So what do you think of the Mini SUV? The right way to go? Or does it look too much like what’s gone before?

I’m in the second camp to be honest. BMW is absolutely right to think about stretching the brand – and this genre is guaranteed to generate sales. Not just in Europe but in the all-important American market too. And its timing could be perfect. After all, buyers are currently desperate to get out of bigger cars.

I just wish that Mini designers had used this car to take a different direction. It looks good, but too much like a pumped-up hatch and that’s a wasted opportunity. The new Mini brand is now such a fixture they could have had the luxury of greater extravagance.

Of course, this is only a concept and the real thing could be end up being different. So could the more conventional five-door hatch that’s also likely to be built using the SUV’s underpinnings. But I doubt it.

That said, the Mini SUV should be arriving at exactly the same time as the Land Rover LRX. The battle between these chic off-roaders is going to be an interesting one. Though at the moment I reckon the Landie has it licked on looks.