Nobody could argue at this point that Mini (like its parent company BMW) has not mastered the art (if you could call it that) of filling every niche with its own model. But with the third generation of Mini now upon us, some of the company's strategists are asking themselves what the point is of it all.

The outgoing second-generation Mini spawned too many variants to count. So far the new model has only surfaced in hatchback form, but the brand may roll out quite as many variants this time around. Instead it is looking at its lineup in terms of pillars.

The quintessential hatchback we've already seen would be one pillar. The Countryman crossover would be another. And the production version of the new Clubman concept which Mini displayed in Geneva would be a third. A convertible based (like the existing one and the one that came before it) on the hardtop hatchback is likely to follow, but don't expect too many other versions.

That would mean that many of the brand's quirkier two-door models could face the axe – or rather simply not be replaced by new versions. That would likely include the Coupe, the Roadster and the Paceman crossover. While some of us are more partial to the roadster than the cabriolet, and despite them all being relatively good to steer, we have to say that we'd hardly miss any of them.


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  • 16 Comments
      carguy1701
      • 9 Months Ago
      Our long national nightmare is finally over.
      Frisky_Dingo
      • 9 Months Ago
      All wise ideas. Keep the standard hard top. Keep the vert. Make that new Clubman Concept. Keep the Countryman. Build the Rocketman concept of a few years ago. Done.
      RedHotFuzz
      • 9 Months Ago
      Mini's Samsung-esque "flood the market with variables" was foolhardy, pointless, and diluted the brand. Time for Mini to get back to....Mini.
      ChaosphereIX
      • 9 Months Ago
      good. MINI needs to keep it simple. They had too many pointless models. IMO they need to keep the hatch, the roadster, and the countryman. That is it.
      SteveM
      • 9 Months Ago
      This is a good awakening for them. The brand was watered down with too many similar variations on exactly the same theme. Now the real challenge is staying profitable on a small scale.
      James John
      • 9 Months Ago
      Everyone knew they sliced the pie too thin when all the variants were introduced. Seems like everyone knew but Mini.
      Street King
      • 9 Months Ago
      Small car brands rarely see any success when they try to expand - ask smart how their roadster and 4-door went. Fiat is now taking a run at it with the 500L and I believe a little 4X4 as well...history is against them. BMW should leave MINI the way it was and finally do something with Triumph - that's where all roadsters, coupes and anything else small and fun should be coming from. A MINI coupe? MINI SUV? No wonder they failed.
        gary
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Street King
        Yes, a new rwd spitfire with the 1.5 turbo 3 cylinder could be epic.
      akitadog
      • 9 Months Ago
      Also, it has to be said, the MINI Coupe and Roadster were the answers to the question: Where can I find an ugly MINI with even less practicality?
      Steve Scarpato
      • 9 Months Ago
      A Roaster has nothing to do with practicality and the MINI Roadster is certainly not ugly, but cute (think MG Midget). It is also one of the most exciting cars to drive top down. It handles the twisties like nothing out there and the S model has a bit of muscle!
        akitadog
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Steve Scarpato
        I'll concede to the Roadster being more palatable than the backwards-baseball-cap Coupe, but only with the top down!
      akitadog
      • 9 Months Ago
      This will ultimately be the fate with parent, BMW, where many of their new models will not see a second generation. The only reason it's gotten so out of hand already is that the much larger BMW can absorb these stupid decisions to a higher degree. The longer the model bloat goes on, however, and the more they expand the lineup, the harsher the consolidation will ultimately be.
      Jmaister
      • 9 Months Ago
      AHAHAHAHA. Dumb asses as execs. That's how much resources wasted?
      artspeedperformance
      • 9 Months Ago
      Since when did Mini start building the hatchback mentioned in the article? I thought you guys know cars.
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