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Spy photographers have caught the MINI Crossman practically naked. Unless BMW is keeping the car's final ride height a secret, this looks to be a branding exercise extraordinaire: the car is but a few millimeters higher than the Clubman. Its "rough-road" credentials are supposedly validated by the larger wheels, slightly longer wheelbase than the Clubman and a rear differential for AWD.
Auto Express claims the Crossman is meant to steal sales from the Land Rover Freelander, or the LR2 in America. Not that it won't -- after all, it is a MINI and they seem to be able to do as they please. But the Freelander is larger in every dimension and a genuine Land Rover off-roader. While we know the LR2 doesn't see much duty in the wild, we bet it can handle rough urban trials (like New England winters, say) far better than a MINI on tiptoes. Have MINI buyers really been asking for a much smaller and far less capable -- but cuter -- LR2? Nevertheless, when the Crossman goes on sale, and, we predict, sells well, it will move for about £20,000 in the UK.

[Source: Auto Express]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      SUV, come on. I can't tell any difference from a clubman.
        • 7 Years Ago
        It's called a testing mule... way to read the Auto Express article or any previous article about the Crossman or practically any other vehicle going through early stage testing.
      • 7 Years Ago
      So people will still be buying cars that are compared to "toilets" (according to Jeremy Clarkson; love that guy!)?
      • 7 Years Ago
      I REALLY want a smaller luxury car than I have now but I REFUSE to put up with FWD so if it takes a douche-o-matic CUV to eventually get AWD into a Cooper S, then so be it :D
      • 7 Years Ago
      I hope they but the AWD system in the regular Cooper S and take them rallying! That would be so cool...
      • 7 Years Ago
      The raised stance and big wheels totally save the proportions of the Clubman. Big improvement.

      Too bad it will necessarily handle worse, ride worse, and drink more gas.