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.