But why didn't it ever make production?
Alpina is known for building some of the prettiest and best-driving BMW models of all time (sometimes even better than BMW's own M division). We recently learned German tuner is currently working on a 600-horsepower version of the X7 SUV as well as a faster version of the 8 Series Gran Coupe but the company has many amazing projects that never saw the light of day. For example, Alpina built a faster version of the BMW i8 before BMW scrapped the project. Speaking with Alpina boss Andreas Bovensiepen, Autocar learned of another project that never reached production, an Alpina Mini Cooper.
Back in the early 2000s when BMW was reviving the Mini brand in the US, Alpina considered building its own version as an entry-level model. As with the i8, Alpina actually built a running, driving prototype but eventually learned putting it into production would be too expensive and not worth the development cost.
Bovensiepen has explained to CarBuzz that smaller Alpina models, like ones based on the Z4 or 4 Series, don't have a large enough global market outside of Europe - an Alpina Mini would have faced a similar problem. Alpina quickly doubted the project and eventually came to the conclusion that Mini didn't fit the company's heritage as a tuner of BMWs.
When the second-generation BMW 6 Series was revealed in 2003, it sealed the fate of the Alpina Mini. Alpina decided it would be better to build a version of the 6 Series rather than the Mini and the rest is history. Bovensiepen said the company has never considered building a Mini since then and even small BMW models like the 1 Series, 2 Series, X1, and X2 remain off the docket. Instead, Alpina will focus on large models like the new 7 Series, X7, and 8 Series. Alpina may not have offered its own Mini but a quick Google search for 'Mini with Alpina wheels' reveals how cool such a car could have looked.