Mini Cooper plans 10 models for 2013 with an expected plug-in
Reaching again into history, the company is reportedly planning to reintroduce the popular Traveller, a van of mini proportions but featuring a longer wheelbase that could be fitted with bolt-on wooden quarter panels and rear barn doors. The Traveller was originally offered by the defunct Morris Mini-Minor into the 1960s.
Mini Cooper has not strayed far from Mini’s heritage. The Clubman and Countryman lines are names resurrected from Mini’s past.
Before Traveller sees daylight, new versions of the three-door hatchback and Clubman wagon are expected to be introduced.
At the bottom of the new models will be a new platform, BMW’s UKL1. It is designed to accommodate two wheelbase lengths with front struts and multilink rear suspensions. The platform retains the front wheel drive concept but is more versatile and is expected to handle all-wheel drive, which presently is available only in the Countryman line, and hybrid and electric configurations. A three-door, sporty Mini Paceman expected at the end of this year is a candidate for all-wheel drive.
Engine choices begin with a three-cylinder variant from BMW’s entry into front wheel drive that is expected to be on par with the four-cylinder engines used in Mini’s first two generations with power ranging from 120 to 160 horsepower. The 230 horsepower turbocharged four is expected to continue duty as is the diesel version. The higher performance John Cooper versions is expected to be offered in the Countryman line.
With the bandwagon rolling for electric power, Mini is expected to have a plug-in offering.