Peter Anderson | May 29, 2012

MINI's ever-expanding line-up will reportedly welcome a five-door variant in the next-generation Cooper range, expected to debut in the coming year.

Reports out of Europe this week suggest that the five-door Cooper, separate to the Clubman wagon, has been developed primarily for a practicality-driven North American plan.

In Europe, a five-door Cooper would also give MINI parent BMW a weapon against Audi's petite A1 Sportback, soon to launch in Australia.

Unlike the five-door A1, the new MINI model will reportedly get a slightly longer wheelbase, freeing up additional legroom in the back row.

Five doors would also build appeal with young families, allowing easy access for children, and for parents to strap them in.

It is also likely that the new model would feature a pair of conventionally-hinged rear doors, rather than the stumpy single suicide door of the Clubman.

The next generation Cooper, built on the new UKL1 platform, could be spun into yet more product lines in the MINI family.

MINI's line-up currently features six model, with two more in the works: a Countryman Coupe (the last variant based on the current generation) and a possible production version of the MINI Clubvan light commercial vehicle.

The new MINI Cooper is expected to make its international debut sometime in 2013, and if a five-door is on the way, an unveiling in the following year is likely.

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