The information comes from the boss of Mini brand management Wolfgang Armbrecht who spoke recently with Edmunds. Nicknamed the ‘Big Mini’, Armbrecht said the vehicle has been designed as a true 4x4 and will be able to seat four-passengers. It will stretch four meters in length but at the same time it will retain Mini’s "go-kart drive quality”.
Styling of the production model will be very similar to the concept, although the rear opening will be simplified extensively. The vehicle will also be instantly recognizable as a Mini and its interior will be packed with innovative storage solutions.
The first versions will be available in FWD only, with a BMW Xdrive-derived AWD model set to go on sale soon after the initial launch. Both vehicles will be built by independent vehicle manufacturer Magna Steyr in Graz, Austria.
Pricing for the base Cooper version with FWD is expected to start at around $29,000, while the range-topping Cooper S with AWD should be priced somewhere around the $34,000 mark. A high-performance John Cooper Works edition of the Mini crossover has been ruled out for now.
The engine lineup should mirror the powertrain range found in the Cooper and Clubman models, which means a base 1.6L petrol four-cylinder with 120hp (90kW) and 118lb-ft (160Nm) of torque, a 1.6L common-rail diesel with 110hp (82kW) and 177lb-ft (240Nm) of torque, and a 1.6L turbocharged petrol unit with 175hp (130kW) and 177lb-ft (240Nm) of torque. All three engines will be available with a six-speed manual as standard or an optional six-speed auto. The U.S. will only receive the petrol-powered versions.
As for the name of the crossover, Armbrecht wasn’t willing to reveal any clues. Mini’s marketing chief Ian Robertson has previously revealed that it definitely won’t be called the ‘Crossman’, which has widely been speculated. Another possibility is that it could be called the ‘Maxi’, but without official confirmation it is still too early to call. The Maxi name, incidentally, comes from a 1960s British Leyland five-door hatch that shared a number of features with a Mini project.