The all new third generation of the BMW Mini is just twelve months away from the launch and is promising interesting enhancement in the handling, quality and performance. The new upcoming Mini family can comprise of about as many as eleven new models is in accordance with the BMW’s UKL1 plan that comprises of a front wheel drive platform that is aimed to reduce factory cost and increase the quality.
BMW has already confirmed that about 23 different models may be produced. If the estimates of auto analysts are believed, by year 2020 BMW will be selling more than 980,000 vehicles under the BMW and Mini brand name.
All the existing Mini models will be replaced and about three new models will be revealed. This will also be including new Traveler, which is a sporty Mini MPV based on the BMW concept Active Tourer. Another vehicle on the drawing board is a luxury saloon aimed for Asian markets. The styling of the new MK3 range has also been closely related with the Mini Rocketman concept.
The most exciting model can be the Mini Newcomer with unusual five-door which is intended to allow children a quick access to the rear seats. The existing MK3 family may also get few makeovers.
The new UKL1 platform will be bringing new dimensional flexibility as it comes in two different lengths and seat heights. BMW’s plans for the upcoming roadster may mean that automaker is trying to come up with the proper sports car based on the Roadster and Mini Coupe. The Countryman is also expected to transform into a SUV, quite different form the existing model that is basically a five-door supermini with some raised height. The Clubman is expected to grow some length and breadth so as to become more of like a sports estate. However, the much doubted Club Door layout may be sacked.
Other than the high performance models, all the other Minis will be powered by the three cylinder 1.5 litre engine that is available both in petrol and diesel. The engine will be mated with the six speed manual gearbox and another option of an efficient 8 speed automatic transmission.
BMW has also decided to offer more 4 wheel drive Minis in future. The demand for the four wheel drive models are rising quite rapidly so, manufacturers has to offer four wheel drive systems on all vehicle sizes. There is yet now news about the Mini Hybrid, it could have become popular in the US market but complexity and cost has ruled the model out for now.
To sustain this massive expansion plan, a new production line is being built up at the Mini’s Oxford plant. This new lineup will add about 150,000 more units to the annual sales summing up with the existing capacity of about 300,000. BMW is also in the talks to use the old Mitsubishi Nedcar factory that is situated near the Netherland as the satellite plant from middle of 2014. It would be interesting to see the market response to these new lineups.