Countryman. That must be a vehicle for the out-of-town then. And with four-wheel drive, the odd adventure too.
The adventure we dream up for this biggest-ever Mini is to take it to the site of a distant piece of Mini history, our aim being to find the factory – or its remains - where glassfibre versions of the original car were made in Chile from 1969-73.
And we’re also hoping to find a plastic-bodied survivor, too. The ‘we’ is photographer Paul Harmer and myself, plus a white Mini Countryman Cooper S All4 and for much of time, a pair of spare wheels on the floor in the back, proving that a Mini Countryman is decisively bigger than a Mini.
Firm ride apart, the fastest big Mini makes quite a good device for spearing into the desert, large enough to ride the PanAmerican Highway in comfort, small enough to negotiate tight desert tracks and grippy enough, with its four-wheel drive, to ascend hills of dirt, gravel and dust.
And there’s one climb in particular that takes us to an altitude sickness-inducing 4000 metres, after which we hit the Argentinian border – which we cross just because we can.