Mini's relentless product expansion appears to be ready to take a break - and even a step backwards.
Dog bites man, goes the old newspaper adage, is not news. Man bites dog, on the other hand, is. So while it's no big news that Mini has expanded its lineup to ridiculous proportions, the bigger news is that it may actually eliminate some. What started as a two-model range – hatchback and cabrio – has since grown to seven, encompassing the coupe, roadster, Clubman, Countryman and Paceman. But while there have been rumors of new models in the pipeline, the latest intel indicates that Mini could downsize its model line.
Speaking Edmunds, Mini's US chief Jim McDowell said "you will see that we won't replace every model exactly". While he wouldn't specify which models would go, he did say that the hatchback and Countryman are safe, as they account for 75% of sales between the two. We wouldn't be surprised to see the Coupe axed in the next generation and the Convertible and Roadster replaced with a single model. Given that the next Hardtop hatchback will likely be offered with an extra set of suicide doors, the Clubman could be phased out as well. Beyond that, semantics could see the Paceman and Countryman merged into one model with three doors or five.