“This official picture has come from Italian coachbuilder Castagna which, having already put the finishing touches to the estate, is now planning the Allroad. The new-style MINI has an increased ride height, plus bull bars at the front designed to appeal to SUV fans.
Extra trim down the sides gives a beefier appearance, while the timber frame of the Woody model is also fitted for a retro finish. Rather than being an out-and-out off-roader, this MINI makes do with front-wheel drive and will be capable of only very light off-road work, as it has few mechanical changes over the standard hatchback.
Based on the hand-built MINI estate, the 'soft-road' version will be sold as a bespoke aftermarket package. Owners bring along their conventional three-door hatchback, and the work then begins to create a much more individual look. With the estate conversion starting at ÃƒÂ¯Ã‚Â¿Ã‚Â½7,000, expect to pay at least ÃƒÂ¯Ã‚Â¿Ã‚Â½10,000 for the full SUV pack.
The work isn't endorsed by BMW, but bosses at the German firm will be keen to see how many buyers the Allroad attracts. If it's a success, BMW could be keen to produce some kind of small SUV as a rival to Smart's ForMore, which is due in 2006.”
For more information about MINI's own extended wheelbase MINI, see the post below.