Mini Crossman SUV due in 2010
3 October 2008

Forget the extravagant door arrangements and the concept car detailing, because the Crossman is the new maxi-sized Mini. With much of the styling carried over from the Mini and Clubman, it is quite hard to get a grip on the size of the new car, but it is noticeably bigger in all dimensions.

The Crossman is wider, taller and 4.07m long, making it noticeably bigger than the 3.95m-long Clubman. But in showroom form, with production overhangs and bumpers, the new Mini won’t be hugely smaller than the new Renault Megane, for instance.

The final version won’t get the funky rear doors and the (patented) sliding rear-door parallelogram hinges, nor will it the neat clear-glazed rear pillar. But the overall proportions will be maintained, including the flatter bonnet and more upright nose, which are required to meet upcoming second-generation pedestrian protection legislation.

The first version of the car (aimed at the ‘modern, urban family’ for city and weekend use) is due in 2010, and will be a high-riding 4x4 model, but insiders expect a road-going five-door version of the car to go on sale later.

One intriguing aspect of the Crossman concept was the ‘Centre Globe’ mounted on the dashboard. It has internal sliding clear screens (one for each from passenger) onto which a screen image can be back-projected by lasers. Mini designers only started working on the technology, with a Cambridge-based company, at the beginning of the year. Computer-style Trackballs’ are also mounted on the steering wheel.

Despite the economic fall-out, Mini sales are still booming. Sales up to September were up to 180,000 units, up 9 percent on 2007. Clubman sales now account for 20 percent of all Mini output, says BMW.

Next year will be the Mini’s 50th anniversary and BMW also used the badge on the Crossman’s nose to celebrate the eight years since the first Mini concept was shown in 2000, also at Paris.

Hilton Holloway

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3 October 2008

Checks calender to see if it is April 1st.

It isn't.

Ensures sunglasses packed for impending Mondial de l'Automobile visit.

The End.

3 October 2008

My thoughts exactly. I thought this was a joke at first, but obviously it isn't.

5 October 2008

A Mini over 4m long?! Go on BMW, call it the Maxi, I dare you...


5 October 2008

Apparently BMW does own the rights to the Maxi name - and had to be persuaded by UK marketing people not to use it for a spin-off of the first BMW Mini. This thing is an absolute abomination. It will sell, but you will hate everyone who drives it: it will be like a poor man's BMW X6. And as for Alec Issigonis's thoughts - I can hear frantic subterranean spinning.

5 October 2008

Cross man needs to chill out! Mini sales were down in the USA last month, maybe they will have to get a realisitic pricing policy at last with some stripped out models that normal people could afford, though they would have to put a speedo or larger LCD in front of the driver I think before I would drive one.

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