment," said Körber. "The task now is to design it. In three to four years, I’d like to see the start of the next generation."

    He added: "Hopefully in the next generation, we can make it even more compact, back to where Mini comes from."
    Each future Mini is set to be offered with a choice of petrol and electric drivetrains, with plug-in hybrids also featuring in larger models.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2019
  4. interestedinEV

    interestedinEV Well-Known Member

    Today most cars are unrecognizable from a distance, they do not look too different from another. When the Cybertruck was unveiled, it attacked the very concept of what a truck should look like.

    Among cars that have an iconic and recognizable appearance, MINI is on the top of the list. I noticed with aghast over the years the attempt to make it bigger, roomier etc. and it seemed to change the look of the cars. My wife has had 2Dr, 4Dr Hardtops and then a convertible. She did not like the convertible and has now gone back to the classic hardtop. She did not like the clubman etc etc.

    I am so glad that Mini wants to go back to its roots and not be like everyone else. Let BMW cater to the people who want SUVs and large cars. Let Mini excel in affordable luxury and iconic designs.
    insightman likes this.

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