Get your snappy one-liners ready, we’ve got another story on the potential of a MINI SUV. Here’s an excerpt (via Automobile.com):
At the beginning of May, BMWs DesignWorks studios, the facility responsible for many of BMWs modern interpretations, concepts and designs, released a preliminary sketch of a road-biased compact SUV. Known across the globe as “soft roaders” for their limited capabilities off the paved path, the MINI SUV (or SAV, in BMW terminology) would provide an economical, stylish and fun alternative to the current crop of cute utes, such as the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Ford Escape and Mitsubishi Outlander.
The sketch depicts a slightly longer, taller hatchback version of the familiar MINI shape. Heavily rolled wheel arches that are finished in matte plastic (like todays Cooper), the trademark floating roof, minimal overhangs, blacked-out pillars and MINIs traditionally cute, smiling face will definitely be key features to link this to the brands other models. Elsewhere, the design team began to play with shapes and details that are foreign to the heritage-rich British classic. A side sketch depicts a four-door body with high-mounted round tail lamps on the rear pillars, and bulbous front and rear glass.
[ MINI to Make Cooper SUV ] Automobile.com
MF Analysis: As I’ve said before with these MINI/SUV rumors – three words: grain of salt. Don’t expect MINI to sell-out and create something like a MINI RAV4. BMW is all too aware of how important the MINI brand and it’s aspiring values are to future sales. It’s my guess that the four door MINI will be more MINI like and less SUV.