Caught: Mini's Four-Door Cooper Variant Spotted Testing

It's hard to keep track of all the Mini variants that buyers around the world will soon be offered, but now a four-door Mini Cooper hatchback has been spied testing. Though the front-drive Mini Countryman trims could be considered four-door Mini Cooper hatchbacks, the extended car pictured here has a lowered, less SUV-like appeal. Like the Mini Clubman, the potential Mini Cooper four-door variant would have an extended wheelbase for more room to accommodate additional passengers. The three-door Mini Clubman has outward-opening dual liftgate doors, but the four-door Mini Cooper spied here has a traditional, upward-opening liftgate along with a license plate mounted between the taillights like the Cooper but in contrast to the Countryman. The Mini shown in the gallery below also sports a grille more similar to those on the Cooper than the Countryman, which also features a rear side window with a different design than that of the Cooper and this prototype. Will the next-generation Mini Clubman grow two real rear doors? That's unclear, but with compact premium cars like the Audi A3, Fiat 500L, and Lexus CT 200h fighting for buyers, a Mini Cooper with four real doors lacking the Countryman's slightly more rugged appeal may actually make some sense. What do you think: Should the Mini Cooper lineup grow to include a model with four real doors?

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