The fourth-gen BMW Mini range, due in 2022 or 2023, is also set to expand to include a new compact crossover model, as first revealed by Autocar recently.
Speaking to Autocar at the recent Frankfurt motor show, Mini boss Bernd Körber said he’d like to see Mini “grow in some aspects” while he’d also “love to see the core Mini shrink again”.
That latter point is currently the focus of the new car’s early development. There is an acknowledgement within the company that the core three-door hatchback has grown too large and its proportions lack the compact look of the earlier BMW-produced models, particularly around the front overhang.
Although it won’t dramatically shrink the car’s footprint, the altered proportions, particularly at the front, should give it a more compact look. Mini is also seeking to incorporate some of the packaging lessons learned from the Electric three-door hatch into the standard car, which will be offered with petrol and electric drivetrains in its next generation.
“We are having proportion and design discussions at the moment,” said Körber. “The task now is to design it. In three to four years, I’d like to see the start of the next generation.”
He added: “Hopefully in the next generation, we can make it even more compact, back to where Mini comes from.”
There will also be a “major step to the future and innovation” in the new Mini’s interior, with a greater focus on digital technology. However, the round centre console will remain a part of the design.
It will grow to also include a crossover model that’s larger than the Countryman. The crossover could revive the Traveller name and the electric version will be twinned with the next-generation BMW i3, as previously reported by Autocar.
Regarding the crossover, Körber said that although “it would be hard to imagine a Mini the size of a BMW X3 or X5”, there is a need in the next-generation Mini range “to address the growth in SUVs and look at if we need a compact SUV”.
He added: “The Countryman is a very small SUV. In the US and China, there are certain needs. We will look at a compact SUV in the next generation. There are lots of benefits with a car like that for urban use. For me, it’s a good match.”