By on May 15, 2017

2017 Mini Cooper S Countryman All4 front – Image: Mini USA

Forget all about a Mini sedan, roadster, or even an extra-small two-seat hatchback. The British automaker isn’t having any of it.

Despite earlier reports to the contrary, Mini has no immediate plans to diversify its current lineup, preferring to wait until the next-generation Mini rolls along before going nuts (if indeed it ever does). In the meantime, are you interested in a crossover or near-crossover?

The automaker confirmed to Top Gear that the existing two-and four-door Cooper, Convertible, Clubman and Countryman will remain the only animals in the Mini stable until early next decade. That’s when a fourth-generation Cooper should appear, possibly with new siblings.

By turning off the lights in the product development room, Mini has shattered hopes of anyone getting their hands on a production Superleggera Roadster. That would-be model bowed in 2014 as a svelte electric concept vehicle. Also off the table is a two-seat micro Mini, first envisioned as the 2011 Rocketman concept.

But hey, who’s interested in a John Cooper Works Countryman?

Mini made headlines last year after its vice-president of product development, Ralph Mahler, suggested a small sedan would make good business sense in high-volume markets. That immediately drew cries of disgust from Peter Schwarzenbauer, the BMW Group board member in charge of the brand. While he said he couldn’t rule it out, Schwarzenbauer said the thought of a sedan residing among Mini’s ranks caused him to fear for the brand’s identity.

According to a company source who spoke with Top Gear, the economics weren’t working in favor of either the Rocketman or Superleggera. Even if fitted with a conventional powerplant, the sports car market remains too niche for Mini to bother with. As well, a two-seater mini Mini wouldn’t actually be that much smaller than the existing Cooper.

The other end of the market — the large, spacious, all-wheel-drive end — doesn’t have the same profit margin issues as the small side, though few would argue the Countryman is a key part of the brand’s heritage.

[Image: Mini USA]

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18 Comments on “Mini Draws Line, Won’t Build Any New Models – For a While, Anyway...”


  • avatar
    nlinesk8s

    How about you generate repeat sales by making cars that have something resembling reliability?

    • 0 avatar
      Rnaboz

      As far as repeat sales go, when I ordered mine from the factory, I KNEW it was my last car for at least 10 years. 30k cash and no payments for 10 years. As for reliability, 51k miles in four years, new brakes and rotors $1200. That is a mere $25 per month. Bargain!

      • 0 avatar
        Windy

        I bought my cooperS in Feb of 2004 and I also paid cash on the nail and after 13 years total parts and labor is under $400 (pot holes in Maine did for the right front sport suspension twice) so far in 150,000 miles still does not use oil between the 5000 mile changes I need to replace the winter sand damaged windshield this year and thats it…. The first car I ever ordered from the factory with just the options I wanted (and waited 3 months for it)as I knew it would be a keeper… so unless i am in an accident and the insurance company writes it off I plan to keep it until a major item like rebuild the 6 sopped or it eats a valve It is my forever car…. and it is still a lot of fun to drive

      • 0 avatar
        FerrariLaFerrariFace

        $1200 for brake pads and rotors? And you call that a bargain? Sounds like you got hosed to me. You could have saved the majority of that by doing that easy job yourself, or at least shopping it around.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    They are funky cars and that is a good thing to me but gotta agree they stories I hear about the cash to keep one running makes it a non starter for me.

  • avatar
    honda1

    I’m sure I will get flamed for this, but i’m pretty sure mini has run its course, at least in the US.

    • 0 avatar
      oleladycarnut

      Regional MINI car clubs have fanatic members. US sales of MINI are down, but this is a cult car with a rabid following. I adore my MINI and she will never leave my nest.

  • avatar
    grrr

    I expect they’ll spend their R&D money on an eletric and or hybrid drivetrain; and in many cities, Mini styling and a drivetrain which can compete with the Chevy Bolt would be a sure-fire winner.

  • avatar
    icarus_

    I know it’s a sample size of 1, but my 2003 MC S was VERY reliable, and a fantastic car.

    I kept it for 12 years, when I looked at getting a new car what kept me away from another mini was not the reliability (although I know others who have had more issues) it was the way minis have evolved since the 2002 relaunch.

    When I bought mine new, it kinda blew the doors off of everything under 50k when it came to features. 6 Airbags in 2003? A 6-speed manual? A unique styling, small size and an era of MASSIVE SUV’s, interesting interior. Competitive power, and handling and drive feel that was on par or better than all the hot hatches/cheaper sports cars of the era. I felt like I was driving a car from the future for the first few years I owned it. I remember being 100% confident that there was not another car I should have bought at the time.

    No days, Mini’s are fat and heavy. Power has not risen much. They are larger. The design is less cohesive, and the price is sky high. So what do you get now? Not design… just style and trend.

    As much as I loved my old one, the new ones as not as sporty as a sports car or hot hatch. They are not as serene as a entry-lux sedan, or as capable as the WRX/GTI/Focus ST (or STI/R/RS for that matter since the mini quickly get’s into that price bracket).

    I hope they can turn it around, I really do. Until then they have lost at least 1 faithful mini fan.

    • 0 avatar
      dividebytube

      My wife’s 03 MCS – at 89k miles – has been quite reliable and will remain in the stable as a third car. It eats a little oil (leak) but is still such a fun and engaging car. My ’09 Clubman S is just not as fun. The turbocharger has some nice bottom end torque but doesn’t spin high like the ’03 does. And the handling of the Clubman feels numb in comparison. The Clubman also feels like they did some cost cutting. It just doesn’t feel as solid as the ’03.

      But yeah, the latest Minis do very little for me. For the money they aren’t competitive to the VW GTI, the Ford Focus/Fiesta STs, and some other offerings I’m probably forgetting. The Mini brand does look iconic though and age really well, which is one thing they have going.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    So no Mini pickup in the near future.

  • avatar
    SuperCarEnthusiast

    The Minis are so small comparative to other crossovers and they are so, so overprice too!

  • avatar
    Tstag

    We are on our second Mini and like the first one we’ve had no problems with it although we are now on our third recall. Can anyone validate that reliability issues as it’s not something I’ve heard of? Mind you didn’t the last Mini have an engine made by Chrysler? Maybe that’s where any reliability problems came in?

    With regards to the the sports car they should forget a Mini branded version. Make a Triumph instead and then launch bigger Triumph branded cars with Mini charm.

    • 0 avatar
      dividebytube

      My ’09 Clubman S bought used with 58k miles, now at 65k:

      High oil consumption from the turbo (a known issue)
      Water pump needed replacement
      Steering pump issue
      bad spark plugs with loose ceramic (a known issue?)
      leaking from the sunroof drain (fixed myself) which caused a lot of electrical issues

      The dealership – which flat out lied about some of the fixes needed, like perfectly good brakes – wanted between $6k-$8 to fix these issues. I found a local mechanic who did everything for $1700.

      I haven’t had the known timing chain guide issues – perhaps taken care of by a previous owner? – but the Prince engines aren’t known to be the most reliable there.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    I believe it is time to start the ‘Mini Death Watch’. This brand has no relevance anymore, except for a small handful. 5k per month or less is not enough for BMW to keep this charade up, especially as R&D dollars become more scarce and therefore more precious as car sales slow.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    Its time to go even further back to the future with a new line based on the styling of the beloved Morris Minor – we need a new Traveller with real wood trim.

  • avatar
    slap

    Daughter wanted a MINI – she wanted one before she could even drive. But out of college for a couple of years, she realized she couldn’t afford to get a car with questionable reliability. So she got a MX-5, and MINI lost a potential sale.


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