According to a report, BMW and Toyota have begun investigating how they might produce a smaller and cheaper model to serve as a new entry point for the Mini range.
One source within Mini told Automobile magazine, “It's still early days as far as the baby Mini goes, but when our new R&D board member Klaus Froehlich traveled to America early in the new year, this was one of the subjects on his agenda".
The US publication believes that the new car, referred to as the new Mini Minor, will be based on a new and unique platform.
Although the pair could theoretically adapt the 3.4m-long Europe-only Toyota Aygo, BMW is unwilling to use that car as the Mini Minor’s basis. One objection is that the Aygo has only recently entered its second generation. Just as importantly, the Aygo was co-developed with PSA Peugeot Citroen, and is produced alongside its Citroen C1 and Peugeot 108 brethren.
Current styling proposals combine styling elements from the Paceman SUV and the Rocketman concept car (above and below). If the present studies get the nod, the Minor may feature a double bubble floating roof, a Union Jack motif within the tail-light cluster and very little bling.
The magazine claims that the target price for the Mini Minor will be between US$14,500 and US$16,000 ($17,750 and $19,600).
At present the German and Japanese automakers are working together on a pair of rear-wheel drive two-door cars that will, on one side, be the long awaited spiritual successor to the Toyota Supra and, on the other, a replacement for the BMW Z4.