After much speculation, Mini confirms that its factory in Oxford is ceasing production of the slow-selling Coupe and Roadster models. So if you want a new Mini, you're going to have to take it with three doors or more.
With its previous generation, Mini went for a maximalist strategy, expanding its lineup to include seven derivatives. But with the new generation, BMW's retro Anglo-Saxon brand is shifting gears to a "superhero strategy" focusing on core models with volume sales potential rather than small niches.
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.
It's no surprise that Mini is working on an updated Mini E electric vehicle. Just a few weeks ago, the automaker's brand manager, Peter Schwarzbauer, said an electric Mini "fits perfectly with the brand, and I am convinced that we will offer a suitable solution." After all, parent company BMW has been evolving the all-electric powertrain from the original Mini E to the ActiveE and on into the i3. It only makes sense that Mini gets some EV love back, right?
The next-generation Mini lineup could see some big changes, according to a report from Australian site CarSales. Starting with the debut of the third-generation Mini Hardtop at this year's Los Angeles Auto Show, we could see a regular string of Minis on the stages of the world. But the bodystyles we see might not be what we've grown used to.
Surprise, surprise. According to Edmunds, Mini may be looking to reduce the number of vehicles in its range, which has recently expanded to include a total of seven offerings (not to mention the copious varieties of configurations found within each line). When Mini relaunched in the early 2000s, it did so with one model, the Cooper Hardtop, and has since added the Convertible, Clubman, Countryman, Coupe, Roadster and Paceman. It looks like those ambitions of expanding the range to include up to
If you were hoping Mini might be bringing out a John Cooper Works GP version of its new Coupe hatchback bodystyle, we're sorry to disappoint you, but the Mini-obsessed folks at MotoringFile says it's not going to happen. Despite having gotten far enough into development that our spy shooters were able to catch the car during testing on public roads, the powers that be have reportedly scuttled those plans.
Want a hot little hatchback? You could do a lot worse than a Mini. But as with many cars, your budget will determine how much speed you get: Cooper, Cooper S, JCW or – with the first-gen model, anyway – the top-of-the-line John Cooper Works GP.
The two millionth Mini has rolled off the line in Oxford, UK, a feat which took around ten years and sent Minis to 90-plus countries across the globe. According to Mini, if placed bumper-to-bumper, two million Minis would stretch 4,627 miles. Of course, two million Ford F-150s would stretch, um, further.
Mini E – Click above for high-res image gallery