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Monday, February 2, 2015

Toyota BMW Partnership Could Yield a New Mini


Copyright © 2015 Bold Ride LLC.

While somewhat surprising, the unlikely partnership between Toyota and BMW has been known for quite a while: Toyota lends the Germans engine and fuel cell tech while BMW return the favor with an all-new Supra (and subsequently a Z4 roadster twin). What hasn’t been so transparent are the firms’ other future plans, though we’re beginning to get a taste of things to come … and they’re due to arrive in small packages. 

According to Automobile insider Georg Kacher, the Germans and the Japanese are working together on an all-new entry-level hatchback intended to bolster the bottom-end of the Mini range. Its alleged name will be the “Minor”, a moniker plucked from early in the Morris Mini lineage, and it could come with a price tag of only $15,000 – undercutting Mini’s next model up by around $5,000.


“It’s still early days as far as the baby Mini goes,” notes the magazine’s Mini source. “But when our new R&D board member Klaus Fröhlich traveled to America early in the new year, this was one of the subjects on his agenda.”

Little is known about the purported entry-level hatchback, though the source revealed that although Toyota already markets its pint-sized Aygo in Europe, Mini was having no part in building its car on that platform. Instead, the pair will allegedly look into a new chassis for the squat three-door, which could add hybrid drive as well. Styling is said to pull from the acclaimed Mini Rocketman concept, pictured above.

There’s no word on whether Toyota will reap its own model from the deal, though Starlet fans are surely hopeful. How about it, Internet? Does a $15,000 Mini Minor find a spot in your garage?