BMW Spills Details on Future Mini Lineup: Electrification, Apps and More

Jan 20, 2014 02:39 PM EST | Jordan Ecarma


The next-generation Mini lineup from BMW will feature tech innovations while keeping the brand's classic design, according to

Top BMW officials have plenty of plans for the new lineup, which will likely hit showrooms close to 2020.

"We've got up to 10 ideas for new Mini models," Peter Schwarzenbauer, who is the BMW board member in charge of the Min, Rolls-Royce and BMW motorcycle brands, told Edmunds.

The fourth-generation Mini models will have more personalization and larger variants while keeping a "less is more" mantra in mind, Schwarzenbauer said.

"We could concentrate on four or five models that are heroes," he said. By "heroes," the executive meant cars that are held to an especially high standard, according to Edmunds.

While car enthusiasts want Mini models to stay close to the core Mini hatchback, BMW should have room to play when it comes to variety.

"Do they all have to look like Minis? The Mini fans say yes," Schwarzenbauer told Edmunds, while suggesting that if the lineup's models "have a certain DNA, like a family of kids," BMW could create cars that vary from the standard Mini.

The German carmaker is looking to add ways for buyers to personalize their cars. Interior and exterior trim pieces could become personalization options as long as the alterations don't affect safety, Schwarzenbauer said.

Both dealers and owners could switch out the features, he told Edmunds.

The iconic little car could become electric in the future as well.

"Mini is an urban brand, and a natural for electrification," Schwarzenbauer said.

BMW is also considering further modernizing the Mini through connectivity. The carmaker is looking to implement downloadable apps that allow for upgrades or downgrades, depending on what the buyer wants.

An example Schwarzenbauer cited is seat heating, which could be automatically built into all Mini cars but only activated by purchasing an app.

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