US MINI Lineup Changes Confirmed
However, some current models might remain in the MINI line-up even after the launch of the new platform. In the last year, the MINI Cooper Hardtop and the Countryman accounted for about 75% of sales in the US and Jim McDowell, vice president of MINI USA told Edmunds that they will, most likely, still be available in a year from now.
"When we start to replace models, I think you will see that we won't replace every model exactly. When I joined Mini, we knew that we would have two models. Ultimately, we (now) have seven. We are starting the next generation a year from now. You may actually put your chess pieces on the board differently if you know that you can have seven," said McDowell in an interview at the 2013 NYIAS.
Talking about the Rocketman concept, McDowell said that, for the moment, the company is still pondering over how it could be designed.
"It would require some componentry that we don't currently have. MINI's engine and transmission are too heavy for a car that short. It is not to say that we won't build it, but we can't confirm any plans to build it. But a lot of the features that people really liked on the Rocketman are definitely coming on the next generation of Minis," said McDowell.