MINI has plenty of expansion plans for its range of fun-to-drive cars, with the latest rumor suggesting an up-market model. Inspired by the Riley Elf and Wolseley Hornet, luxury versions of the original Mini built from 1961 to 1969, this new car could run under the Riley name.
And while current MINI products are “premium,” this new model would be pure luxury with higher-grade leather and real wood trim.
At this point its pretty much rumors and speculation, with the possibility that the car could take two different directions. The first would be to use the third-generation platform due out in 2013, which would appeal to affluent urbanites in large cities (particularly in Europe). The second option is that the car could take a coupe (rather than a hatchback) form in order to appeal to the U.S. audience that generally sees hatchbacks as low-dollar cars.
At this point, we wouldn’t be on either – not for a few years anyway.