BMW Group and Toyota Motor Corp. are holding talks over possible inclusion of the development of the Mini Minor entry-level car into the cooperation deal between the two carmakers, according to report by German auto magazine Autobild. The magazine said Toyota could also off its version of the model to be named as the Starlet.
The Minor will be derived from the Mini Rocketman concept unveiled at the 2011 Geneva auto show. The Minor will be around 14.5 inches shorter than the three-door hatch core model. It will be also almost EUR4,000 cheaper, at a sticker price of around EUR13,500. It remains unclear whether BMW Group would also sell the Mini Minor in the United States.
The Minor name was first given to its early versions built by the Morris brand in the early 1960s. The first conventionally powered Minors will be rolled out in either 2018 or 2019, and could be followed by an electric version.
The addition of the Minor will part of Mini’s move to restructure its product lineup, dropping weak-selling models while adding exciting ones. For instance, Mini is expected to drop three models that failed to perform well in terms of sale: the Coupe, Roadster and Paceman.
The alliance between BMW and Toyota come all the way back in 2011, reaching a deal to cooperate on diesel engines. Since then, collaboration has included works on fuel cell and battery cell technology, lightweight materials, joint development of a platform and components for a sports car.