We've all heard the trope that Americans don't like hatchbacks. Despite this, Mini has made a decent living selling its iconic three-door here in the States. The BMW subsidiary has also tried a plethora of permutations to get us Yanks more interested, including two convertibles, a coupe and the van-like Clubman.

But it wasn't until Mini launched the larger Countryman, equipped with four full-size doors, that it seemed to crack the code of the American consumer. In a very short time, the Countryman has become Mini's second-best seller in the U.S. behind the standard three-door despite its significantly higher, and more profitable, price.

What does that tell Mini? According to Motoringfile.com, that Americans like having more doors to open. The Mini-focused website reports that the automaker is developing a five-door hatchback to launch with the next-generation model in the U.S. and other markets.

Motoringfile.com says the five-door hatch, codenamed F55, will only be around two inches longer than the three-door to give rear seat passengers a bit more legroom. The front doors will reportedly be shortened to accommodate the extra two behind them, and all four will feature standard door handles. While the five-door Mini will look just like its three-door counterpart up front, Motoringfile.com says to expect a more sharply raked rear end.

Given Mini's rapid and recent lineup expansion, we're surprised they hadn't struck upon this rather obvious iteration of the basic Mini formula earlier. Better late than never, though, for those who've always wanted a traditional Mini but needed more practically to pull the trigger.


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  • 30 Comments
      QCRamAir
      • 3 Years Ago
      Man, just how many ways can Mini slice the same piece of bread? Apparently they're trying to find out.
        Duncan1800
        • 3 Years Ago
        @QCRamAir
        I don't get you people who think this is somehow weird. Automakers have been "slicing the same piece of bread" for, oh, the entire history of the automobile. BMW is only doing what Volkswagen has done for four decades now with the basic bones and engineering of the Golf platform - it became the Scirocco (later the Corrado), then the Jetta, then the Cabrio, and then went totally retro as the New Beetle, then went upmarket as the Audi A3 and TT, then went for versatility in the form of the Touran, and has finally begun to reach critical mass as the Tiguan and Audi Q5 (which arguably were preceded by the Golf Country anyway). And people have readily bought any and all of these variants in copious numbers, thus making Volkswagen heaps and heaps of money over the years. Is it because Mini is supposedly a "special" brand, undeserving of such treatment? Please. The original Mini was sold in the same exact form as both an Austin and a Morris, later added the Countryman/Traveler wagon variants, became a true minimalist as the Mini Moke, added the full-race Cooper versions, then evolved through the 1970s to become the longer and wider Clubman wagon or 1275 GT editions. The platform was then appropriated for use under the extremely popular Austin/MG Metro, which carried on for another decade and a half alongside the original Mini. So, how many ways can they slice it? Personally, I'm curious to find out.
      Chris Bangle
      • 3 Years Ago
      Minis are getting taller, longer, and fatter... Minis are getting longer hoods and overhangs and less upright greenhouses that completely throw off the classic proportions. Minis are coming with more conventional interiors and now more doors. Soon, Minis will be Minis in name and exterior styling cues only. Everything that made Mini a fun, niche brand is slowly being killed in order to mainstream it.
        slap
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Chris Bangle
        Minis are getting longer overhangs to meet the euro pedestrian crash requirements. Windshields will get less vertical to meet the fuel economy standards.
        Snark
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Chris Bangle
        So did you buy one of the earlier ones? Or are you just another armchair auto executive?
      Snark
      • 3 Years Ago
      My guess is that this will replace the Clubman - may even be the Clubman. Given the obvious utility advantages of four doors, I think this is a great idea. Every other B-segment hatch in the US market is a 4-door.
      The Wasp
      • 3 Years Ago
      Motoringfile.com says the success of the Countryman indicates "Americans like having more doors to open". Did they consider that perhaps Americans just like larger vehicles? I don't think Americans are known for hauling more people per vehicle than anywhere else though we are known for preferring physically larger vehicles (or perhaps we buy larger vehicles because that's what's available in America -- but perhaps larger vehicles are available because that's what we buy...). I would suggest that perhaps the success of the Countryman could encourage Mini to produce a larger 2-door Countryman (a sort of Bronco II) for style-minded people who don't have kids. I'm no expert, of course -- sales of 2-door vehicles (including the Bronco/Bronco II) have long been outpaced by 4-door models.
        blooper62
        • 3 Years Ago
        @The Wasp
        I'm figuring a lot of people like the Countryman because its AWD. Thats personally one of the reasons I went and test drove one last week. I think the market is more of a upper class fun to drive car that works all year round. It kind of fills the niche market of people that want a premiumish car with out getting a BMW or a Audi.
      gary
      • 3 Years Ago
      So...its basically a Clubman with 2 forward opening rear doors instead of the single suicide and a conventional hatch instead of the dutch doors?
        amac
        • 3 Years Ago
        @gary
        Yes, and it won't be as fugly as the Clubman either.
      vc-10
      • 3 Years Ago
      Sounds more like trying to compete with the Audi A1 Sportback (aka the 5-door...) here in Europe to me. I wouldn't go anywhere near a 3-door car, too much hassle. I'd love an A1 5-door.
      drewpy
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'd take a clubman, cooper, or countryman, or the paceman(new name?)....hell I'd take whatever this is going to be...but not for the price of any of them...
      drewpy
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'd take a clubman, cooper, or countryman, or the paceman(new name?)....hell I'd take whatever this is going to be...but not for the price of any of them...
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        HydraulicDragon
        • 3 Years Ago
        I think you mean chassis, and i doubt it. Mini uses fwd architecture and BMW uses rwd, so mix and match is mostly a no-go.
      Ernie Mccracken
      • 3 Years Ago
      BOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MINI!
      Dan S
      • 3 Years Ago
      The Mini - A car that could literally sell about ten times more units then currently sold if they wound back the design to the first generation.
      Kai F. Lahmann
      • 3 Years Ago
      The Mini is everything, what Americans normally don't buy: It's small (even smaller than most subcompacts!), it's expensive (as it's a premium car) and it's a hatch. But if you see the sales numbers, it's on the same level as the "normal" subcompacts.
        desinerd1
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Kai F. Lahmann
        premium car? Mini? Nice joke! Though I agree, it's too small and very expensive. And is sells ok despite having an ugly fish mouth face.
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