MINI is hard at work developing the third-generation of its iconic hatchback in time for launch at the end of 2012, spy shots of the Cooper version you can see by clicking here
. Based on a new front-wheel drive platform dubbed UKL, the new MINI is expected to spawn up to 10 different models, one of which is expected to be a MPV-styled van.
We’ve previously reported on comments from BMW Group boss Norbert Reithofer suggesting that MINI would eventually launch up to 10 different models
, and now Autocar
is reporting that one of these will be an MPV that could revive the ‘Traveller’ badge.
The original Mini Traveller, or Morris Mini-Minor Traveller officially, was a smallish van that in some generations even came with bolted-on wood body parts, and MINI may stick with the traditional name just as it did with the Clubman and Countryman that was borrowed from the original Austin-Morris lineup.
Importantly, the new UKL platform the latest MINI will ride is also capable of an all-wheel drive configuration, which means we’re likely to see more all-wheel drive MINIs than just the Countryman in the future. One of these will be a sporty three-door crossover designed as a successor to the production MINI Paceman
due out towards the end of this year.
Most of the new MINIs will be powered by BMW’s new three-cylinder engines
, which should deliver comparable performance to the four-cylinder engines found in today’s MINI lineup. Both gasoline and diesel units will be offered, all of them turbocharged.
A turbocharged four-cylinder unit producing up to 230 horsepower is expected remain, however, and feature in John Cooper Works variants. Additionally, a John Cooper Works version of the next-generation Countryman is also expected to be launched.
Finally, an electric version developed using insights gained from trials of the original MINI E
is also expected.
For more details on the third-generation MINI, as well as spy shots, click here for our previous post