Mini Crossover (2010) – the latest spy photos

Published: 29 January 2009

The latest addition to the Mini fold – the forthcoming crossover – will ditch the concept car’s trick doors, our latest spy photos suggest. CAR’s new scoop pictures snare the car on winter test in Scandinavia and close scrutiny of the high-res shots makes us think the new Mini SUV will stick with conventionally hinged rear side doors rather than the Crossover concept‘s elaborate asymmetric designs.

However, look at that rear shot closely – at first glance the Mini crossover appears to share the Clubman‘s van-style split rear doors, with a split window and the twin chromed door handles. But we reckon that’s part of the disguise.

BMW regularly puts reporters off the scent with its disguise (and the swirly whirly, psychedelic paint job on this prototype is no exception) and we think that single rear wiper – instead of the Clubman’s pair of wipers for each door – points to a conventional rear hatchback like the Mini hatchback.

Mini crossover: the timetable

The Mini Crossover concept car was first shown at the 2008 Paris motor show. We’re still expecting the Mini SUV to be launched in 2010, and the production car will be built by Magna Steyr in Austria – making it the first modern BMW-era Mini not to be built at Plant Oxford in the UK.

The production car, scooped here in a relatively late stage of prototype validation, will be toned down quite extensively from the concept Crossover. This car is bigger than the Clubman and the first Mini to break the four-metre barrier; we expect it to be close to the concept’s dimensions of 4050mm long, 1830mm wide and 1598mm tall.

Likely engines will include the full gamut of 1.4 and 1.6 motors from the existing Mini family of hatchback, convertible and estate. Crucially, however, the Crossover will feature four-wheel drive (check out our spy proof here). As well as allowing a degree of SUV club membership, this also opens the door to some interesting marketing possibilities. Monte Carlo spec fun-sized rally car, anyone?

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By Tim Pollard

Group digital editorial director, motoring news magnet