MINI’s top executive Peter Schwarzenbauer has made it clear the brand won’t launch a model smaller than the current Hardtop, ending speculation that a production version of 2011’s Rocketman concept will be launched. Only a couple of months ago there were reports claiming MINI was looking to develop a new minicar platform with Toyota that could underpin the new mini MINI.
However, Schwarzenbauer ruled out MINI launching a model smaller than the Hardtop when quizzed about the car by media prior to an investor meeting being held by parent company BMW this week.
“I don’t see a smaller car than the current one,” he said.
According to Automotive News (subscription required), Schwarzenbauer also said that a production version of MINI’s Superleggera Vision concept from 2014 is yet to be approved, contradicting a recent report that the green light for the car had been given. He did concede that he was “pushing” for approval of it. If built, the new car would serve as the replacement for both the Coupe and Roadster models, which are being phased out this year.
Finally, Schwarzenbauer confirmed that a battery-powered MINI was planned, as electric cars are particularly suited to the MINI brand as the cars are mostly driven in urban areas. The biggest hurdle, he said, was finding space to store a large enough battery.