New reports suggest the next model will be a crossover-style vehicle with an AWD configuration, a model that cold eventually spawn a MINI-based pickup truck. Production for the MINI crossover will likely be outsourced to either Italian coachbuilder Bertone, which has already built 2000 units of the special edition GP MINI, or possibly BMW partner Magna Steyr. Other revisions to the range include the addition of BMW’s latest fuel-saving engine shutdown feature, the same Bosch system that will be used in BMW’s 1-series lineup.
The main reason for introducing such a vehicle is to satisfy the dominant US market, which favors a small SUV/crossover version. Plus there’s also idle capacity at the company’s Spartanburg plant in South Carolina.