By LAWRENCE TAN
It sounds like an oxymoron to say “the MINI is big”, but that is the case with the MINI Crossover Concept, BMW’s take on a four-wheel drive SUV version of the MINI, which debuts at the Paris Motor Show this month.
To put things in perspective, the Crossover is six inches wider and taller than the Clubman, and the first MINI to exceed four meters lengthwise.
BMW has decided to go creative with this Crossover, showcasing a slide-open roof and asymmetrical rear doors – the right door is hinged while the left slides out and back. The hatch features a single panel instead of the Clubman’s two. Space is another talking point as the beefed up MINI not only has room for four passengers, but also added stowage for several golf bags.
Of particular note are the design changes on the front – huge grilles and sweptback headlamps – which might offer a sneak peek to BMW’s new design direction for the MINI.
While concept cars are typically design platforms for automakers to experiment and go totally off-tangent, and more often than not unlikely to cross over to production, this MINI Crossover Concept is definitely headed for production in 2010.
However, it remains to be seen if BMW will retain the unusual doors or the folding roof. As for the 3D laser-projected globe-shaped central instrumental unit first mooted in the press release about a month ago, it will be hailed as a successful design exercise for the designers from Munich.
'Live' pictures of the MINI Crossover Concept at the Paris Motor Show from Autoblog