Last year, Leftlane reported that MINI's all-new UKL1 platform was designed to underpin as many as 15 new models.
A report published by Motoringfile.com indicates that one of them will be a five-door variant of the popular MINI hatchback. Codenamed F55 internally, it will make its debut shortly after the revamped three-door model bows in early 2013.
The five-door hatchback will be mostly aimed at the North American market, where many buyers see the three-door MINI hatchback as too small and not very practical. The car will also be sold on its home continent where it will take on the Audi A1 Sportback that was introduced last October.
The extra set of doors will be hinged on the B-pillar, making the car more practical than the slow-selling Clubman model which is equipped with a single suicide door. The doors will reportedly extend over the rear wheel arches and all the way to the gas cap.
The addition of two extra doors will free up almost two inches of legroom for passengers who ride in the back seat. This will make the five-door model slightly longer than its three-door counterpart.
To avoid ending up with an awkward-looking long-wheelbase MINI hatch, the five-door model will have a sleeker C-pillar that will give it a more rakish profile.
The introduction of the five-door MINI hatchback does not mean that the end is near for the Clubman. The BMW-owned automaker is expected to reveal an all-new variant of the station wagon in 2013.
More information on both variants of the next-gen MINI hatchback will be available in the coming months.