MINI eyes larger SUV model to sit above Countryman

The success of the Countryman could see MINI launch an ever larger SUV, bosses suggest

MINI’s expansion could see the firm launch a model even larger than the latest Countryman SUV, the company’s design boss has suggested to Auto Express. 

Built by a third party at a plant in Born, Netherlands rather than the firm’s HQ in Oxfordshire in the UK, the latest Countryman - launched in 2017 - is the largest car in the company's history. But it’s also one of the most successful, and has done well for the brand in an increasingly lucrative market. 

Asked about the model’s success and clear appetite for larger vehicles, MINI’s head of design Oliver Heilmer, told Auto Express that it has encouraged the firm to think about expanding its portfolio. 

“This is a question that we always ask ourselves at MINI. We try to find the boundaries we have,” Heilmer told us.“My opinion is that MINI stands for clever solutions, clever use of space and these two standards don't say anything about a specific size.”

Countryman sales in markets such as China and the US, which have a commanding influence in the decisions car manufacturers make, are continuously strong. Heilmer suggested that customers in these important markets are already asking for something larger. 

“The Countryman works pretty well in terms of size but in other markets  [such as] China and the US, the expectation is different, they could imagine having something bigger,” explained Heilmer. “In short, there is no limitation for us. But it has to stay and feel like a MINI, but not the size necessarily.”

While MINI’s design boss has hinted that the brand could look upwards for model expansion, the brand’s core product - the MINI Hatch - could go back to its roots with a smaller footprint for the next-generation model due in 2022.

Would you like to see a larger MINI SUV in the future? Let us know in the comments section...

Recommended

Official: 400 jobs to be cut at MINI Oxford plant
MINI

Official: 400 jobs to be cut at MINI Oxford plant

Reduced customer demand will see almost half all agency staff at the MINI Oxford factory lose their jobs by mid-October
26 Aug 2020
Best hot hatchbacks 2021
Best hot hatchbacks
Hot hatches

Best hot hatchbacks 2021

The best hot hatches offer giant-killing performance and a gripping drive, all wrapped in a user-friendly package
8 Jan 2021
MINI hatchback review
MINI Cooper 5 door 2018 header
MINI MINI

MINI hatchback review

The latest MINI offers the quality and driver appeal of a baby BMW, but the design is becoming caricatured
28 Sep 2020

Most Popular

BMW, Mercedes and Tesla owners could be at risk of higher insurance premiums
bmw x5 m50d tracking front
News

BMW, Mercedes and Tesla owners could be at risk of higher insurance premiums

Raw, uncapped insurance group rating data could be used by insurers to increase premiums on various high-end cars
19 Jan 2021
New 2021 Mercedes EQA electric crossover arrives with 302-mile range
Mercedes EQA - front
Mercedes EQA

New 2021 Mercedes EQA electric crossover arrives with 302-mile range

The new Mercedes EQA is a premium rival for the Volkswagen ID.3 and Kia e-Niro, with a maximum claimed range of 302 miles
20 Jan 2021
Best electric cars to buy 2021
Electric cars

Best electric cars to buy 2021

There are more electric cars than ever to choose from, so we've picked some of the best you can buy in the UK now
4 Jan 2021