Mini recently announced a new four door version of the Hardtop, completely disregarding the irony that it keeps making larger and larger cars. The new Mini sedan is expected to hit dealerships throughout the United States by the end of 2014. To have two more doors and less driving pleasure, car shoppers will need to spend another $1,000 than on the coupe version of the car.
The Countryman is another Mini model that features four doors, but it is technically a crossover. The Hardtop with four doors will represent the first compact sedan the British brand has ever made. Slapping on another set of doors means the Hardtop’s wheelbase grows by 2.9 inches, while the body gains another 6.3 inches of length.
Of course, the big driving factor that has fueled Mini’s need to create a Hardtop with four doors is an increase in overall utility. Everyone knows that cars with four doors are more practical, allowing the rear seat passengers to climb in and out easier. The new model will also have three rear seats instead of two. Headroom in the rear is increased by 0.5 inches, while shoulder room has been widened by 1.8 inches. The really big increase in utility is an additional 0.5 cubic feet of cargo room, meaning you still can’t fit much of anything in the 9.2 cubic feet of cargo space in the rear.
The car will come in Cooper and Cooper S trim levels, with the Cooper S featuring a more powerful turbo engine. Mini claims that the sedan version of the Hardtop will still come with a go-kart handling dynamic, despite its bloated size. Just how many people will go for the new version of the Hardtop is difficult to tell, but if the brisk sales for the Countryman are indication, expect to see quite a few larger Minis on the road next year.