As recently as last year the boss of the BMW Group Norbert Reithofer said he could imagine the MINI lineup consisting of 10 separate models
. After all, with the introduction of the 2013 MINI Paceman
at next week’s 2012 Paris Auto Show, MINI’s tally of vehicles will have already grown to seven.
For the record, the lineup includes the regular Cooper and Cooper Convertible, Cooper Clubman, and Cooper Countryman, as well as the more recent Cooper Coupe and Cooper Roadster and latest Paceman.
That leaves us with three more possibilities. MINI did give us a preview of one more possibility with the unveiling of the Rocketman concept
, a mini-MINI ideal for urban environments. However, due to cost and safety concerns, there are claims the production version has been canned
Another possibility is a MPV version thought to be in the very early stages of testing. Strange test mules of a slightly larger MINI
have been spotted in Germany, leading many to suggest a revival of the Traveller name.
That still leaves us with a couple of question marks. However, helping to fill in the gaps are some comments made by recently appointed MINI brand board member Harald Kreuger. Speaking with Inside Line
, Kreuger said some new models being considered include another crossover bigger than the Countryman, a sports car and even a sedan.
He also said that a model smaller than the current Cooper was still possible, though it would not be based on the Rocketman due to the design being too costly to implement.
The proposed MINI sedan, meanwhile, would be targeted at customers in China which could soon overtake the U.S. to become MINI’s top market. The original Mini had its own sedan variants, of course. Who could forget the Wolseley Hornet and Riley Elf models.
Of most interest to us is the sports car, which MINI sees as being designed along the lines of the original Mazda MX-5 Miata, something light and with great handling.