AutoWeek.nl (a dutch publication) has the scoop on an all-wheel drive MINI that Getrag (the company the supplies manual transmissions for MINI) has developed for future study. While the prototype was created solely by Getrag, execs at BMW appear to be following development closely. Here's an excerpt from the article (loosely translated from Dutch)
The power of the all-wheel drive MINI is not divided evenly over all wheels. Most of the power is sent initially to the rear wheels. However once the system senses a loss of traction, the power is distrubted more evenly to the front wheels . On the test track the all-wheel drive MINI appeared 10 per cent faster than the standard front wheel drive car.
When we can expect an all-wheel drive MINI in showrooms is yet unclear. BMW development leader Burkhard Goschel has ridden already in the prototype and, according to Getrag, was “impressed”.
You can read the entire article here – in Dutch of course!