Paris Preview: MINI SAV 5-door coming, FWD variant planned

After nearly three years of rumors and speculation, the new jacked-up MINI SAV will finally make its debut, according to Autocar. The Brit pub is reporting that the MINI 'ute is bound for Paris, with an on-sale date sometime in 2010 and sporting a five-door design.
Questions still remain about what platform the new all-wheel-drive model will be based on, with sources suggesting it will either be based around the Clubman's architecture, making use of a new upper-body structure, or the current Cooper's chassis, using the front end and employing a new floorpan to accommodate the AWD system and new seating positions. Regardless of what's underpinning the SAV, MINI has to justify the R&D, so if the biggie-sized MINI proves successful, there's a possibility that a front-wheel-drive variant will be offered on the same chassis, oxymoronically dubbed the MINI "Maxi."

Production is expected to begin late next year at Magna's factory in Graz, which currently produces the X3. And with BMW shifting production of its entry-level SUV to the U.S. sometime next year, MINI will have the manufacturing capacity to bring its sales over the 340,000 mark.

[Source: Autocar]

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