According to Britain’s Autocar, recently appointed Mini boss, Bernd Körber, conceived that the standard issue three-door hatch has grown too much compared to previous iterations, and that efforts are underway to make the next generation proportionally more compact.
“We are having proportion and design discussions at the moment. The task now is to design it. In three to four years, I’d like to see the start of the next generation. Hopefully in the next generation, we can make it even more compact, back to where Mini comes from,” he told the publication at the recent Frankfurt Motor Show.
While Körber didn’t respond to a claim by motoringfile.com last year that the three-door and cabriolet models are being discontinued due to declining sales and SUV popularity, he did confirm that a new flagship version of the latter is being planned above the Countryman.
Accordingly, the yet-as-unnamed SUV could revive the Traveller designation, but it will be significantly bigger than the Countryman without infringing on the BMW X3 or X5.
“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,” Körber said.
“We can stretch the interpretation of Mini always being the smallest but I can’t imagine being bigger in a segment. We need to fulfil a requirement on size”.
At present, the fourth generation’s model line-up will consist out of the three-and-five-door hatch, the cabriolet, Clubman and Countryman, likely to be underpinned by the FAAR platform that debuted with the new 1 Series.
Up front, the range of engine will include petrol, plug-in hybrid and all-electric units with the latter set to be offered only on the three-door. Set to be retained are the One, Cooper, Cooper S and at a later stage, possibly the John Cooper Works monikers.