According to BMW, the reception to its MINI Crossover Concept from the Paris Motor Show was so positive that the automaker approved the project for production in 2011 just four weeks after it debuted. The production version of the jacked-up MINI CUV is slated to be unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, which is right on schedule with earlier projections. Don't expect to see the concept's trick rear doors or the side-hinged driver's side portal on the production model, which will instead rely on four normal front-hinged openings and a standard tailgate. Also on the menu is an optional four-wheel drive system complete with low range when drivers want to tackle the Rubicon, which is, of course, never.
According to sources at MINI, the car will retain the brand's trademark kart-like handling, in spite of the ample ground clearance and meaty rolling stock that will be required on a vehicle with off-road intensions. In any case, the biggest MINI won't come cheap. Expect the 2011 MINI Crossover to pick up where the current range lets off, with a base price of around $29K. MINI also promises a full range of available options, so consider that figure nothing more than a vague starting point for the customizers among us.