Five-door, four-wheel drive 'Sports Acitivity Vehicle' due in 2010

This is the next new Mini model, expected to hit showrooms in 2010. The five-door Mini 4x4 will be previewed at the Paris motor show in October and could spawn a more mainstream front-drive hatchback variant, according to high-level sources.

The 4x4, which Mini is calling Sports Activity Vehicle, will feature a new, taller, five-door body. But in order to make the new ‘SAV’ financially viable, Mini plans to build a two-wheel-drive model on the same chassis, creating a five-door hatchback. 

While the successful launch of the SAV would take annual Mini brand sales up to the 340,000 mark, industry specialists say that Mini probably needs to make 500,000 cars per year if it is to be profitable and its research and development programmes are to become self-funding.

To this end, insiders say that if the Mini SAV proves a success, the two-wheel-drive ‘Mini Maxi’ hatch could be launched by 2012.

Confusion surrounds the make-up of the SAV’s chassis. Some sources say it is a development of the current Clubman, equipped with a taller bulkhead and new upper-body structure. However, other sources say that it uses the existing Mini frontal structure but adds a new floorpan modified to accommodate both four-wheel drive and completely different seating positions.

Officially, BMW says that while its engineers “devised the SAV vehicle concept”, “series development and production” will be handled by Austrian company Magna Steyr, which has been involved in the car’s engineering.

BMW also says that it completed “the majority of the drivetrain development” for the Mini SAV. This could mean that Getrag’s prototype 4x4 system, designed specifically for the Mini, has not been employed for the production car.

The SAV will get a similar range of petrol and diesel engines to the current Mini range, with prices likely to start at around £16,500.

BMW says it plans to make just 80,000 Mini SAVs each year at Magna’s factory in Graz when the current X3, the plant’s current production model, is phased out. The Mini factory in Oxford is already operating at full capacity and the new X3 will be built in the United States.

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Comments
7

2 July 2008

The SAV would be a welcome addition to the MINI range - Concept images look fabulous and do away with the unloved/stupid scissor door arrangement on the Clubman - Well done BMW for moving the game along ahead of the competition.

Wheats

2 July 2008

Looks great! Put me down for one!

2 July 2008

Finally! A Clubman with a sensible complement of doors.

I will now definitely NOT consider ordring a Clubman, and wait for this model instead.......

2 July 2008

I love the Clubman for all its quirkiness, and, er, differentness, but those doors are a bit annoying. A MINI with 5-doors is highly attractive, even it they're beginning to lose the point of what a MINI is, but providing they keep the styling close to the Clubman, they'll have yet another winner. Can't wait to see how the final model looks!!!

"The creative adult is the child who survived."

3 July 2008

Poor Alec must be spinning in his grave...

5 July 2008

I like the mini but cant help thinking that the Ford Ka is the spiritual successor to the original Mini, cheap and good to drive. I dont remeber the original very well being only 28. Also looking forward to the new Toyota that looks very small and in keeping with the original.

How long before we get a rebodied X3 badged as a mini?

6 July 2008

BMW are messing around with MINI

Leave it alone, it's supposed to be a small affordable car!

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