• Feb 12, 2013
During an event in Ponce, Puerto Rico last week where Mini introduced members of the media to the 2013 Paceman and John Cooper Works GP, product planners discussed that the brand's lineup could expand to eventually include up to 10 bodystyles. Currently, the Mini range consists of seven models: the Hardtop, Clubman, Convertible, Countryman, Coupe, Roadster and Paceman.

Speaking to members of the media, David Duncan, Mini USA sales manager, said that these new models could fall into a range of niches – "any segment that makes sense for a small car." No specific vehicle classes were discussed, but Duncan stated that the possibilities are endless, "as long as we're the smallest player in any segment."

Well, nearly endless. We've been hoping that Mini would re-think its decision to nix plans to create a vehicle smaller than the Hardtop – a notion previewed by the excellent Rocketman concept (shown above) from the 2011 Geneva Motor Show – but the automaker once again stated that this is absolutely off the table. In order to create a vehicle of the Rocketman's size, a completely new platform would have to be engineered (that's expensive), and while Mini has looked into acquiring existing architecture from another brand, parent company BMW has reportedly put the kibosh on such an act. If a Rocketman is ever to be born, BMW/Mini will do it on its own, and right now, that simply isn't in the cards.

Patrick McKenna, head of Mini USA's product strategy, also told us that while he's "not going to confirm it," diesel power is indeed being investigated for use in the next-generation Mini range in the States. Yes, we've heard this before, but every time it's said, it sounds more sincere.

So, where does Mini go from here? Your guess is as good as ours. The product team tells Autoblog that one of the main reasons for people to turn away from the range-topping Countryman is that it's too small, so you could realistically argue for a larger version of this vehicle, despite the fact that we've been told before that the Countryman would be the largest Mini is willing to go. You could certainly make the argument for something relatively low-cost like a convertible version of the Paceman, or even a clever little pickup based on the all-wheel-drive Countryman platform. Give us your best ideas, in Comments.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 20 Comments
      drewpy
      • 1 Year Ago
      I live mini...I hate the price tag. The more the merrier and hopefully the more affordable used market...
      Duran
      • 1 Year Ago
      I wouldn't complain if the Beachcomber concept was among the new models. It's probably very unlikely, but a man can dream, right?
      Juan
      • 1 Year Ago
      What about a Mini Truck?
      The Wasp
      • 1 Year Ago
      "as long as we're the smallest player in any segment" So...why doesn't MINI compete in the smallest segment? The Smart Fortwo is about 40 inches shorter than the MINI Cooper. I'd like to see a barebones 2-seat pickup with a 5-foot bed. Either based on the Cooper or maybe the Countryman. I probably wouldn't buy one but I like the idea.
        untitledfolder
        • 1 Year Ago
        @The Wasp
        I don't think the smart fortwo counts as compact. It's in the 'micro' car category MINI barely misses. That's where the rocketman would fit.
          The Wasp
          • 1 Year Ago
          @untitledfolder
          That's fine -- I understand the Smart car is technically in a different segment [though I'm also not silly enough to think that people shopping the bottom end at a BMW dealer wouldn't also check out the bottom end at a M-B dealer]. I'm just saying, if they want to make a reputation as 'the smaller/cuter competitor', then they should compete in the smallest segments -- against the Smart/iQ/500. If they are already competing with those cars (in the US they are), then they're not really offering the smallest car and they shouldn't claim that.
      Whitaker Behrens
      • 1 Year Ago
      I would like to see the Countryman/Paceman architecture adapted for a micro-ute pickup truck. Give it AWD, an inch or two of extra ground clearance over the Countryman, and some off-road restyling and call it done. Boom - another model in the lineup.
      untitledfolder
      • 1 Year Ago
      Again "auto" blog... it's MINI, not Mini. The latter is for classics, the former for new models. Literally every MINI article you do this and ten people mention it. I'm glad they're expanding and still committed to being the smallest in every class they enter. Enthusiasts need to remember, to make a better core product, you need to have the heavy sellers (Countryman finances Hardtop).
        Dayv
        • 1 Year Ago
        @untitledfolder
        Mini. Mini Mini Mini. Deal with it.
          MacProMan
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Dayv
          how mature... clearly not a MINI fan, be gone with you troll
        MacProMan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @untitledfolder
        wow, another fan that points out the obvious like I have, MINI vs Mini... I can\'t believe an enthusiast car site would make such a lame error all the time
      Quentin Dewolf
      • 1 Year Ago
      what about an allwheel drive Hardtop (true rally machine). Nobody makes anything like that. Subarus get larger and the Audi A1 only gets it for the special edition we will not even see in the US.
        MacProMan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Quentin Dewolf
        will buy in a heartbeat, AWD F56, PLEASE BUILD MINI
      David Cottrell
      • 1 Year Ago
      Coming next march will be the 2014 MINI Cooper refresh sporting its 1.5L 3cyl BMW engine for the standard, as well as the 2.0L 4cyl BMW engine for the S/JCW. Six months after this we will see the 5 door MINI Cooper hitting the floor sporting the same engines.
      GFB
      • 1 Year Ago
      I like the evolution of the MINI design language shown on the Rocketman Concept. MINI faces the difficult challenge of keeping its distinctive style while avoiding the staleness of familiarity. Proliferating into larger size vehicles is against the ethos of the name MINI.
      Nick Hunkar
      • 1 Year Ago
      The 5 door Traveler is a done deal. The other may be a MINI Van.
        MacProMan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Nick Hunkar
        five door done deal is the F56 which is the R56 with an extra set of rear doors. I do believe they will make a people mover as well, and likely call it the Traveller
      KO
      • 1 Year Ago
      "as long as we're the smallest player in any segment." and the answer to "people to turn away from the range-topping Countryman is that it's too small" being a bigger Countryman are totally contradictory. The answer to the latter is obviously to walk across the lot to a BMW X, "lifestyle" differences be damned. A 5-door replacement for the Clubman is a foregone conclusion (IIRC there've been camo shots of that already), though just chucking the ClubDoor would be fine (it was the #1 reason I didn't buy one). There are still original Mini bodystyles left to bring back; the pickup (which I would think would be huge in Australia) and 3-box (Riley Elf). And I think it'd be possible to graft on one of the other BMC marques BMW still owns to do a MGF/(90s)Elan type roadster+hardtop
      dohc73
      • 1 Year Ago
      This Rocketman concept is most likely the basis for the next Cooper. We're getting a glimpse at the overall shape. I doubt those taillights will make it to production, but the headlights and overall silhouette are probably spot-on, save for the cantilever doors. Hoping the new interior is a tad bit more conventional than the current generation and certainly more conventional than the concept pictured.
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