The first generation of the reimagined, BMW-backed Mini was a simple things, confined to two body styles – hatchback and four-seat convertible. It wasn't until the second-generation platform came along that Mini began truly expanding, offering a long-wheelbase model, a roadster, a coupe, a five-door crossover, and a three-door, um, thing?

BMW is aiming for 10 to 12 different vehicles from just two brands off one platform.

According to an interview between Automotive News Europe and the BMW board member that oversees Mini, Peter Schwarzenbauer, the funky British brand will be expanding far beyond the seven body styles it currently offers. "With the new ULK architecture, we currently have in mind eight to 10 models," Schwarzenbauer told ANE. That architecture he mentions, will also underpin the BMW 1 Series GT and the BMW X1, meaning that BMW is aiming for 10 to 12 different vehicles from just two brands off one platform (and that's only what we know about).

The growth in the Mini line isn't just limited to body styles, but overall production capacity, adding a new contract manufacturer in the Netherlands, with Schwarzenbauer telling ANE, "If I told you [Mini's total production capacity] I would be revealing exactly what our growth plans are. What I can say is that last year we produced and sold 300,000 units and right now we are expanding that capacity."

Besides growth plans, Schwarzenbauer hints that Mini's range of three- and four-cylinder, turbocharged, gas engines may be joined by EVs, plug-in hybrids and the long awaited (for US customers) diesel model. The EV and PHEV models are especially notable, as it signifies both that Mini is ready to expand into alternative energy, which it's avoided outside of the Mini E, while also pointing out that BMW's i division won't be the only ones playing with electricity.

Closing out, Schwarzenbauer let slip some details of availability on the third-generation Minis, saying that while cars will arrive at European and US dealers in the spring of 2014, there won't be regular inventories until later in the summer. Head over to Automotive News Europe for the full interview.


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  • 35 Comments
      ryanandrewmartin
      • 1 Year Ago
      It looks like the face of my girlfriends nervous by nature chihuahua when I barreled into her apartment for the first time all loud and shouty and picked him up without letting him first get a proper sniff.
      telm12345
      • 1 Year Ago
      Why so surprised, MINI? Those headlights... I sincerely hope they look better in person. MINI is like a drug. Its utterly addictive and totally bad for you: impractical, expensive, rough sometimes and the quality is always a gamble. Still, there is nothing out there that is at this price range that feels so visceral and makes you just downright giggle BECAUSE of its rough and communicative nature. If I didn't live in a world where practicality was important, it would be the first thing in my driveway, but that's why the GTI takes first place for me. Its not because I want it more, its because I want to fit 4 adults sometimes and every once in a while I need to carry something larger than a grocery bags. Still, nothing else I've driven (BMWs, Audis, Miatas) feels like you're 10 years old on that go-kart track at the local amusement park in the same manner as a MINI.
        E85 450HP Forester
        • 1 Year Ago
        @telm12345
        Let me correct that for you, SUBARU is like a drug. Its utterly addictive and totally bad for you: impractical, expensive, rough sometimes...Still, there is nothing out there that is at this price range that feels so visceral and makes you just downright giggle....
          • 1 Year Ago
          @E85 450HP Forester
          [blocked]
          telm12345
          • 1 Year Ago
          @E85 450HP Forester
          No, as a former Subaru Forester owner I can tell you the Subaru Forester is anything but a drug. Its very practical, and nothing about it is visceral at all. After 3 years of having mine, everything rattled. It was loud, underpowered, and killed me every time I had to get in it. Cruising in the dated 4-speed A/T at 70 meant the engine revs at 3K and my MPG was shot. The moonroof squeaked whether open or closed and the side mirrors would howl at any speed above 45. My dad rode in it once and thought I was going 70 when I was going 45 because it was so loud, the engine worked way too hard, and everything squeaked and rattled. I thought it may have been mine, but we coincidentally ended up as passengers in a 2011 a few months back and it had EXACTLY the same rattles and squeaks and depressing interior. I was so glad to get rid of it. I'm glad you like your Forester, I'm sure all the grandmas driving them like them too.
      thedriveatfive
      • 1 Year Ago
      of the neo mini's first gen looked good second was average this one really is bad and over styled then again the proof will be in sales numbers, if more people buy then in the intro years of prior gens then im wrong...
      thedriveatfive
      • 1 Year Ago
      I guess rather then my previous statment I should say why I think it looks bad: 1) Strange half halo headlights make it look scared 2) the hood scoop borders on ridiculous especially with the miniscule power bulge behind it. Either make one or the other, and make it functional. 3) The front bumper below the fog lights and where the license plate is has the odd rectangular chrome areas and bulges out for no apparent reason, it looks incohesive. 4) It has a total of 4 grill element areas including hood scoop. above license plate, below license plate, and front air dam area...
        foxtrot685
        • 1 Year Ago
        @thedriveatfive
        I've seen it in a consumer focus group. This is also one of those cars that you really have to see it in person. It does not photograph well.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      foxtrot685
      • 1 Year Ago
      Keep in mind that the article says 8-10 models from 2 brands. So that means between BMW and MINI, not just MINI alone. Technically it could mean that the earlier report of MINI reducing models could still hold true depending on how the models are split between the two brands.
      Terry Actill
      • 1 Year Ago
      Many MINI making money.
      Vwfanatic
      • 1 Year Ago
      Minis are mechanical and maintenance nightmares. The English still haven't learned how to build reliable automobiles and the limited Mini warranty is another example of British auto disasters.
      Ducman69
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'd rather see less versions and greater reliability. I still don't understand why the Mini has such fantastic resale value, as the cost of ownership (especially when you're bringing it in to a BMW dealership for inevitable repairs) is so astoundingly high compared to other compacts. Its not cutting edge performance, so I don't understand why they are so unreliable.
        Txdesign
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ducman69
        Generalize much? For every R50/53 owner who complains about an unscheduled repair on a message board there are many cars with mileage above 100K and going strong. People complain much online.
          dreadcthulhu01
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Txdesign
          Mini also does poorly on large scale reliability studies -for example, on JD Power's last 3 year vehicle dependability study, Mini was down in Chrysler/Volkswagen land.
      KAG
      • 1 Year Ago
      Mini is over extending there brand with two many models, should be just the hatchback, topless, and wagon.
        CoolWaters
        • 1 Year Ago
        @KAG
        With 300,000 on the road, more options means they plan to sell more, to more people and make more money. Extend the winning streak.
      Fanta
      • 1 Year Ago
      That S badge on the grill is unnecessary. The hoodscoop is enough to tell you you are about to get lapped by something small and sinister. Those spouting unreliability and mechanical nightmares must have never a MINI or have owned an early model R53/R50. Those issues have long been sorted out a few years after the car debuted. Used 05's and 06's are a great bargain.
      Luis A. Martinez
      • 1 Year Ago
      Mini is what Saab should be,nice and smart people drive them,like the 97 comertial Find new roads" with turbocharger engine and smart Go Cart handling......just don't ever do it with CVT again!
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