For almost a year now we’ve been talking about the MINI SAV (Sport Activity Vehicle – BMW speak for SUV) being potentially built by automotive consortium Magna Steyr. However in the past few days high-paid men in suits have begun talking officially about the arrangement. It would appear that, since we’ve reported previously, think a slightly larger Clubman but rugged, raised and with some attitude.
The Colorado (don’t worry GM, it’s a code-name only) will also feature an optional “smart” AWD system that is designed for efficiency and improved traction more than performance. The concept was conceived as not quite a traditional SUV but more like a MINI with a go anywhere and do anything attitude. Taking a few cues from the classic MINI rally cars of the past combined with a more extroverted character, the Colorado is being developed with the US market squarely in mind.
One thing that we do know, the Colorado will not be the track day warrior the MINI community has been clamoring for in an AWD model. And don’t expect this model to have a true made in England pedigree either considering the likely Austrian production location. But what we can expect is a connection (albeit somewhat weak) with true Mini heritage and a potentially large (and untapped by MINI) market segment.
According to Automotive News (sub. required), look for Magna Steyr to start MINI SAV production in the latter half of 2010. Expects production to reach 80,000 units annually.
Note: We’ve replaced the photoshop rendering (seen elsewhere on the web) of what the MINI SAV could look like to avoid the confusion some readers would have if they don’t read the entire article. And while the image gave the article a nice backdrop, it’s really nothing more than a guess where as the info above is actually from real sources with real insight. The new image is of an early 70’s Mini Moke brochure cover.