More Press on the All-Wheel Drive MINI

In what essentially is just a recap of a couple previous stories on MotoringFile and other publications, takes a look at the possibility of an all-wheel drive MINI in the years ahead (R56?). Here’s an excerpt:

Should we be expecting an all-wheels-driven MINI anytime soon? The answer is unclear, and will probably be undecided for quite some time.

On the one hand, the cutting-edge system would help give more powerful MINIs, such as the Cooper S and Cooper S Works, the upper hand over even more powerful competitors, turning them into practical, four-season vehicles. According to Getrag, BMW’s product development leader Burkhard Goschel rode in the prototype Cooper S 4×4 and was ‘impressed’.

The flip side of the coin has much less to do with driving performance and more to do with marketing. An all-wheel drive Cooper with a rear-wheel drive bias would bring the MINI uncomfortably close to BMW’s own rear-wheel drive hatchback, the 1-Series.

Further complexities arise when factoring in development and equipment costs, which will likely be high enough to cause pricing conflicts between MINIs and the 1-Series.

You can read it all here.

On a side note Getrag has been shipping it’s famed all-wheel drive MINI all over the world to show off it’s technology. In fact this past fall it was even in the US.

If you follow that last link and look closely at the list of cars you’ll notice something else; the MINI is the only car there that’s not currently in production. Make of it what you will.

  • vadr

    It blows my tinylittlepeasized brain that Auto 123 has the unmitigated gall to entirely invent a story and peddle it as news. (It also does MotoringFile no credit that you repeat such tripe, albeit with pertinent commentary.) Have they no shame?

  • Scott

    Huh? Looks like a pertinent story to me. A good look at the some interesting ideas about the future of the MINI.

  • Gregg Jackson

    Here's an interesting scenario for y'all. 1) Two major French competitors in the World Rally Championship are scheduled to drop out of the series in the VERY near future. 2) This leaves Ford and Subaru as the two major players. 3) The old Mini made a SERIOUS name for itself in classic rallying in the '60s [side note: My MINI is named “Timo”] 4) BMW doesn't rally. 5) Modern WRC cars are 4WD.

    Waddaya think all?

  • gregg

    Hi Gabe —

    DUH!! Ya know If I'd read the WHOLE article, I wouldn't have needed to send that whole long thing a minute ago.

    Oh well….Have a great Holiday and thanks for the terrific site! I hope '05 is a great year for you, Gregg

  • john

    Since the current Mini is too small to meet WRC spec I say we can bet on the 5-door version of the next-gen Mini with AWD will be big enough to meet WRC spec.

  • Paul

    “On a side note Getrag has been shipping it's infamous all-wheel drive MINI all over the world to show off it's technology.”

    Just a point of clarification, do you mean “infamous” or just simply “famous?” Infamous means fame achieved because of notoriety or bad reputation, e.g. the Ford Pinto is infamous but I got the sense that the Getrag Mini was a sensation in the positive sense, and thus was not infamous. 🙂

  • No no…. bad as in good 🙂

  • TO: anyone who questions the need for AWD as the S's hp number edges ever upward

    SUBJ: CAR Dec. '04

    “the 210hp Works will lay down black lines on the road for as long as you keep your foot planted… give the throttle a shove from low speeds and the front tyres can be persuaded to light up.”

    Not very effective, but a great way to rid yourself of those ruinous run flats.

    (Was this the real reason BMW used such long gearing to start with? They've always maintained the chassis should have more 'power' than the engine).

  • Just curious if anyone knows the type of AWD in this mule. Torsen or Viscous Coupling? I would be surprised greatly to see the former.