The iconic MINI is 55-years old. But despite its many makeovers, it’s not been available as a 5-door model.
This is all about to change: The new model of the MINI was unveiled at the Paris Auto Show on Thursday.
It’s just the latest in a number of new configurations commissioned by the brand’s German owners.
When BMW bought MINI in 2000, there were skeptics that doubted the Munich-based automaker could find the mixture of Italian style and English pragmatism that had made the original brand famous.
BMW quickly proved them wrong. They transformed the small niche of the premium city car into a big segment into its own right, which has fired up competitors.
Citroen, Fiat, and mostly recently General Motors’ Opel unit are expanding their ranges of retro-style, customizable, premium-priced small cars to crash the MINI party.
For BMW, the way ahead lies in yet another reinvention of this British mark, even if that means adding an extra door.
Here’s how MINI describes the new 5-door: “Mixing trademark MINI looks and handling with easy access and extra legroom, the MINI 5 door lets you strut your stuff and take it with you.”
With 50 liters (or 13.2 gallons / 1.8 cubic feet) more room, MINI boasts that its new 5-door has more room for the tallest of friends or the biggest of bags.
The MINI 5-door comes with a navigation system on steroids, a feature called MINI Connected XL Journey Mate. It’s meant to be everything you need while you drive: Directions to the nearest gas station, access to 70,000 Webradio stations, real-time weather and traffic, and even direct access to social networks (although that’s no excuse for Tweeting or posting cat photos to your Facebook when you drive).