2016 MINI Traveller MPV Test Mule Spy Shots

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MINI is hard at work developing the third-generation of its iconic hatchback in time for a reveal at the end of this year.

Based on a new front-wheel drive platform dubbed UKL, the new MINI is expected to spawn up to 10 different models, one of which is expected to be a five-door MPV.

MINI lineup to grow to 10 different models

We’ve previously reported on comments from BMW Group CEO Norbert Reithofer suggesting that MINI would eventually launch up to 10 different models, and there have been numerous reports suggesting one of these will be an MPV that could revive the ‘Traveller’ badge.

The original Mini Traveller, or Morris Mini-Minor Traveller, officially, was a smallish van that in some generations even came with bolted-on wooden body parts, and MINI may stick with the traditional name just as it did with the Clubman and Countryman that were also borrowed from the original Austin-Morris lineup.

These latest spy shots show test mules based on the current Countryman but with a much wider track. Some of the test mules also appear to feature a longer wheelbase. This suggests that it could be for a new, more practical MINI like a new-generation Traveller, however, there is one very different possibility.

New test mule could be for next-gen BMW X1

We could instead be looking at a test mule for the next-generation BMW X1, due sometime in 2015. Though the current version is just being launched in the U.S., development of the next X1 should be starting around now and is believed to be based on the same UKL platform spawning the new MINIs as well as a new front-wheel drive BMW model.

This means that the next-generation BMW X1 won’t be quite as sporty as the current model, though it should still be just as capable when equipped with all-wheel drive. It should also be considerably more practical.

As these are just test mules, development of whatever vehicle the engineers are testing here is still at the very early stages. Stay tuned for updates as the vehicle’s gestation progresses.

Note, just this week MINI reiterated its promise to deliver up to 10 different models in the mid-term. To prepare its plants in England for the expected increase in capacity required for all the additional models, MINI announced an investment of $380 million for vital upgrades to all its sites. This was on top of a previous investment of close to $800 million made last year.
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