The domination of the crossover-SUV is just getting started and Mini hopes to exploit this demand by adding two new SUV models alongside its Countryman. According to a report from Autocar UK, Mini is developing an electric crossover and a combustion-engined SUV. The two models are set to expand the company’s reach by taking the brand into untapped market segments.
Electric crossover the size of the BMW X1
Autocar reported that the first Chinese-produced Mini SUV will be a five-door crossover-style SUV on the underpinnings of the BMW X1 and will have similar dimensions to the BMW entry-level SUV. While the details still remain undisclosed, sources suggest the Chinese electric crossover model could be called Paceman and could serve as the BMW i3’s successor.
The electric crossover will be part of a JV with the Chinese company, Great Wall Motors while the combustion-engined SUV will use BMW’s latest modular platform. BMW Group and Great Wall Motors have a 50:50 joint venture company in China called Spotlight Automotive Limited which will be responsible for building electric cars for the Mini brand. A new plant in Zhangjiagang, in China’s Jiangsu Province, is said to be completed by 2022. The plant will be responsible for Mini EVs as well as models for Great Wall.
Mini could call its flagship SUV ‘Traveller’
After the launch of the electric SUV, Mini might use the Traveller name to launch its bigger SUV model. We expect this model by 2024 and will retain Mini’s focus on compactness. It will still have a traditional combustion engine and is being compared to the BMW X3, making it Mini’s largest model yet. We expect this to be larger and costlier than the Countryman when it eventually comes out. Mini’s boss Bernd Körber has told Autocar that it would be hard to imagine a Mini the size of a BMW X3 or X5 and believes it would still be one of the smaller offerings compared to the other cars in the segment. The new model would likely utilize BMW’s CLAR architecture, which gives it the potential to be produced in the USA.