Best clues yet as to how the upcoming Mini 4x4 will look
8 January 2010

These patent drawings give the best clues yet as to how the upcoming Mini 4x4 will look.

They show that the recent Mini Beachcomber concept was essentially a stripped down version of the production car, which will go on sale this September from around £17,000.

Intriguingly, the drawings show three variants: one three-door, one three-door with a club door and the overhead shot shows one door handle on one side and two on the other.

his is most likely because the patent application is covering off all possible variants - a three-door, five-door and three-door clubdoo.

The 4x4, which will most likely be called the Countryman or Crossman, is a shade over four metres long and shifts Mini into more family-orientated territory.

Inspired by the original Mini Moke from 1964, the Beachcomber is also being used to explore design ideas that could find their way onto future derivatives of the Countryman.

The Countryman will be the first of the BMW-generation Minis to be built outside of the UK.

Instead of being made at Cowley, the Countryman will be manufactured by Magna at its Graz plant in Austria.

Tom Richards


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8 January 2010

That's awful.

The spinning sound is coming from Sir Alec's grave.....

8 January 2010

Interesting, those drawings show a 3-door and a suicide door configuration, but the prototypes have regular doors. Maybe not all the pics leaked...

8 January 2010

I'm trying to think why i never get excited with the news of a new mini! is it because its just goin to look the same in some way shape or form! I think the mini/bmw honeymoon is coming to an end! not as exciting as few years back

8 January 2010

It's stretching a point to describe this as a leak.

The UK Intelectual Property Office is a legitimate public domain source of information. Nobody forced BMW to file the patent early. Once published by the IPO, it's in the public domain.

It does seem that few professional journalists are prepared to take the time to look at what the IPO publishes. It is left to amateurs like myself to scour the IPO database.

BTW I was the source of this story, first revealed on Twitter, then picked up by, from where it spread across several US websites before crossing back over the Atlantic to appear in Autocar. I was also the originator of the recent story on the Lotus twin clutch gearbox

8 January 2010

If Mini has a 4x4 under design why is Audi taking out the Quattro from its highly anticipated Audi S1? Audi should reconsider their decision not to include this fundamental feature of the Audi S series. However, an S1 Quattro will have significant advantage over the Mini Cooper S. When considering the current cold snap I know what I'll be going for.

Read the story on the S1 here

8 January 2010

Is it wrong to secretly like the Moke concept but to detest the look of the SUV?

8 January 2010

Uh, no--they don't. Those sketches are clearly of the original Mini Crossover concept--hence the weird door arrangement. Given that we've heard the Beachcomber is essentially the Countryman without doors, you can see some clear differences between the Beachcomber surfacing and details compared to these drawings.

8 January 2010

The patent docs actually show 3 versions - 3 door, 4 door (suicide door on 1 side), and 5 door (conventional doors).

8 January 2010

Am I the only one that's getting fed up with this 'leaked' image nonsense? I may be being a bit too cynical but as far as I'm concerned there is only one place these images are 'leaked' from and that's the BMW marketing department.

All car makers seem to be doing it at the monent.

8 January 2010

[quote oaffie]Am I the only one that's getting fed up with this 'leaked' image nonsense? [/quote]

These are not 'leaks'. They are registered designs published by the UKIPO (what used to be the Patent Office). Once you have filed a registered design application, it will normally be registered within a few weeks, and registration involves publication of the designs so that the rights conferred by the registration are visible to all.

I don't know why they are filing UK registered designs, though. You can file an EU-wide registered design covering the UK for similar cost. And OHIM (the EU registry) takes much longer to register, and hence publish, applications.

Incidentally, registered designs protect the appearance of an article. Patents protect inventions.

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