When the 2011 Countryman goes on sale later this year, it will be the largest offering from Mini, boasting four doors, raised ground clearance and all-wheel drive. And while the Countryman proves that Mini isn't so, well, mini anymore, Auto Express is stirring the rumormill by reporting that the automaker is working on an even larger version of the Countryman, complete with a longer wheelbase that will accommodate a third row of seats out back.

Is there room for a seven-seat Mini crossover in the brand's portfolio? We doubt it – especially since we have yet to see how strong of a seller the standard Countryman is. Parent company BMW already has the pint-sized X1 on deck, and if we're honest, a seven-seat Countryman just doesn't make a whole lot of sense. (We don't even want to think about how cramped that third row of seats would be.)

Recently, the news broke that Mini is strongly considering a production version of the Beachcomber concept from this year's Detroit Auto Show – a show car that received relatively high levels of positive feedback from enthusiasts. Mini is already expanding its lineup with the addition of the Coupe and Roadster in the near future, and we think that until the brand is comfortable with producing a wider range of vehicles beyond the standard Cooper and Clubman offerings, a seven-seat Countryman is the last thing that anyone should be ruminating over.

[Source: Auto Express]