Paris Preview: Mini Crossman Cute Ute
MINI's forthcoming Crossman cute ute is set to debut later this year at the Paris Auto Show. Spy images and details are already making the rounds on the autoblogosphere. Channel Four tells us that the Crossman is based on the next-generation generation of MINI platforms, which will accommodate larger variants like the Crossman. As a result, the MINI Ute is larger, rides about 80mm higher than a standard MINI and stretches over 12 feet long. The Crossman will offer BMW X-Drive AWD, although front wheel drive will most likely be the base configuration. An optional Efficient Dynamics start-stop system should help keep fuel efficiency reasonable. The Crossman will be closely related to BMW's forthcoming X1 baby ute (cannibalism much?). Both vehicles will be built in Austria by Magna Steyr. With a planned annual production of 80k units, there should be plenty of Crossmen available for those urban sophisticates who are willing to pay considerably more for a MINI that looks like it could handle a forest service road. The Crossman will be available stateside some time in… 2010.
I don't about this cute ute, but an update of the moke would be a better world car than the nano. By world car, I mean one that is cheap in most the world, but less cheap in the US and similar countries due to being upgraded to meet regs. Not exactly the same car everywhere, but recognizable as the same car (unlike any of Ford's world cars that aren't at all recognizably the same car. The keys are simple, easy to repair, functional, dirt roadable, and rugged. Folks in african villages can't afford all the pollution gear, but they can reduce emissions by simply burning small amounts of fuel in tiny engines and not going so fast.
For all those wondering / complaining about the expansion of the Mini lineup... I'd say Mini knows what they're doing: look at the VW New Beetle where it (hasn't) been.
I'm always in support of small pickups, no matter the manufacturer... The perfect size pickup truck - Nissan Hardbody. Small, cheap, bulletproof, efficient. New "Midsize" is last years "fullsize," and "small" has all but vanished...
this is a great idea... i dislike the way bmw badged cars are getting so snooty - i wont buy one, but i am anxious to buy a mini - mine will be a base convertable, they can expand all they want, i like these cars.