The original article from last summer (to which Jaloplink and Auto Motor Sport chimed-in more recently with the photoshopped image of the MINI Countryman seen in Califzeph’s repost) was from Edmunds Inside Line website, here:
The accompanying image (a digital illustration) was this one..
(Click on the thumbnail for larger image)
I particularly like the references to crack pipes and cocaine, if BMW/MINI does come out with this variant in 2013, Alec Issigonis will likely roll over in his grave.
Instead of going BIGGER, I think MINI should concentrate on keeping the legendary SMALL a feature of the car.
At what point do we say “Ok MINI, this thing is no longer a Mini-sized car, you have to stop using the brand-name off topic like that. You are just killing the historical reference by beating upon it like a dead horse.”
Would BMW drivers buy that thing? Hmm, let me see, how well are sales of BMW and Mercedes Mini-Vans doing these days? No? Not so good?
Oh, but put them in the same class as a Dodge Caravan or Plymouth Grand Voyager for a moment .. Oops, wait a sec… These aren’t the ultimate driving machine, BMW, and in fact they aren’t sportscars, heck, they don’t even qualify as a crossover.
Is BMW losing sight of what MINI stands for? There’s nothing chic about Minivans, the X5, X3, or X6 for that matter, and I don’t care what sort of celebrity soccer mom drives them. Is this MINIs answer to the Honda Odyssey or Ford Escape? Does it really NEED any sort of answer from the once great UK auto maker, Mini?
Not every concept car makes it to production, some are just bad ideas and never make it off the drawing board.
Let’s hope for MINI’s sake this one gets quietly put to rest. I for one would like to see them reincarnate the original 1959 design in a 4×10 car with modern safety and convenience features, now THAT would be a feat of engineering I would stand in line to buy.