Toyota, BMW Working On Entry-Level MINI Minor Model

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
toyota bmw working on entry level mini minor model

Been waiting for a MINI that actually lives up to its name? Toyota and BMW are working on such a thing, called the Minor.

Automobile Magazine reports the Minor is in the earliest phases of development, and would likely pull its looks from the 2012 Rocketman concept and the current Paceman crossover. Pricing would range between $14,500 and $16,000.

As far as platforms go, the two automakers are going all in on a “bargain basement effort” for the Minor — including a reduction in size and content — instead of using a similarly sized platform like that of the Toyota Aygo, BMW preferring the Minor to not be a badge-engineered product developed and assembled elsewhere.

The new MINI would be one of five new models coming into the portfolio between now and 2018, including an all-new 2016 Countryman and a Superleggera roadster for 2018.

Join the conversation
10 of 57 comments
  • Slow kills Slow kills on Jan 27, 2015

    What kind of awful automatic transmission will they poison this with?

    • Bosozoku Bosozoku on Jan 30, 2015

      An 11-speed, dual-clutch unit co-developed by FCA and Lada. It will also be shared with the 2018 PT Cruiser revival and related Jeep Minigade subcompact.

  • Thornmark Thornmark on Jan 27, 2015

    >>Pricing would range between $14,500 and $16,000.

    • See 1 previous
    • Vulpine Vulpine on Jan 28, 2015

      "THe orig BMW "Mini" debuted w/ a $16k base in the US." -- Really? Would you believe I never saw ONE Mini advertised for less than $27K when they arrived? Even the 'New Beetle' from VW sold for no less than $30K during its entire product run here. (I'll admit I don't know what the 'squashed' Beetle is selling for now.) Based on the descriptions however, I think this $16-$17K starting point is quite realistic as it's sole purpose is to give the Fiat 500 some legitimate competition.

  • Richard Richard on Jan 28, 2015

    I looked up the Mini and Minor naming. In the intervening years the naming system has been forgotten. "Minor" refers to a larger car (my mum had one). There was never a Mini Minor. The mistake being made here is analogous to naming a BMW the 3-series 5 (and having the car smaller than the standard 3-series. Put another way, the Morris Minor is to the Morris Mini what a 5 is to a 3, namely bigger. I presume they'll rethink this one. Thanks Mr Gordon for pointing this out.

  • Richard Richard on Jan 28, 2015

    Thanks for that link Allythom. Right. I throw my hands up in the air. On the one side, for most of the time there was a Morris Mini and Morris Minor, two separate cars. For some of the time the marketing geniuses at BMC sold the thing we call the Mini (or Austin 7) as the Morris Mini-Minor. That really makes little sense to me and does seem in itself like a kind of mis-step that is not worth repeating. As I struggle to see it, the BMC people were linking the Mini to the Minor by implying the Mini was a smaller version of the Minor? I can´t fathom this any more than some of the wierd shifts in models and trim variants at GM over the years where the Oldsmobile Bodge gets a trim level called Bodge Elite which then becomes its own car, the Oldsmobile Bodge which is related to a smaller platform than the Olds Bodge or Olds Bodge Elite. I should have stayed away from this one. Except: does Toyota really need to platform share with BMW and does BMW really need to platform share with Toyota? This links across to the thread about when BMW stopped being "cool". Isn´t platform sharing with Toyota the final nail in the coffin of BMW´s image as an elite maker of special cars for the non-mainstream? I shall bury forever my mental image of the BMW as being related to the 1982-1991 E-30 or the 88-96 5-series.

    • See 1 previous
    • Allythom Allythom on Jan 28, 2015

      @CJinSD That certainly makes sense. British Leyland repeated this trick in 1980 when they launched the purported successor to the Mini, the Austin miniMetro, which later dropped the 'mini' part of its name when it became clear that the Mini wasn't going anywhere, and then later again dropped the Austin part to be badged just Metro. In the end the Mini outlasted the Metro, production of the 'classic' Mini ended in 2000, by which time the Metro name had been dead for 5 years.