28 May 08 11:28
A concept version of the Mini Crossman mini-SUV is to make its debut at the Paris Motor Show, according to reports on the 'net this week.
This concept will preview the real thing, set to go on sale at the end of the year. It's thought to ride around 80mm higher than the mainstream Mini, and to be over 4m long.
The Crossman will be based on the next-generation Mini platform. Engineered from scratch (though using some elements of the 1-Series' structure) and developed to be more versatile than the current underpinnings, this platform will be capable of forming the basis of a variety of body-styles and types of vehicle.
It is expected to take a version of BMW's xDrive four-wheel-drive system - though front-wheel-drive-only versions of the Crossman may be offered as entry-level models - and to also incorporate the Efficient Dynamics technologies such as Stop-Start.
The Crossman and next-generation Mini are also expected to share their underpinnings with a new entry-level BMW, a supermini-sized model to sit in the range below the BMW 1-Series. This will have a crossover-style variant, too: the BMW X1, confirmed for production in 2010.
The Crossman - and perhaps X1 too - will be built by Magna Steyr in Austria, with production of 80,000 a year planned.