Car has come up trumps again with new model info, this time concerning the third-generation F56 MINI. They say the current second-gen R5x lineage will end next year with the launch of the Paceman and the F56 rollout will begin shortly thereafter.
First of the new generation models to roll off the production line will be the F56 hatch, rendered above. Its platform will be a joint development with BMW and will underpin a number of models for both brands.
The big news for the F56 line, apparently, is a move to release more five-door variants of the MINI starting with the F54 five-door hatch. It’s due for launch in the first half of 2014 and will counter the Audi A1 Sportback. A four-door F54 Clubman should follow around 12 months later and should put an end to that silly single side door experiment.
In 2016 an F58 Sportvan is expected. We’re not totally sure what to make of this other than to expect it to be some sort of longer-wheelbase oddity that will question our sanity. This is still MINI we’re talking about right?
Also expected in 2016 is an F59 four-door notchback designed to take on the Audi A3 Sportback.
Really, this is too much, don’t you think. Niche models like the Rocketman is where MINI should be headed, not having BMW turn it into a pump-em-out volume seller. Okay, MINI will never compete with Volkswagen in global sales, for example, but they shouldn’t try and compete with their model portfolio either.
Ten models wearing the MINI badge is the tip for the third-gen; that’s about four or five too many we say, what about you?
[Source: Car | Rendering: Auto Bild/Larson/Christian Schulte]