Mini mulling a major product shakeup and some models may disappear

Article by Christian A., on April 9, 2013

In the next few years, several Mini models will get to the end of their life cycle. This implies that at this point, the lineup of BMW's Mini small-car division will be shaken up. It’s possible that several existing models won’t be replaced. When interviewed by Edmunds, Jim McDowell, vice president of Mini USA, said its core models are the Cooper Hardtop and the Cooper Countryman, making up around 75% of sales.

Mini sales in the U.S. in 2012 reached a record 66,200 units. Of this figure, nearly 50,000 units were of these two models. McDowell said that when the brand begins to replace models, it will become apparent that not all models will get exact replacements.

Mini’s current lineup in the U.S. is comprised of the Cooper Hardtop, Coupe, Convertible and Clubman, the Roadster, Paceman and Countryman. The next generation of Minis will be built on the same front-wheel-drive platform that BMW is working on for another vehicle linup. The Hardtop, which is the first Mini model to be built on the new platform, is set to go on sale in March 2014.

It’s believed that the new front-drive platform will be used on a combined 11 models for Mini and BMW. It’s also expected that BMW's first front-drive vehicle will be based on the Concept Active Tourer, a subcompact crossover. Industry insiders say that production will start in about a year. At around this time, the first new-generation Mini is slated to go on sale.

Ever since it was launched two years ago, the MINI Countryman has turned into the driving force and power behind the brand's continuous growth.

Incorporating MINI's distinct values and qualities into a whole new vehicle segment has earned for the company new target groups to the brand's unmistakable style. The Countryman is MINI's first model to offer an all-wheel drive -- benefitting from extensive modifications that also enhanced the allure of unlimited driving fun.

The car features retailed refinements to its existing design as well as a selection of great materials for the interior, making it unrivaled in its segment. Moreover, the spacious five-door car boasts an optimized ease of use that highlights its modern practicality.

The modified MINI Countryman will be rolled out in November 2012, across all model variants.

Once you open the front door, the car's newly designed rings that encircle the Centre Speedo and its four air vents stand out immediately. These rings will come in Carbon Black and the inner ring will come in in high-gloss black or in chrome (as part of the Chrome Line Interior option). The fresh appeal of the rings' colors and materials lend luster to the car interior's high-quality character.

The car's newly designed door inserts help enhance its premium ambience, practicality and comfort. The remodeled armrests on the door provide added support and comfort for the arms, and the buttons for the electric windows can now be found in the door trim. Moreover, a full control panel is set into the armrest on the driver's door. The switches clustered on this control panel also include the buttons for all the windows, as well as for the rear windows' deactivation facility and for the adjustment of the exterior mirrors. The window control was moved away from the center panel, therefore optimizing access to the spacious storage compartment right below it.

The MINI Countryman is standard, complete with a three-seat bench at the rear. Two individual seats are going to be available as an alternative.

Other than changes in the interior trim elements, the range of interior colors, and color lines, there will also be add-ons to the exterior paint finish options. These new additions include Blazing Red metallic and Brilliant Copper metallic. The equipment packages offered to customers in order to help them customize their MINI Countryman will also be restructured.

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