The following report is brought to you via several sources – some of them public and some of them not. The most influential however, Herr26, is an avid commenter on MF and BF and is a well known insider at BMW. Also note that the image is an old rendering based on old information and is likely not entirely accurate.
MINI was born out of many ideologies. One of the most important (and influential) is the idea of being bigger on the inside than the outside. With the upcoming Traveller. MINI intends to take this idea to the max.
Code-named “Spacebox” and known as the Traveller (or even the MINI Activity Tourer) the car will be based on the front wheel drive BMW Compactive Sport Tourer or ‘FAST’. The idea (for both but especially the Traveller) is all about increasing practicality and flexibility for a customer who would have had to to move to another brand because they’ve simply run out of space. Both but especially the Traveller will be the most utility oriented of all of BMW or MINI’s upcoming products based off of the UKL1 platform.
In order to show how the MINI brand can be accomodated with a concept that is less van in appearance – The MINI Traveller will be shown as a Concept car in the not-so-distant future to showcase how innovation is achieved not only from the outside but also from the inside.
The theme for the Traveller is very much “Access all areas” and uses the typical MINI solutions to passenger access such as rear-hinged doors and barn doors which could be configured Clubman style or in a 60/40 opening allowing smaller bags to be stored via a smaller door and vice versa.
BMW believe that MINI, with it’s innovative approach to access, furthers and distinguishes it’s identity from its forthcoming BMW siblings.
As expected the overall look of the Traveller will be very much MINI. The dimensions are compact and the front overhang is kept short. In essence the MINI Traveller is very much like a larger Clubman. It’s internal term “Spacebox” is derived from the spacious interior and also the expanse of glass which gives the MINI Traveller an abundance of light including a larger panoramic roof which allows the interior to look larger than it is. The appearance of the MINI Traveller is very much MINI III (The F56) – raked headlights and larger grille determines the facial features, whilst at the rear they are experimenting with high level taillamps in the C-pillars.
The MINI interior though expands on practicality with additional storage points increasing flexibility but in a unique MINI way. So you will have reverse-hinged storage compartments in some parts of the car.
Look for the Traveller (again the name is not confirmed) to join the MINI family in 2014 or 2015.