MF Exclusive: What happens when a car-maker wants to build a bigger vehicle without the finances to properly develop a new platform? They borrow what they need from someone else who’s already done it. In this case it’s MINI raiding the corporate closets at BMW to create the new four door MINI SAV. Our sources are reporting that MINI will base the new off-roader on both the Clubman and the new 1 series based BMW X1 SUV while also including some unique drivetrain components for MINI’s first factory all-wheel drive system.
But wait, the 1 Series as in the rear wheel drive BMW? How is this possible? According to sources, we can expect the R60 to use some BMW components in unexpected places along with the more obvious ones. For instance the raised Clubman caught in photos recently around Munich features five lug wheels straight off of the current BMW 1 Series. While we don’t expect BMW wheels to ever be sold by MINI, don’t be surprised if what comes on the R60 are somewhat similar.
Expect the front portion of the new SUV to contain mostly Clubman components under the skin with a new, more agressive (i.e. rally inspired) outer skin. Elsewhere expect the wheelbase to be lengthened (to make room for the first true MINI with four doors) and the rear overhang to be slightly larger for more boot space. All told the car will have four doors and will be noticeably larger in every dimension than the Clubman. You can also expect the R60 to be quite a bit taller than the R55.
We’ll have more on the R60 in the months and weeks ahead. In the meantime be sure to check out our complete collection of MINI SAV/SUV stories in the Motoringfile R60 section.