Mini says it will have the more dynamic car when its third-generation hatch emerges in 2014 along with a new twin from owner BMW.
The next-generation Mini will share its front-wheel-drive underpinnings with the new baby BMW, which will either sit beneath the rear-drive 1-Series or replace it.
BMW pitches its vehicles as the ultimate driving machines, but Mini claims its version will be more fun to drive.
“You will immediately when it comes to driving [the new-generation Mini] recognise the go kart feel. There’s no compromise. The car character will be in every car [in the Mini range]. Sure the Mini hatch has more go-kart feel than the Countryman, but there’s no SUV having go-kart feeling like the Countryman.
“So we have some clear targets where we want to always be on top of any other brand. Even with the BMW…
“The [front-drive] BMW will have other aspects [that will appeal], but definitely we will be the go kart [driving experience]. That’s what we’re made for.”
The new Mini and BMW models will share a new platform, which will reportedly have an all-wheel-drive option. The platform is believed to be scalable, allowing for the Mini hatch that will remain under four metres in length and the BMW that is expected to be up to 500mm longer.
The 2014 Mini hatch will be powered by BMW’s new range of 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol and diesel engines.
It’s not yet clear whether the front-wheel-drive BMW will eventually replace the current rear-wheel-drive 1-Series, which has only recently been released in second-generation form, or become a whole new series – though 0-Series seems unlikely as a model range name.