Update 1/21/10: If you are looking for photos and info on the upcoming Mini Cooper Countryman crossover you can find it here. This post is about the original concept that became the Countryman.
The much-rumored Mini SUV is here. Dubbed the Mini Crossover Concept, this 4×4 vehicle is the biggest Mini yet, measuring more than 4 meters long (that’s more than 156 inches for those of us not on the metric system). That’s just slightly longer than the new Mini Cooper Clubman, but still nearly 20 inches shorter than your standard Honda Civic sedan.
The biggest news — besides it being bigger — is that the Crossover concept will sport four-wheel drive, a first for Mini and arguably a major selling point for Snowbelt car shoppers. While the concept shows off fanciful seating configurations — we expect a standard rear bench instead of single seats — and 3-D touch displays, this is not just a pie-in-the-sky exercise. Mini will build a four- or all-wheel-drive crossover, and the real thing could be on the auto show circuit in 2009.
No powertrains were announced, but because it’s not much bigger than a typical Clubman we’d expect it to carry over the same efficient yet peppy engines from the Cooper lineup. The concept does not, however, sport the Cooper name; it’s just Mini Crossover Concept, which may be an attempt to not completely offend Cooper traditionalists with what could be dubbed an SUV. Many more photos below.