But will it come to America?
Mini has been pulling back on what was once an ambitious – perhaps overambitious – expansion of its model line, discontinuing slow-selling body-styles like the Coupe, Roadster, and Paceman to focus on core models like the Hardtop, Convertible, Clubman, and Countryman. But it's reportedly planning on adding another to its roster in the near future.
According to Autocar, BMW's retro British brand will soon add another body-style, expected to revive the dormant Traveller nameplate and adopt the form of a pint-sized minivan similar in size and approach to the Mercedes-Benz B-Class and BMW's own 2 Series Active Tourer.
The new model will reportedly be based on BMW's front-drive FAAR platform, giving it the potential for both front- and all-wheel drive. There will be conventionally powered internal-combustion powertrains offered, of course, as well as a plug-in hybrid, and even a fully electric version to be developed alongside the replacement for the BMW i3 to compete with the forthcoming Volkswagen ID.3.
The last time the Traveller name was applied to a Mini was in the 1960s when it stood alongside the Countryman as a sort of shooting brake. But we'd expect the new Traveller to adopt two doors on each side.
Whether the rear doors slide open like we've come to expect on North American-market minivans or more conventionally like on a hatchback, crossover, sedan, or wagon, we couldn't say this early in the game. But our money would be on the latter. The bigger question on our mind is whether Mini will offer the Traveller in America, and while it's never kept less conventional body-styles away before, we have to admit right off the bat that this one may not meet American tastes.
Autocar further reports that all future Minis will either be based on that architecture or on a new, more cost-effective platform being developed with China's Great Wall Motors.