The Mini Clubman may not remain the largest model produced by the firm in future, according to its senior vice president Sebastian Mackensen.
The new Clubman is 158mm longer, 10mm wider and 119mm lower than the largest of the existing Mini models, the Countryman, facts that have drawn ire from traditional fans of the marque, who argue that the growth in size is not in keeping with its brand values.
However, Mackensen cautioned: “I'm not sure who set the traditional size limits for what a Mini should be? Mini doesn't have to mean small in size. We shouldn't limit ourselves, although I would add that I wouldn't expect anything larger from us anytime soon.
“Personally, I believe that a Mini is more than just a car. There are brand lines set by traditionalists and historic customers and I respect that but at the same time the world moves on. Things develop in every walk of life.
“Sometimes in life you get used to something and then it moves on. Habit can be hard to challenge, but when you get used to the new thing you can often see new benefits as you adapt.”
Mackensen also said that customers and potential customers would be listened to before any larger models are launched. “Above all, I also believe that the interpretation of what a Mini is should lie with the customers,” he said.
It's already known that Mini is working on a replacement for the current Countryman, which is planned to take the form of an 'authentic' SUV.