The MINI five-door hatch will be a brand-new addition to the range when it arrives in Summer 2014, and we have exclusive pictures of it months ahead of the reveal. Taken at the Oxford plant, these camera phone images were sent in anonymously to Auto Express.
Despite being taped-up for the paint shop, you can clearly see the stretched profile next to the three-door MINI revealed earlier this month. "You can see from looking at the standard hatch that we will need to expand the wheelbase just to fit another set of doors in", Dietmar Zimmerhackl, Senior Vice President MINI Product Line told us at the recent LA Motor Show.
The five-door hatchback is tipped to be the most lucrative member of the new MINI range, aimed at young families desperate for extra space. “Some people want a MINI with the ease of five doors but they don't want it to be as big as the Countryman. That's our market here," Zimmerhackl revealed.
A visible bonnet vent gives away that this is the Cooper S model in our pictures – fitted with a 189bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo, but expect the five-door model to get the same all-new engine range as the three-door. That means a 134bhp three-cylinder 1.5-litre turbo in the Cooper and a 114bhp 1.5-litre turbodiesel in the Cooper D. A hot JCW model will follow too, with a tuned version of the Cooper S’s 2.0-litre turbo.
Three and five-door version of the MINI hatch will spearhead a new-look line-up for MINI, that could total as many as eight separate model lines, all based on the flexible new UKL1 platform. Replacements for the Cabriolet, Clubman, Countryman and Paceman are guaranteed, while a sporty MX-5 rival could replace the slow-selling Roadster and Coupe models. An MPV is also being considered along with a saloon for the Chinese market.