The next-generation Mini hatchback will have a five-door version, for the first time in the model’s 53-year-old history, Autocar reveals.
The new five-door Mini will have a longer wheelbase and two short, conventionally hinged rear doors. Engineers had to increase the overhang at the back in order to accommodate a bigger boot, something designers disguised by applying a sharply raked tailgate.
The rear doors’ main role is to allow easy access for children, with the side-effect being shorter front doors. These shorter front doors may come in handy in tight spaces, though. The new Mini five-door will have a longer wheelbase, but its overall length will still be under 4 meters. The three-door model will also be longer than the outgoing model.
BMW’s decision to offer the Mini with a five-door version is a response to the declining popularity of three-door models, a problem for the entire automotive market. The three-door and five-door hatchbacks will launch late next year. Following these two versions, Mini will also launch an MPV on the same platform, likely to be called the Spacebox.
This new model will allow Mini to make the second generation of the Countryman a proper SUV, instead of the current model’s mix of hatchback and SUV.