BMW and Toyota may jointly develop entry-level MINI

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 2, 2015

BMW Group and Toyota Motor Corp. may further their cooperation pact to include the joint development of the Mini Minor, according to a report by Autobild auto magazine. The report added that Toyota could roll out its own version of the Minor, which may be named the Starlet. Autobild also reported about the cooperation negotiations between the two carmakers.

The Minor would be an entry-level model that would be smaller and less expensive than the brand’s core three-door hatchback model. It would be derived from the Mini Rocketman Concept shown at the 2011 Geneva Auto Show, and would measure 3450mm long, 370mm shorter than the core model. It would be nearly EUR4,000 cheaper than the three-door Mini hatch at a sticker price of about EUR13,500.

According to the report, BMW is expected to offer an electric version of the Mini Minor once its rolls out the first conventional models 2018 or 2019. Mini is adding and at the same time trimming models on its lineup as part of its bid to become profitable.

The brand is seen to drop three weak-selling models -- the Coupe, Roadster and Paceman. The cooperation between BMW and Toyota commenced in 2011, working on diesel engines.

The alliance has since then included fuel cell and battery cell technology, lightweight materials as well as the joint development of an architecture and components for a sports car.

Topics: bmw, toyota, mini

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