Posted Fri Oct 17 2008 6:17 AM by Jeremy Weber
Mini previewed the vehicle with its Paris concept but this is the first look at the actual production model
Mini unveiled a concept version of its upcoming crossover at the recent Paris Motor Show and we now have the first spy shots of a prototype caught while testing in Germany. The new crossover is expected to be launched towards the end of next year as a 2010 model however Mini has still not decided on a name for it.
The Paris show car was simply called the Mini 'Crossover' Concept and while a number of sources, including this one, reported that the production version would be called the 'Crossman,' Mini’s marketing chief Ian Robertson revealed that it definitely won’t go by that name. Latest speculation suggests that it could be called the Maxi, but without official confirmation it is still too early to call. The Maxi name, incidentally, comes from a 1960s British Leyland five-door hatch that shared a number of features with a Mini project.
The crossover will be the fourth body variant after the classic two-door Cooper, the Cabrio and the long-wheelbase Clubman, and measures more than four meters in length. The standard drivetrain will be AWD, but according to Robertson a FWD “Estate” will be added to the lineup in 2011.
Unlike the concept’s dramatic suicide rear doors the production model will have conventional doors, as seen in the spy shots. The rear hatch will also be a single unit and not the spilt style opening used on the Clubman.
The engine lineup should mirror the powertrain range found in the Cooper and Clubman models, which means a base 1.6L petrol four-cylinder with 120hp and 160Nm of torque, a 1.6L common-rail diesel with 110hp and 240Nm of torque, and a 1.6L turbocharged petrol unit with 175hp and 240Nm of torque. All three engines will be available with a six-speed manual as standard or an optional six-speed auto.
Production of the crossover will be outsourced to independent vehicle manufacturer Magna Steyr, and worldwide sales are expected to top 80,000 units per year.
Article Date: Oct 23, 2008