Posted May 26th 2012 12:03PM
We've all heard the trope that North Americans don't like hatchbacks. Despite this, Mini has made a decent living selling its iconic three-door in Canada and the States. The BMW subsidiary has also tried a plethora of permutations to get us more interested, including two convertibles, a coupe and the van-like Clubman.
But it wasn't until Mini launched the larger Countryman, equipped with four full-size doors, that it seemed to crack the code of the North American consumer. In just a year, sales of the Countryman in Canada have soard 83% despite its significantly higher price as compared to the standard Mini.
What does that tell Mini? According to Motoringfile.com, that we like having more doors to open. The Mini-focused website reports that the automaker is developing a five-door hatchback to launch with the next-generation model specifically with North America and other markets in mind.
Motoringfile.com says the five-door hatch, codenamed F55, will only be around six centimetres (two inches) longer than the three-door to give rear seat passengers a bit more legroom. The front doors will reportedly be shortened to accommodate the extra two behind them, and all four will feature standard door handles. While the five-door Mini will look just like its three-door counterpart up front, Motoringfile.com says to expect a more sharply raked rear end.
Given Mini's rapid and recent lineup expansion, we're surprised they hadn't struck upon this rather obvious iteration of the basic Mini formula earlier. Better late than never, though, for those who've always wanted a traditional Mini but needed more practically to pull the trigger.
Hit the jump for some related video.