The R60 MINI Crossover Gets an Official Name & a Revised Debut

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Official photos and details will be released in a few months but we have a few bits and pieces to finally reveal. For one we’ve confirmed (for the 3rd time now) that MINI will name the R60 “Countryman”. For those who have been following MotoringFile for awhile this shouldn’t be news, but another high-level confirmation was worth a mention.

However what is news is that MINI will be branding the new all-wheel drive system that comes optional on the Countryman. Like Audi does with Quattro and BMW does with Xdrive, MINI wants to create a sub-brand that will be recognizable with consumers. Therefore the system will launch with the name “All4” tied to it.

While marketing is getting underway on the new MINI, pre-production is lagging behind. First off the X3 is still being produced. And as BMW’s most profitable vehicle per unit, they are very sensitive to the time it will take to stop production in Austria and start production of the new X3 in the US. So the Countryman is certainly a secondary thought as compared to an already established vehicle like the X3.

But that hasn’t stopped Magna Steyr from starting the hiring process at the Austria plant. Once X3 production ceases, new candidates have been selected and trained (along with the rest of the staff) production should commence. However the specific time when that will happen remains a little foggy other than to say early 2010.

All this leads us to believe that MINI may well push back the launch of the R60 to the Geneva Motor Show in early March rather than show it in Detroit in early January. If that’s the case we’d also guess that the debut R55/R56/R57 refresh will also fall back a few months.

  • minimalist

    Why should delay in Countryman launch which will be built in Austria interfear with the Oxford built r55/56/57 facelift by any substantial amount. Do marketing have this much power?

  • JonPD

    Well no surprise on the choice of the name, Think they could have done worse. However Countryman All4 just doesn’t work for me. Guess that really doesn’t matter though since I would rather cut of both my legs than be seen in a poser (all wheel drive) mommy wagon (crossover).

  • Mk1

    LOL Jon. Have two friends who said the same about the MINI Clubman when it was announced (though with other anatomical male body-parts removal promised). Now they both drive one. I haven’t asked if they followed through with their, ahem, gelding promise.

  • ftttubrgcm

    I’m happy with the name, especially over the name “Crossman” due to Mini history. I’m sure this vehicle will sell bigtime in the snowy high country areas where Suburus and other AWD vehicles dominate. Also, for those who want better rear seat access with the 4 real doors. I don’t know about the diehard Mini purists, I’m sure the MINI crowd will be more accepting just as the Clubman was. Motor on, Countryman!

  • Something strange about going into the dealer and asking for a Country Man on all 4s!

  • goat

    No kidding. I guess MINI dealerships will now have two entrances: – “applicants” – “supplicants” (on all 4’s).

  • Matthew

    I’m all in on the Countryman name, but not entirely enthusiastic about “All4”.

    The fact that the X3 is BMW’s most profitable vehicle says everything about why MINI is launching this vehicle. (The fact that MINI is/has made very little if anything off of MINI vehicles thus far seems to me to be the elephant in the room in every conversation about new MINI iterations.)

    The Countryman will go a long way toward getting a MINI dealer in my hometown, Boulder. While the all-Winter-long blanket of snow is a myth, Subaru’s are the vehicle of choice here (for those who can’t swing something with Quattro or XDrive).

    I mentioned previously that I don’t like the idea of a bloated MINI SUV/SAV/Softroader/Whatever, but if it’s smaller (more MINI-like) in person than it looks in photos I’ll come around. But for now, I just look at it and think it’s too big and too common.

  • C4

    I am gonna light up a nice torpedo cigar, sit back, relax and enjoy witnessing the greatest flop to come out of the BMW trenches in decades.

  • poerboy

    Living in Michigan, I’d be severly dissapointed if I didn’t have a chance to go see the Countryman at the Detroit show… pooh. At least we’ll get images to pick apart online well in advance of it’s physical debut. While I won’t be able to afford an R60 until I can nab a 2 or 3-year old used one down the line, unless she ends up being hideous, put me on the “poser-mommy-wagon-I make-REAL-mini-enthusiasts-nauseous-list” with all due speed… I can’t wait.

  • goat

    The Countryman will be a flop only if your fellow countrymen can lay off the SUV/crossover purchases – in nearly two decades now they have not demonstrated the desire to do so. It is nearly (but not quite) as bad here in Canada with my fellow countrymen.

    A lot of kids know only minivan / SUVs / trucks because that is what their parents have chosen to drive… it was telling when my niece climbed into my R53 JCW recently and said “is this car safe? I don’t feel very safe… we’re too low… what if a pickup truck like my dad’s crashes into us?”

    I suspect this will sell quite well both sides of the border — “all4” coupled with (relatively) small size will definitely appeal to a lot of snowbelt Canucks.

  • JonPD

    Mk1 be sure if I were to ever buy a suv/sav or crossover I would check myself into a sanatorium. I have a 4 door car that the rear doors stick shut most all the time because I never open them. I have huge fun seeing my cars parked at work while a majority of my co-workers with awd cars are hiding at home. Add to this the numbers of awd vehicles off the side of the road, and on their tops and side I would generally say awd is more than a tad not much more than a warm blanket. Its something that can be sold endlessly to people since the common concept says awd vehicles are better and safer.

  • beken

    So…if I really wanted to load one of these up, it might be called the MINI Countryman All4 Cooper S JCW?

  • KPH

    Another common concept, also correct, is that lack of driver skill can cancel out any mechanical advantage. I’d like to know what system All4 refers to. Is it the Getrag application tested in 04/05? Quattro, 4matic etc. all refer to specific ways to achieve awd distinction and some are “better” than others. I really hope this is a more appealing car in the flesh than what we’ve seen so far. I think the Crossman has strayed a little too far from the MINI look that has served BMW so well.

  • SMH

    I just bought a 2010 Clubman and would have bought the Countryman if it were available. Actually turned in an X3 lease. I think the SUV will outsell the Clubman. I already had a need for a little addition space in back after trips to lowe’s and Home Depot. People want fuel efficiency, ability to sit up higher with better visability and 4 wheel drive for bad weather. You don’t just need snow for 4 wheel drive, the first week we bought the Clubman we had several days of heavy rain and definitely could have used the ground clearance and traction the Countryman would offer.

  • @Jason Mills that made me laugh so hard! So hard I tell you it deserves to be tweeted…

  • Sideways Eh!

    Bring it on! I don’t care what anyone says…BRING IT ON!!! The Majority of future Countryman drivers are not reading Motoring File yet.

    I feel a war coming…Hold onto your hats folks…its gonna get mighty bumpy in the next few months.

    Will the MINI community be split down the middle?

  • C4

    The split already took place in February 2007 when the R56 was launched in the US.

  • MINI is doing what it needs to survive (unfortunately). Do I see a war on the horizon? Probably not… the people who come into a MINI dealership for a Countryman won’t be the ones reading Motoringfile, or joining their local MINI club or being active at all in the MINI community. They just want a cute, safe, trendy car that gets good gas mileage to and from their kid’s events and in US English – safe for some strange reason is a synonym for SUV.

  • What’s sad here, is that one of the largest opportunity for growth in the Mini marketplace is getting the ugly stepchild treatment because of conflict with the X3. (BTW, how is the X3 the most profitable? Margin per car as a percent or gross dollars? If it’s the latter, BMW is in some trouble.) And really, with good planning, there shouldn’t have been much question about the scheduling of the move in production. Overall, this isn’t encouraging. Especially now when production capacity is anything but challenged.

    MINI! Baastard Step-Child of the BMW Empire! not too good a marketing ring, is it?


  • Aaron

    Not too keen on the “All4” moniker but I have to admit I’m personally more interested in seeing this production prototype than I was to see the coupe and roadster. Not that I didn’t love those…it’s just that I will not be in the market to buy one of those types of cars for at least the next 20 years whereas the Countryman could be a possible next step for me as my wife and I consider the possibility of having a second child. In addition, my mother, who as been wanting to own a MINI since I bought mine in 2006 and who lives on a dirt road in Vermont (think snow bound roads and mud season) over 180 miles from the nearest MINI dealership, might be able to argue for the practicality of a MINI that has a bit of clearance for mud season and has AWD for the snow.

  • ftttubrgcm

    Mini purists, I’ve never seen any posts of anyone saying the 15″/16″/17″ rims on MINIs are too big and they should go to 10″. Move cautiously forward with 20/20 hindsight of the Mini heritage. The Countryman fits that bill, to me, but with the extra AWD.

  • Hear, hear, ftttubrgcm! I know the Countryman is probably going to be marketed to non-MINI owners, but I’m curious how many of us will actually adopt one!

    I’m excited to see this thing, though, honestly, I do expect this to divide our community like the Porsche Cayenne did.

    ps. I can just see the All4 grille badge already 😉

  • that.guy

    Countryman was a cool movie. I doubt the car will be as cool. Although if they were to paint it red, yellow, black and green and pack the boot with a bale of Jamaican ganja…

  • giulius

    Can anyone tell me why we haven’t seen much spy/test pictures of the Countryman in the last couple of months?

    Could it be that MINI wanted the whole focus to stay on the coupe/speedster and that these so-called spy pictures are just routinely leaked by car companies whenever their strategy requires it?

  • Bilbo Baggins

    I think that James Irmiger has it right, they are not marketing the Countryman to MINI owners. BMW/MINI management is just trying to increase brand appeal. I just hope that they do not screw everything up too much, and get it back to the original feel, before I have to replace my R53.

  • The Countryman will be good. I can’t understand how people really think they know more than BMW/Mini with regards to product development and market strategy. Smoke your cigars and who knows what we’ll see, however I doubt it will be more of a flop than the X6 (if we are keeping this BMW/Mini flops regardless of the rest of the industry).

  • It has the same roofline as the speedster coupe concept (see C-pillar) Would be interesting to see it come with air ride. Somewhat like an Audi Allroad

  • Veggivet

    Looks like visibility out the rear window will be very limited. I wonder if this was designed purposefully so Countryman drivers wouldn’t see the confused looks of drivers behind them trying to figure out how such a bloated car could have a MINI badge on it. Is it just me or do the headlights give the car a ‘surprised’ look to it when viewed from the front, and an ‘angry’ look when viewed from an angle?

  • Axel

    Isnt this Countryman the same platform as the future BMW X1, if I am not mistaken that was what I had read

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  • MtnWoman

    Great! We need these in the NC Mountains! I will definitley get one – if I can afford it!!

  • poerboy

    Veggievet- The pictures up top are of the concept; the spy photos you can find on the web (search “MINI Crossman”) show the design not anywhere near as bubbled and bloated, with better visibility out back (and four full doors). IMO, the more recent shots look ALOT more like an actual mini than the concept does…

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  • Greg W

    What the heck does A114 stand for? It sounds a lot like and Audi designation.

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  • Scarlett O’MINI

    How’s this for a name for it: Fugly.

    Or Barf? Maybe NOF’INGWAY?

  • GLM

    What a fugly car! The front looks like something from a Thomas the Train episode.

  • emblabs

    Does anybody have any information regarding whether the BMW mini crossover/countryman/AII4 equipped with the “ MINI Centre GLOBE” ??

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  • Andy

    “Countryman All 4”

    … why do I imagine an English farmer in a Barber jacket on his hands and knees in the mud…

    and GregW:




    blockquote> you’re joking, right?

    …as Dogtanian said, All4:1 and 1:4All…

  • Andy

    Greg W – re. A114 – yer joking, right?

    As Dogtanian said,

    .All4:1 and 1:4All…

  • As posted here earier… No globe in the production version. But then if it’s delayed long enough, it might be a possibility… (that’s a joke…)

    Globe showed what could be done, not what will be done.


  • Matthew

    No Globe? One can only hope that means no Key Balls, too.

  • s.m8o

    any estimate on the expected weight of the vehicle yet?

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  • TurboDave

    Gotta say I think the car is sharp. I always hated the fake extra doors on the Clubman. The Mini Countryman ads have been fun. Saw pics of the sno globes in NYC and walked past the Union Square cereal boxes just this morning. It did what it was supposed to do – it made me want to buy the car!