Executives at Mini are busy mulling what to introduce next, and it’s increasingly appearing like that model have a trunk.
Unlike a car patterned after a young man?putting on a backward ballcap, a sedan is a logical addition to the brand’s future lineup, as well as?comments made to Autocar by Ralph Mahler, vice-president of product, make it clear there’s a serious business case for a three-box Mini.
Speaking about various markets and customer demand, Mahler said, “For instance, in Asia and the US, the four door segment is very large. This is very interesting to all of us, of course.”
If produced, the sedan would enroll in a group of five primary models for Mini, which is tightening up its product strategy in order to boost sales, especially in the U.S.
The two- and four-door Cooper hatchbacks, convertible and lengthened Clubman are three of Mini’s new product sales warriors, while the refurbished (and enlarged) Countryman Sports utility vehicle is due out later this year. That simply leaves a fairly obvious slot unoccupied, unless you’lso are one of the few that believes the world is ready for any Mini pickup (however wouldn’t that end up being cute?).
A Mini four door isn’t unprecedented. Older ex-pats might recall the Riley Elf as well as Wolseley Hornet – both were Mini-based two-door sedans produced by the actual British Motor Company (BMC) starting in 1961. The models were dropped in 1969 after the dismal British-Leyland days began.
Mini proprietor BMW still holds the rights to the Riley title following its acquisition of British-Leyland’s cast-offs (Rover Group) within the 1990s. Theoretically, the actual name could return as a specific design, and not a brand, though few people in the U.S. would have a psychological connection to it.
There’utes no word on when Mini will announce its fifth core model, but with your fourth due out this drop, you’d think the organization would want to be able to describe (at that time) what model customers can expect next.
[Images: Top, Mini; Riley Elf, Charles01 (GFDL or even CC BY-SA 3.Zero)/Wikimedia Commons]