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FaLeX
05-06-2005, 12:01 PM
Mini's radical 4x4 future<p><IMG SRC="http://www.autocarmagazine.com//Car/Mini/Hatchback/55551052140.jpg" BORDER="0"><p><IMG SRC="http://www.autocarmagazine.com//Car/Mini/Hatchback/55551033270.jpg" BORDER="0"><p><TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote &raquo;</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote"><br>BMWs top product development specialists are burning the midnight oil in Munich and California, putting together plans for a soft-roader version of the third-generation Mini. The new car could be fitted with a highly advanced all-wheel-drive system developed by specialist Getrag. Sources say BMWs engineering boss has already driven, and been impressed by, Getrags own four-wheel-drive Mini Cooper prototype.<p>The US market is important for Mini and theres said to be considerable pressure for BMW to enter the booming crossover market. The biggest problem BMW faces is the inherently compact nature of the Minis platform, despite the rumoured upcoming wheelbase stretch. The company is also balancing the problems of investing in a brand new body style for an uncertain market segment.<p>Earlier this year BMW unveiled building work to increase capacity at its Oxford factory. Sources say that todays 190,000 annual output could be boosted to at least 250,000 when the new facility comes on stream in 2007.<p>BMW board member Norbert Reithofer said the expansion would allow BMW to increase flexibility with regards to various Mini model variants. BMW sources insisted that no decisions had been made regarding an expansion of the Mini line-up beyond a hatchback and cabriolet. However this rendering (right), released by BMWs Californian Designworks division, shows a slightly longer, taller Mini with distinctive off-roader styling cues. The concept also clearly shows the addition of rear-hinged back doors in the style of the Rolls-Royce Phantom.<p>Autocars computer renderings, also above, show how BMW could realise a modern take on the Mini Moke based on the rumoured four-door Mini estate.<p>In any case, Getrags Twinster all-wheel-drive system could well find its way onto a Works version of the next-generation 1.6-litre turbocharged Cooper models. BMW had planned to build a 4x4 rally version of the Mini, but canned the project after the Rover Group sell-off. A Mini Monte Carlo  and even a works WRC team  looks a dead cert if the Getrag transmission gets the green light from BMW.<br></TD></TR></TABLE>

Ascariss
05-06-2005, 12:15 PM
Looks pretty good, at least in the sketch. The photoshop doesn't work as good as the sketch sadly. Is it a SUV or awd system? I wouldn't want a Mini SUV, would rather see an awd mini. I mean, there are already too many suvs out there.

Redline
05-06-2005, 03:57 PM
Ha, I can just see this on the mud trails around here. What a rediculous idea. But who knows, people may want to save on gas, but still have that rough trucky feeling their SUV gave them.

RallyCat909
05-15-2005, 04:50 PM
Id be pissed if they didnt rally it.

knicks125
05-15-2005, 06:31 PM
Agree with Ascariss, the sketch looks really good, while the impression looks very much to be bloated. I hope it will turn out to be more like the sketch than it is like the impression

AU297
05-30-2005, 12:50 AM
<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>Ascariss</b> &raquo;</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Looks pretty good, at least in the sketch. The photoshop doesn't work as good as the sketch sadly. Is it a SUV or awd system? I wouldn't want a Mini SUV, would rather see an awd mini. I mean, there are already too many suvs out there.</TD></TR></TABLE><br>They are two different cars... The first is the 4x4... the second is a newer 4 door...<br> <I>Autocars computer renderings, also above, show how BMW could realise a modern take on the Mini Moke based on the rumoured four-door Mini estate.</I>