In what essentially is just a recap of a couple previous stories on MotoringFile and other publications, takes a look at the possibility of an all-wheel drive MINI in the years ahead (R56?). Here’s an excerpt:

Should we be expecting an all-wheels-driven MINI anytime soon? The answer is unclear, and will probably be undecided for quite some time.

On the one hand, the cutting-edge system would help give more powerful MINIs, such as the Cooper S and Cooper S Works, the upper hand over even more powerful competitors, turning them into practical, four-season vehicles. According to Getrag, BMW’s product development leader Burkhard Goschel rode in the prototype Cooper S 4×4 and was ‘impressed’.

The flip side of the coin has much less to do with driving performance and more to do with marketing. An all-wheel drive Cooper with a rear-wheel drive bias would bring the MINI uncomfortably close to BMW’s own rear-wheel drive hatchback, the 1-Series.

Further complexities arise when factoring in development and equipment costs, which will likely be high enough to cause pricing conflicts between MINIs and the 1-Series.

You can read it all here.

On a side note Getrag has been shipping it’s famed all-wheel drive MINI all over the world to show off it’s technology. In fact this past fall it was even in the US.

If you follow that last link and look closely at the list of cars you’ll notice something else; the MINI is the only car there that’s not currently in production. Make of it what you will.