Late last year an official from Mini revealed there were plans to introduce five variants of the Mini by the end of the decade and it appears version number four will be a new SUV – the previous being the Cooper, Cabrio and upcoming Clubman. We now have news that the SUV variant won’t be built in the UK alongside the current range but instead will be outsourced to Austria’s Magna Steyr. BMW currently outsources production of its X3 SUV to Magna but the contract will expire at the end of the decade when production of the next-gen model starts at the Spartanburg plant in North America.

Inside sources have revealed to Automotive News Europe that Magna will build up to 80,000 units per year, which will include both FWD and AWD variants. The Colorado, which is likely to be called the Colorado, will be built off a new platform to accommodate the AWD transmission and raised suspension but the existing Mini engine bay will remain.

BMW is yet to confirm Magna as the supplier of the new Mini-SUV but CEO Norbert Reithofer did reveal last month that production of the car would be outsourced. We're sure product planners have other variants in store for the next Mini car, including a possible Mini-hybrid?