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2011 MINI Crossman: The Paris Concept Is Here

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2011 MINI Crossman Concept (2008 Paris auto show)

2011 MINI Crossman Concept (2008 Paris auto show)

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It was bound to happen sooner or later. The darling of different, the MINI, is ever so slowly creeping toward Maxi. "Continuing its overwhelming story of success," says parent BMW, the MINI brand releases its Crossover Concept today at the Paris auto show, alongside BMW's X1 crossover concept.

The delightfully British-English press release proudly announces that the Crossover Concept is "a new model variant for the first time measuring more than four metres in length, with four drive wheels and four single seats." From the concept renderings we see the traditional MINI funkiness, but hiked up on platforms shoes, stretched, and with a pretty fly 1.5 doors on the driver's side and a full two on the passenger's. Of special curiosity is a protruding, "War of the Worlds"-looking "MINI Centre Globe," which purports to set new standards in consolidating navigation and infotainment functions.

If done as well as MINI's models have been thus far, the brand should have a strong player in the burgeoning cute-ute market. Sales of small SUVs like the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape have risen as big SUVs have slid like a pitonless climber on Annapurna.

The release seems to dwell on the theme of this MINI's greater size and all-wheel drive as lending the concept "more calibre, more options." Predictably absent in the wording was the toll that AWD, presumably higher curb weight, and a lower coefficient of drag take on fuel economy. Be careful, MINI: Maxi ain't in vogue right now.--Colin Mathews

2011 MINI Crossman Concept (2008 Paris auto show)

2011 MINI Crossman Concept (2008 Paris auto show)

Enlarge Photo

2011 MINI Crossman Concept (2008 Paris auto show)

2011 MINI Crossman Concept (2008 Paris auto show)

Enlarge Photo

2011 MINI Crossman Concept (2008 Paris auto show)

2011 MINI Crossman Concept (2008 Paris auto show)

Enlarge Photo

2011 MINI Crossman Concept (2008 Paris auto show)

2011 MINI Crossman Concept (2008 Paris auto show)

Enlarge Photo

2011 MINI Crossman Concept (2008 Paris auto show)

2011 MINI Crossman Concept (2008 Paris auto show)

Enlarge Photo

2008 Paris Auto Show concept

2008 Paris Auto Show concept

Enlarge Photo

2008 Paris Auto Show concept

2008 Paris Auto Show concept

Enlarge Photo
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