The all-new Mini's platform gives the brand scope to launch a more adventurous range of cars, says sales boss
25 November 2013

The all-new platform on which the new Mini sits will give the brand "scope to be far more adventurous" on spin-off model derivatives according to sales and marketing boss Ian Robertson - including building a car bigger than the current Mini Countryman SUV.

"The small car segment is growing at around twice the speed of the rest of the segments combined, so there are clearly opportunities," said Robertson. "That opens opportunities, some of which may surprise you. The Countryman is 4m 17cm and when we launched it we were very conscious that we had to remain true to the Mini brand. But sales of 100,000 Countrymans a year show that it has been a success, and that we are capable of more.

"I do think there is a size limit. I'm not sure we could sell a 5m Mini. But so long as we remain true to the principles of it being very much an urban car, with a good turning circle, a decent size to park and so on then I think there are areas we can explore."

Robertson again played down the potential for selling cars smaller than the standard Mini, however. A two-seat Mini Rocketman concept was previously revealed to a warm reception, but Robertson stressed that the need to base it on an all-new platform was prohibitively costly.

"Shorter than the standard car is possible, but we haven't found a solution to make the business case," he said. "It would have to be another platform entirely, and that's not an easy thing to do. But never say never."

Our Verdict

The Mini Countryman represents the biggest stretch yet for Mini – for the car and the brand

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25 November 2013
What came after the Maxi? The 1800, then the 3 litre. And they still can't produce a mini (or genuine) Mini.

26 November 2013
[quote=rmcondo]What came after the Maxi? The 1800, then the 3 litre. And they still can't produce a mini (or genuine) Mini.[/quote] +1 So even more ugly overweight and inefficient models to come.I wonder how long we will have to wait for a large SUV or saloon with a Mini badge??

26 November 2013
[quote=Flash Harry][quote=rmcondo]What came after the Maxi? The 1800, then the 3 litre. And they still can't produce a mini (or genuine) Mini.[/quote] +1 So even more ugly overweight and inefficient models to come.I wonder how long we will have to wait for a large SUV or saloon with a Mini badge??[/quote] They are not exactly overweight. The Countryman Cooper S All4 Auto I have weighs 1450kg which though not exactly feather weight is not exactly heavy for something with 4wd, an auto and all the mod cons. (it weighs the same as a mk4 Golf 4motion for example) It does blunt the performance a bit of the S engine compare to the standard MINI. You can get 40mpg out of it but the car does encourage you to drive quicker (If you haven't driven a 'BINI' of any flavour you wont know what I mean) So my average commute is around 30mpg. Obviously this would be better with a manual (or the newest auto boxes) rather than the old Aisin tq convertor it currently has. I personally wouldn't mind it be slightly bigger, Nissan Cashcow size for example but for it to keep some of the MINI's handling as I find the current crop of crossovers are a bit soft. People need to get over this obsession with MINI meaning it has to be small. Its a manufacturers name. The fact is they made the MINI smallish and then poeple winged about boot space and having cramped rear space, they make it slighty bigger and then people winge about it being bigger. People don't have a go at Ford for not looking like a small stream crossing or Jaguar not looking like a spotted cat. Everyone who has been in my Countryman have been impressed with the car itself and amazed at how limpit like it handles (rides dreadfully though but I am putting that down to the runflats which will hopefully be cured at the first tyre change) Im not a MINI fan by any means or a badge fan on the whole I would quite happily have a KIA or an Audi or a Skoda. Its what ever fills my needs at the time. I can guarantee that 99% of people have never had a proper look at the Countryman or driven one. (Though I have to agree the new Paceman is even more challenging to like)

26 November 2013
[quote=Flash Harry][quote=rmcondo]What came after the Maxi? The 1800, then the 3 litre. And they still can't produce a mini (or genuine) Mini.[/quote] +1 So even more ugly overweight and inefficient models to come.I wonder how long we will have to wait for a large SUV or saloon with a Mini badge??[/quote] You never know, they might come up with a wedge shaped one and call it Ambassador. Or Miniiiiiii

26 November 2013
[quote=rmcondo]What came after the Maxi? The 1800, then the 3 litre. And they still can't produce a mini (or genuine) Mini.[/quote] Cretinous. You want them to follow BL strategy? Sure, maybe more powerful unions would help too. These are BMWs. Change your thinking.

25 November 2013
1 - This story sounds a bit like someone at Mini testing the waters/ preparing the public for some bigger Minis that have already been rumoured, and are, by now, probably heading for production. The Mini Sedan and SpaceBox MPV for example. 2 - They could use someone elses platform. If PSA hadn't gotten into bed with GM they could have used the 108/C1/Aygo platform ( they're in business with Toyota too ) and made a real Mini.

25 November 2013
Saw a Paceman yesterday for the first time. A truly dreadful thing, as if the makers were saying "If you thought the Countryman was appalling, just look how bad we can get"! Both have the same knack of looking worse in reality than in photographs. German stylists just don't seem to be able to steer a decent course between boring on the one hand and gopping on the other. Please BMW/MINI, if you must extend your range ad infinitum, get your stylists elsewhere than in the Fatherland. On reflection, better include the U.S. in the interdict.

25 November 2013
[quote=Flatus senex]Saw a Paceman yesterday for the first time. A truly dreadful thing, as if the makers were saying "If you thought the Countryman was appalling, just look how bad we can get"! Both have the same knack of looking worse in reality than in photographs. German stylists just don't seem to be able to steer a decent course between boring on the one hand and gopping on the other. Please BMW/MINI, if you must extend your range ad infinitum, get your stylists elsewhere than in the Fatherland. On reflection, better include the U.S. in the interdict.[/quote] Perhaps it is time they had a word with Pininfarina.

 

I'm a disillusioned former Citroëniste.

26 November 2013
I wish instead of stretching the range to try to enter the Chelsea Tractor market, that they instead focused on making a small car, a proper Mini. Something in the Ford Ka/Fiat 500 class, but with more character and performance. Comparing mini's to VW Golf's is understandable given the heritage of both, but VW have the UP in the micro category now. A Micro Mini Cooper to take on the UP GT would be interesting.

26 November 2013
[quote=Arabdeen]I wish instead of stretching the range to try to enter the Chelsea Tractor market, that they instead focused on making a small car, a proper Mini. Something in the Ford Ka/Fiat 500 class, but with more character and performance. Comparing mini's to VW Golf's is understandable given the heritage of both, but VW have the UP in the micro category now. A Micro Mini Cooper to take on the UP GT would be interesting.[/quote] The current Mk2 Mini is in the Fiat 500 class. The Fiestas etc are quite a bit bigger. The the Fiat 500 is getting bigger with the XL's etc and to be honest I think MINI are doing a better job of going bigger compared to the bloated mess of the 500XL (even though that seems to get a lot less grief for going away from the original 500 template) The standard MINI is nowhere near the size to be compared to the golf even the countryman has a smaller foot print than a Golf. I wouldn't be surprised if the next standard 500 goes up in size as all cars are doing. And the fact the MINI 3 is going up in size I would be surprised if they didn't bring something out smaller in the future. People keep saying they want something smaller, say Up size but I have to say I haven't seen many Up's. Aygo's etc by the bucket load but a premium small car will always struggle. How many IQ's have you seen lately? What people say they want and will actually buy are two different things. People just seem to want to be all doughy eyed about the original. There are plenty of the original Mini's still about but how many do you see? Hardly any as they are uncomfortable, slow, ride dreadfully, noisy and dangerous if involved in a crash. I'm sure no one would buy something like that nowadays.

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