Ever since the relaunch of the Mini thirteen years ago, there have been detractors. Despite the wild success of the relaunch, many have disapproved of its move away from its roots. Of course, the styling is reminiscent of the original. The colours, the racing stripe and the iconic white roof have always remained. However, one big thing has changed from the original; the size. The new Mini has been on a growth spurt since its relaunch. Now, BMW plan to take the Mini back to its roots as the Mini Minor looks set for release.
It won’t hit the market until 2018 or 2019, but BMW have confirmed that it is in development. After the recent release of the Mini Cooper S five door, original fans have shouted louder than ever. The Mini has simply gotten bigger and bigger. The 5 door version is the biggest of the lot. However, the proposed Mini Minor will seriously shrink the design, almost back to the original spec.
In 2011, Mini teased us with the prospect of the Mini Minor. They called it the Rocketman and debuted the concept at the Geneva motor show in 2011. It has been almost four years to the day and our sources at BMW have confirmed its finally moving into production. BMW have gone back and forth over this decision, but all signs look good. What’s even more interesting, is that it looks like the Mini Minor will be co-developed with Toyota.
This is all part of a major streamlining project at BMW with regards to the Mini series. Big motoring fans can’t help but notice the sheer range of Mini options. Take one glance at coopermini.co.uk and you can see for yourself. There’s the Countryman, the Paceman, the Coupe, the Roadster, the new 5 door hatch and the convertible. It looks like Mini will slowly discontinue the Roadster, the Coupe and the Pacemen over the coming years. In its place will be a streamlined range and this new Mini Minor.
So, what do we know so far? Well, not much unfortunately. We know that it will be significantly smaller than any Mini currently on the market. It will be 3450mm long; a snip of the large length of the newer Mini Cooper S 5 Door. It’s a dwarf compared to the Countryman! Early drawings show that it has a ‘double bubble’ rear roof section. It looks like it falls somewhere between the 2011 Rocketman concept and the current Paceman.
What does all this mean? It means that we’re about to see the cheapest Mini on the market. Their report suggests it could come in around £10,000 or cheaper, which sounds like a bargain. It also shows that there’s an interesting development taking place between Toyota and BMW. As we mentioned, Toyota will help co-develop the vehicle. It will be interesting to see what else emerges as a result of this collaboration.
We’ve always loved the new Mini. It’s a perfect reinvention of the original, fit for the modern world. However, we did find ourselves disappointed with the release of the larger Clubman and Countryman. The essence was beginning to wane. Now, it’s back in force. Purists and modern fans alike will be happy. Not only that, but Mini may just be about to dominate the super-small city car group. We’re excited!
Photo credit : Flickr