MINI‘s design chief has revealed the automaker is looking into new models that go beyond its so-called five “superheroes.”
Speaking to Autocar, MINI design chief Oliver Heilmer said it is vital for the brand to explore other options, once the five “superheroes” range is completed in 2019 when the MINI Electric arrives. For now, the British automaker is committed to the five models for the short term, but Heilmer admits “it’s good to ask if it’s going to last.”
The design chief said when his team sets off to investigate the idea for new models, they plan to use the same though process that resulted in the original 1959 MINI. “The first MINI was built out of a need,” said Heilmer. “I would like to understand what the needs in the next five to six years will be. We want to look at customers who are 13, 14, 15 years old now. What is their aesthetic approach? It’s obviously influenced by smartphones. But if we understand it right, we can bring this into the future.”
But don’t expect a far departure from what has made MINI what it is today. Heilmer won’t abandon the brand’s distinctive design features no matter what comes. For now, we can look forward to the next-generation MINI hatch that is due in 2021, but before that, it will be the production version of the MINI Electric. A concept recently debuted at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show and Heilmer says the design isn’t yet finalized and the team is still looking at possible color ideas and wheel designs, as well as whether the aerodynamic sills and air curtains will stay.
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