► Baby Mini Minor due 2018/19
► In collaboration with Toyota
► The four key challenges it faces
We revealed last month how BMW is planing to take Mini back to its small-car roots with a radically shrunken city car, dubbed the Mini Minor. Click here for our original scoop.
The baby car will continue where the Rocketman concept car left off and is slated for a launch in 2018/19 – with the assistance of Toyota, with whom BMW is collaborating on the baby Mini.
It’s heartening news for many enthusiasts who rue the day Mini went on a growth spurt. But the news poses many follow-up questions. Here we look at the big issues raised by Mini’s tiny tot.
Why does BMW not simply derive the Minor from a shortened Mini platform?
Because this components set may be fit to accommodate a 4500mm MiniVan, but it is too complex, too heavy and not sufficiently space-efficient for anything shorter than 3750mm. For exactly this reason, the proposed BMW City car (project Joy) had to be abandoned.
Why is the Mini Minor not part of project i, like the i3?
Financial controlling would never allow it, we hear. Even BMW’s own tentative all-electric i1 microcar was shot down by the bean counters before it reached the pre-development stage.
Why is the Minor not twinned with the next-generation Toyota iQ?
Because there won’t be a follow-up to the truncated Toyota 2+1 city car. While a Mini that’s even shorter than the 1959 car might have its charm, the notoriously slow-selling iQ is going to bite the dust before long.
Why is the much-talked-about MiniVan no longer in the running?
Because its future is now uncertain. Based on the 2-series Active Tourer, Mini had indeed prepared a good-looking people mover which was tipped for production until the new regime under Peter Schwarzenbauer stepped in. The MiniVan has since been relegated to a so-called ‘joker’ status – which is another way of saying that it will only become the fifth superhero in case the Starlet/Minor deal falls through.