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Just as MINI is ramping up to launch the Clubman wagon in addition to its current lineup for 2008, rumors are flying about a possible MINI compact sport utility vehicle, reportedly inspired by the Austin Ant and MINI Moke, dunebuggy-ish off-roaders originally designed for the British military. BMW's California DesignWorks studio is apparently already working on a design, and production would likely take place in the U.S. at BMW's Spartanburg plant. It would include BMW's xDrive all-wheel drive and rumor has it that the CUV would actually be based on the same platform as the BMW 1-Series.

Thanks to the Spartanburg plant's flexible manufacturing system, the CUV would be right at home next to the BMW X5 and Z4 roadster models, odd as that may sound.

Click through to the link to see a concept drawing of the MINI SUV and some spy photos of the Clubman.

[Source: World Car Fans]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      That rendering is to the Austin Ant/MINI Moke what Don Cherry is to sartorial presence.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Just like the current Mini, I'd be too embarrassed to even be a passenger in that thing, sorry - I'll just admire it from afar. Very afar.
      • 7 Years Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      This looks more like an "eBay find of the day" than something that was built by BMW engineers. I suspect it's a stretched Mini with S10 Blazer underpinnings.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Not another suv....
      • 7 Years Ago
      It looks like my Subie outback and a mini had a slightly retarded love child.
      • 7 Years Ago
      That is just crazy, pure and simple. CRAZY. Has BMW lost its corp mind?
      • 7 Years Ago
      I take it back. The Moke and Austin Ant should not be glorified or remebered in any way. They look like clown cars or golf carts. There is no historic precedent for a Mini SUV or Crossover, but I still like the rendering.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Thanks. I just did a spit take with my coffee all over my monitor. Ug. That's hideous. That's not MINI-esque at all!

      I think there may be a place for it in the brand, but this ain't it!

      It would be cool if it followed the previous moke, pure function... though not so cheap lookin! ..strip down the upcoming clubman to it's bare minimum with a more angular look, add 4x4, jack it up and there you go!
        • 7 Years Ago
        I don't mean stipping about the good things, I mean make it LOOK like it wants to go off-road, just like the current MINI looks like it wants to be on the road.

        I am a proud MINI owner... so I definately understand the brand!
        • 7 Years Ago
        A big part of the Mini's appeal and sales success is that, while it is a small car, it is by no means a penalty car. If you think there's any chance they'll "strip it down to the bare minimum", you've got another thing coming.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The only problem is that Mini relies so heavily on nostalgia that it is hard to branch out into new territory and still maintain the same cachet. If there is a historical precedent for a vehicle, even if it is somewhat removed, I say go for it.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Jonathan Hicks
      • 7 Years Ago
      Mini doesn't need a crossover SUV at all. I do not think it will fit Mini's brand image.
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