Mini 4x4 crossover: new spy photos

Published: 28 October 2008

We can finally see the bodystyle of the new Mini crossover 4×4 in CAR’s latest spy photos. Our scoop pictures reveal the lift-up tailgate masquerading behind lookalike Clubman van doors; they are in fact a trompe l’oeil caused by dummy black tape splitting the Mini SUV’s bootlid.

The new four-wheel drive Mini will be launched in 2010 and will draw heavily on the Mini Crossover concept car seen at the 2008 Paris motor show. However, as our spy photos prove, the production version will be much more conventional.

Out go the asymmetric doors in favour of a conventional five-door layout. The vogueish Clubman estate will be pitched as the Mini with interesting doors, but the new unnamed 4×4 will do without its single suicide rear passenger door and van-style split tailgate.

Mini 4×4 crossover: the mechanical story

The Mini SUV will be based on the same architecture – just stretched in wheelbase and track – as the Mini hatchback family. That means the same 1.4 and 1.6 petrol and diesel engines, although the new electric Mini E drivetrain is likely in the longer run.

It will be built by Magna Steyr in Austria, making it the first new Mini not to be built in Oxford, England.

The crossover will, however, be available with the option of four-wheel drive. Although most customers will stick with front-drive, 4wd is expected to be popular in Alpine markets and with customers living in rural locations.

A four-wheel drive Mini SUV?

Yep. And that means Mini is bound to take it rallying! Don’t believe us? We hear plans are afoot to campaign the Mini crossover, so expect plenty of connections to be made with the Brit original’s motorsport heritage…

By Tim Pollard

Group digital editorial director, motoring news magnet