Mini is significantly shaking up its model line-up this decade, with some familiar faces reportedly getting the axe but new vehicles joining the range.
The current combustion-powered hatchback range is set to receive a redesign in 2023 before the brand goes all-electric in 2030, while a new electric three-door hatchback will join the range riding a different platform.
The overhauled five-door hatchback’s design is said to be “much improved”, Mini design boss Oliver Heilmer told Autocar.
There’s no word on whether the imminent heavy update for the three- and five-door hatchbacks will be extended to the Clubman, and that model may soon disappear.
Autocar also reports the plug-in hybrid version of the Countryman won’t be replaced, though the next-generation crossover will continue to offer petrol and diesel variants.
These are all pieces in a much larger puzzle as Mini radically overhauls its model range.
The range will open with the aforementioned, petrol-powered three- and five-door hatchbacks, based on the FAAR platform that’s related to the UKL1 platform underpinning today’s smaller Minis.
A redesigned Convertible, also on this platform, is due in 2025.
The petrol hatches and convertible will reportedly be produced in Oxford in the UK.
The new electric three-door hatchback will reportedly use a unique platform and be produced as part of the Spotlight joint venture with Great Wall Motor in Zhangjiagang, China.
This platform will support the use of larger batteries than today’s Mini Electric.
A new electric crossover will slot in underneath the Countryman, and also comes from the Spotlight joint venture. It’ll reportedly be revealed this year.
The next-generation Countryman, due in 2023, will grow in size and offer a choice of petrol, diesel and electric powertrains, depending on the market. It’s expected to be previewed this year with a concept and will be built in Germany.
Mini is also set to introduce another premium compact car in an as-yet unrevealed segment, potentially based on the Vision Urbanaut concept.
If this all sounds a bit complicated, we’ve included this table below:
|3-Door Hatch||New generation on updated platform, expected 2023|
|5-Door Hatch||New generation on updated platform, expected 2023|
|Convertible||New generation on updated platform, due 2025|
|Electric 3-Door Hatch||New generation on unrelated new platform, expected 2023|
|Countryman||New, larger model due in 2023 with petrol, diesel, electric power|
|Unnamed smaller crossover||New model, expected to be revealed this year|
|Unspecified premium compact car||Launch timing unknown|
|Clubman||No replacement reported|
The last new Mini model with an internal-combustion engine will be released in 2025, and Mini says 50 per cent of its sales will be pure-electric by 2027.
Come 2030, every single Mini will be electric. That includes the performance-oriented John Cooper Works brand, which will live on with electric power.
The next-generation electric three-door hatchback has already been leaked completely undisguised, indicating we should expect to see it revealed soon.
Up front the new Mini features the brand’s signature round headlights. Unlike the first three generations of the New Mini, the bonnet doesn’t have a clamshell design and no longer fully encapsulates the headlight units.
There’s a new take on the familiar grille. This Cooper S features a black frame, but the majority of the “grille” is body colour with small visible gaps for engine cooling.
The new car’s profile follows the previous three generations with blacked out pillars giving the Mini a floating roof look, while the overhangs seem to be shorter than at present.
Innovations include a steeper rake for the front windscreen, and the use of lift-up door handles for the first time.
The most radical change has taken place at the rear, where the Mini’s signature rectangular tail-light cluster has been replaced by a new triangular design. Despite the change in shape, it looks as though the Mini will still be available with a Union Jack lighting signature.
A black strip across the tailgate serves to link up the lighting units, and also carries the model designation.
Stepping inside there’s a strikingly minimalist dashboard with, at least on this prototype, a fabric cover and a leatherette strap on the passenger’s side.
Keeping with today’s fashion the steering wheel has just two spokes. Ahead of the driver the instrumentation pod has been replaced by a head-up display.
In the centre of the dashboard is a large free-standing circular slab for the infotainment system with edge-to-edge glass. Underneath there’s a small elliptical pod with a line of physical knobs and switches.
Mini’s hatchback range is its best-selling in Australia, with 1866 sales in 2021.
The Countryman sat in second last year with 1148 sales, followed by the Clubman (342) and Convertible (223).