No Bigger or Smaller MINIs Says U.S. Brand Boss, But More Crossovers Likely
Despite rumors to the contrary, MINIs aren’t about to get any more or less mini. In a sit down interview with MINI USA boss Jim McDowell, at the Chicago Auto Show he dispelled rumors of a MINI-minor, as well as the possibility that the Countryman could get an even larger sibling.
“I don’t anticipate a third size or that we’ll ever have large MINIs,” he said, stating that future vehicles will be based on one of the two current MINI platforms, the R5X for the hard-top, convertible and Clubman and the R60 for the Countryman.
Later, McDowell commented that his remarks apply only for the U.S., perhaps hinting that a smaller MINI model could be in the cards for Europe.
MINI may, however, explore outside these two platforms when it comes to concept vehicles. “MINI will continue to push the limits with our concept studies, which are open for discussion and criticism, allowing us to incorporate some or all of the study elements into a future production vehicle,” said McDowell. “While the size of such concepts will no doubt vary, the MINI product family will remain true to its values of ensuring a ‘premium small car’ experience; and to do so in the U.S., we are likely to stay within the size range that is currently established.”
With plans to introduce a coupe and roadster model in the near future, MINI will then launch the Paceman, a two-door sportcross based on the Countryman’s architecture. Described by McDowell as a “very flexible platform,” MINI isn’t likely to stop with just two crossover variants either.