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As brands go, Chrysler isn’t much for making hybrids and EVs, but that’s changing. The automaker just announced that it delivered four plug-in hybrid Town & Country mini vans to the city of Auburn Hills, Mich. as a two-year demonstration project.
Chrysler says it’s pouring $15.8 million into the project, which will be supplemented by another $10 million from the Department of Energy but only 25 vehicles will be built, which means each unit is a million-dollar car.
MINI might be changing the way we think of minivans by the year 2020. The British automaker is considering expanding its lineup to include a five-door station wagon, a van, and possibly even a notchback sedan.
The all-new MINI Roadster will hit dealerships this month and is the sixth MINI model. Next on the list could be a station wagon based on the new BMW Group front-wheel drive platform that is debuting with the second-generation MINI Cooper hardtop in 2014. The MINIvan (see what we did there?) would share the same platform as the current Countryman.
The only model that is currently up in the air is a notchback sedan that MINI is considering for the Chinese market. According to a BMW inside source, “The MINI sedan is now being hotly debated.”
If these rumors were to be confirmed, one could look back to what MINI’s global brand boss, Kay Segler, said back at this year’s Detroit Auto Show. Segler announced that three models would be added to the MINI lineup by the end of the decade, but at that time didn’t express what those models would entail.
[Source: Automotive News]
BMW will take full advantage of investments in its MINI sub-brand, developing additional models based on those products that will be branded and sold as BMWs. According to a report by Automobile Magazine, the list includes a BMW version of the MINI Clubman and Countryman, as well as both a BMW and a MINI van. (Yes, the MINIvan).
It’s believed the new models will all be based on the upcoming front-drive/AWD platform that will first debut in the next-generation MINI Cooper. When the second-gen Clubman arrives it will be followed by the BMW Joy – an internal name given to what will essentially be the 1 Series Gran Turismo. After, a BMW 1 Series crossover will be based on the second-generation Countryman platform. And finally, there’s the MINI Traveler; a small van or MPV. A BMW version of this car will also be built to take on cars like the Mercedes B-Class ad next-generation Audi A2.
The first of these models are expected to start appearing around 2013.