Get Ready, a Mini Sedan Could Be on the Way

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Executives at Mini are busy mulling what to introduce next, and it’s increasingly looking like that model will have a trunk.

Unlike a car modeled after a young man wearing a backward ballcap, a sedan is a logical addition to the brand’s future lineup, and comments made to Autocar by Ralph Mahler, vice-president of product development, make it clear there’s a serious business case for a three-box Mini.

Speaking about different markets and consumer demand, Mahler said, “For example, in Asia and the US, the sedan segment is very big. This is very interesting to us, of course.”

If produced, the sedan would join a group of five core models for Mini, which is tightening up its product strategy in an effort to boost sales, especially in the U.S.

The two- and four-door Cooper hatchbacks, convertible and lengthened Clubman are three of Mini’s new sales warriors, while the revamped (and enlarged) Countryman SUV is due out later this year. That leaves a fairly obvious slot unoccupied, unless you’re one of the few that thinks the world is ready for a Mini pickup (but wouldn’t that be cute?).

A Mini sedan isn’t unprecedented. Older ex-pats might recall the Riley Elf and Wolseley Hornet — both were Mini-based two-door sedans produced by the British Motor Company (BMC) starting in 1961. The models were dropped in 1969 after the dismal British-Leyland days began.

Mini owner BMW still holds the rights to the Riley name following its purchase of British-Leyland’s cast-offs (Rover Group) in the 1990s. Theoretically, the name could return as a specific model, and not a brand, though few people in the U.S. would have an emotional connection to it.

There’s no word on when Mini will announce its fifth core model, but with the fourth due out this fall, you’d think the company would want to be able to describe (at that time) what model customers can expect next.

[Images: Top, Mini; Riley Elf, Charles01 ( GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0)/ Wikimedia Commons]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Sector 5 Sector 5 on Apr 13, 2016

    Fug the Kestrel-sedan revamp. Howz about a Mini Moke reboot for the Cali crowd? Or even a MINI based commercial?

  • Zipper69 Zipper69 on Apr 14, 2016

    I was in the UK when the original Mini was created (factoid: it was briefly advertised as the "Austin Se7en" and the "Morris Mini-Minor"). The Riley and Wolseley variants came a while later when they were trying to turn a profit (the original barely did)and figured the respected middle class brands might pull in hesitant buyers. That being said, for the purist, a Mini should have two doors, four forward gears and FWD. The bloated Euromobiles bearing the label are sailing under false colors !

  • James Hendricks The depreciation on the Turbo S is going to be epic!
  • VoGhost Key phrase: "The EV market has grown." Yup, EV sales are up yet again, contrary to what nearly every article on the topic has been claiming. It's almost as if the press gets 30% of ad revenues from oil companies and legacy ICE OEMs.
  • Leonard Ostrander Daniel J, you are making the assertion. It's up to you to produce the evidence.
  • VoGhost I remember all those years when the brilliant TTAC commenters told me over and over how easy it was for legacy automakers to switch to making EVs, and that Tesla was due to be crushed by them in just a few months.
  • D "smaller vehicles" - sorry, that's way too much common sense! Americans won't go along because clever marketing convinced us our egos need big@ss trucks, which give auto manufacturers the profit margin they want, and everybody feels vulnerable now unless they too have a huge vehicle. Lower speed limits could help, but no politician wants to push that losing policy. We'll just go on building more lanes and driving faster and faster behind our vehicle's tinted privacy glass. Visions of Slim Pickens riding a big black jacked up truck out of a B-52.
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