We’re not sure how much to believe but Autocar is reporting that BMW is considering adding a “softroad” version of the MINI sometime during the next generation’s lifespan. Now it’s worth mentioning that this idea was rumored several years ago only to reportedly be axed in favor of keeping MINI and the term SUV as far away from each other as possible. However, since Autocar is so adamant that something is in the works, I thought it appropriate to report on it. Here’s an excerpt of the article:

BMW’s top product development specialists are burning the midnight oil in Munich and California, putting together plans for a ‘soft-roader’ version of the third-generation Mini. The new car could be fitted with a highly advanced all-wheel-drive system developed by specialist Getrag. Sources say BMW’s engineering boss has already driven, and been impressed by, Getrag’s own four-wheel-drive Mini Cooper prototype.

The US market is important for Mini and there’s said to be considerable pressure for BMW to enter the booming crossover market. The biggest problem BMW faces is the inherently compact nature of the Mini’s platform, despite the rumoured upcoming wheelbase stretch. The company is also balancing the problems of investing in a brand new body style for an uncertain market segment.

Three words: Grain of salt. You can read more at the link:

[ Mini’s radical 4×4 future ] Autocar

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