When BMW offers the all-new Mk3 Mini hatchback in early 2013, it will have five doors, according to Autocar. This family-friendly version is BMW’s response to demands for a practical Mini that drivers with young children will appreciate. There were rumors that Clubman-style ‘suicide’ doors will be used on the new Mini but then, the new model will use two conventionally hinged rear doors. BMW engineers were able to fit them into the sub-4m-long car by extending the wheelbase of the five-door car slightly and by cutting short its front doors. But even with these measures, the rear doors cut right around the rear wheel arches and close up against the C-pillars.
Even if an adult will find that accessing the rear is a bit tight, the main purpose of the rear doors is believed to be for kids to easily get in. In addition, it would be easier for the driver and front passenger to enter and get out of tight spaces because of the shortened front doors. The five-door version of the Mk3 Mini, which is codenamed F56, will arrive alongside the three-door hatchback as the first of the new-generation Mini models to be launched.
Presently, BMW engineers are placing the last touches to both body styles, such as a three-door Cooper S version. Entry-level and mid-range models, including the Cooper versions, will be powered by BMW’s new turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine. This highly advanced unit, which has a direct relation to the new 3-series’ N20 four-cylinder engine, will offer much better economy and emissions. It’s believed that the recently refreshed four-cylinder ‘Prince’ engine will be used on the Cooper S and JCW versions.