BMW exec: Smaller MINI unlikely

MINI director does not expect smaller model to materialize.

BMW group executives are downplaying the possibility of a MINI model slotted below the current Cooper Hardtop.

Rumors of a smaller MINI model to be called the Minor and built as part of a joint effort with Toyota have been circulating since early this year. The Minor, along with the Superleggera concept would help MINI increase volume beyond the core Cooper model line.

The "Minor" name would trace its roots back to the original Mini that was introduced in 1959. Loosely inspired by the Rocketman concept (pictured) that bowed at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, the Minor was expected to feature roughly the same silhouette as the two-door Hardtop but a much smaller footprint.

Peter Schwarzenbauer, BMW board member and MINI's top exec, confirmed to Automotive News that he sees a future for the Superleggera concept, but when asked about the feasibility of the Minor, said: "I don't see a smaller car than the current one."

If BMW executives do change their minds on the Minor, it would be several years until a production model arrives in showrooms. Given premium manufacturers' hesitation to sell their city cars in the United States, it's entirely possible that the resulting product would not be offered on this side of the pond.

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