Could Mini drop the two-door Hardtop?

The two-door might retire in 2022.

BMW's retro-styled icon isn't immune to changing consumer tastes. Mini could drop the two-door version of the Hardtop (pictured) when the current-generation model retires in about 2022, according to a recent report.

Anonymous sources told enthusiast website Motoring File that the push to kill the two-door comes from inside the company. It's part of a broader effort to cut costs by trimming fat where possible. Mini sold 865 examples of the car in August 2018 and 6,593 units this year so far. It's down 7.2 percent in 2018 but, surprisingly, it remains more popular than the four-door Hardtop, the Convertible, and the Clubman.

That may not be enough to save it. Other companies have come to the same conclusion. In Europe, one of the Hardtop's largest markets, two-door cars are dropping like flies. The Volkswagen Polo, the Audi A3, and the Renault Clio are among the models that have recently lost their two-door variants. Buyers in the United States and in China aren't picking up the slack, which makes the business case for another two-door Mini difficult.

None of this is official; Mini hasn't commented on the future of the two-door Hardtop. However, one of the company's top executives revealed he wants to take the next-generation model back to its roots.

"Let's say that would be our goal, to arrive at something that would be as clean and simple as the original but offer the modern technology and safety features of today's cars," revealed BMW Group design boss Adrian Van Hooydonk during a recent interview with Canadian website Driving.

Eliminating the two-door would represent a step away from the original 1959 Mini. We'll need to wait to find out what the firm has in store for the fourth-generation model.

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