Official Press Release: Je vous souhaite la bienvenue chez MINI! Welcome to the MINI stand here in Paris!

The Paris Motor Show is of particular significance for MINI as this is where we showcased the new MINI generation just two years ago. Today it gives me great pleasure to present to you a future design for the MINI family-the MINI Crossover Concept. The four HOMP-Boys just gave us a preview of this visionary design. This concept vehicle

– shows a new level of versatility-for both the interior and the exterior,
– it offers additional innovative and customized features;
– And thanks to its unconventional all-wheel drive-this vehicle offers both the driver and passengers an entirely new car experience.

The MINI Crossover Concept is definitely going to redefine mobility for the small vehicle segment.

This concept demonstrates just how possible it is to offer individual, comfortable seating combined with spaciousness in a small premium vehicle. Its unique features include four individually adjustable, single seats and a full range of storage options both inside and outside. This car, with a length of over four meters, is designed as a trend-setting travel companion.
Now let’s take a closer look at some of the concept’s unique features: The roof, for example, is made of durable textile, which can be opened from front to back and vice versa.
The doors have been designed to make loading much more convenient.

In line with the MINI philosophy of setting new standards in driving fun, the MINI Crossover Concept features a whole new dimension in interior design. A new type of multifunctional fastening rail serves as the connecting unit between the front and the rear of the vehicle. This rail can be used to attach adjustable cup holders, storage units and entertainment consoles that can be moved between the front and rear of the vehicle.

And the vehicle’s dashboard houses the MINI Center Globe, which is the vision of a central control unit with a touch-screen interface. This integrates all navigation, telecommunication and entertainment functions and applies sophisticated laser projection technology-which is unique to the world over.

The globe’s three-dimensional structure allows, for example, the driver to consult the navigation system while the front-seat passenger can surf the internet.
The new ignition key is also anything but conventional: The so-called “Keyball” turns the engine on or off when it is dropped into the MINI Center Globe as if it were a Japanese Pachinko game.

Thanks to the new all-wheel drive, the MINI Crossover will offer a thoroughly new driving experience, whether in heavy snow or other challenging driving conditions, whilst preserving the trademark go-cart feeling associated with the MINI family.

Our designers went one step further by integrating a variety of materials not seen in a MINI before. The concept features the use of wood, porcelain, glass and aluminium in the interior. These highlight the premium character of the MINI Crossover Concept.

The MINI Crossover Concept is born from the success of the brand around the world. MINI is the world’s fastest growing premium brand. Even though the final retail figures are not available today, we can give an indication. In the United States, currently one of MINI’s key markets, sales increased by over 25% in the past 9 months.

Also here in France sales rose by well over 25%. And the MINI Clubman has been the key growth driver in many other European markets as well. Its share of total sales worldwide is 20%, bringing us right on track with our retail target.

In the year to September, we delivered 180,000 MINIs, up more than 9 % from last year.
Without a doubt, MINI remains the perfect match for the mobility demands of environmentally conscious customers. Our premium brand in the small car segment is unrivalled when it comes to superb fuel efficiency and high performance. Almost all MINI models run below Europe’s current CO2 emission limit of 140 g/km.

We are confident that there is further potential for extending the MINI family. The MINI Crossover Concept is proof of this. We are certain this vehicle will appeal to the modern, urban family who wish to enjoy emotional design, space and flexibility as well as driving fun. It is not only a city vehicle but also the perfect get-away car for the weekend.

The MINI Crossover Concept is a visionary design. Series production of this vehicle is planned in the foreseeable future and details will be provided at a later date.

Nevertheless, this MINI Crossover Concept underscores the vivid uniqueness and exclusivity of the MINI brand: ever so progressive, ever so MINI. So keep an eye out for the all-wheel drive MINI. It is guaranteed to create a new dimension to your driving experience.

Next year MINI will be celebrating its 50th birthday. To honour the occasion, we will present some special MINI highlights and host the third MINI United Festival. Turning 50 truly marks a milestone for the MINI brand. And we remain optimistic that MINI will be celebrating many more milestones over the coming decades.

Before I close I would like Gert Hildebrand, the Concept designer, to join me here on the stage.

Thank you very much for your attention.