Among a report in Automobile about product predictions relayed by unnamed sources, the most interesting revelation is the claim BMW is in discussions with Great Wall regarding a co-developed platform.
If the two parties agree on terms, it's predicted next-generation Minis will debut in 2023.
The new hatch, provisionally known as the Mini Metro Runner, will be joined in 2024 by the Metro Cruiser, a replacement for the Clubman, and the Metro Adventurer, a slimmed down successor to the Countryman.
It's claimed these new Mini models will be built in China alongside cars designed by Great Wall. It's not clear if they would be produced solely in China, or in the UK and other locales.
Above: 2012 Mini Rocketman concept.
The German automaker reportedly reached out to Great Wall because its accountants determined the company's next-generation front- and all-wheel drive platform, known as FAAR, was too expensive to be profitable for Mini.
Earlier talks with Toyota about collaborating on a small car platform failed. The two companies are already working together on a sports car platform for the next-generation BMW Z4 and Toyota Supra, as well as hydrogen fuel cell development.
Last year, Great Wall confirmed to Bloomberg it was in discussions with BMW regarding a local joint venture agreement.