As we reported earlier this month, Mini will focus on five “superhero” models that will help reshape the brand. But a new report casts doubt on whether Mini will bring out a compact sedan as one of its bread-and-butter offerings.
Speaking with Automotive News, Mini boss Peter Schwarzenbauer said, “If you look at the global industry and ask me which segment is the most interesting on a volume basis, it is clearly the compact sedan. But does a compact sedan fit the Mini brand? I don’t think so.”
Still, the automaker isn’t ruling out a small sedan completely. Schwarzenbauer noted he has seen proposals for such a car but hasn’t come across anything that fits the brand.
Mini says bringing the Superleggera concept to life presents an entirely different problem. While the roadster fits the brand’s image, it makes for a tough business case. Schwarzenbauer quelled rumors that the Superlegerra could use the aluminum chassis and electric powertrain from the BMW i3, saying the all-electric box car was never made with an architecture that it could share with Mini.
In fact, Mini currently has no plans for a pure EV, Schwarzenbauer said. Plug-in hybrids, however, are possible. “Should we get to the stage when big cities say ‘downtown you’re only allowed to drive electrically,’ we need to make sure Mini can offer that,” he said.
The Superleggera will likely get a plug-in hybrid powertrain. Meanwhile, Mini hinted we won’t see a small vehicle based on the Rocketman concept anytime soon, given that the brand doesn’t have an architecture it could use for the car.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)