Maxi Mini

The new Mini range will have max­i­mum ap­peal, writes Mark Hinch­liffe

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige -

IN 10 years of the new Mini, there have been only three body styles: the hatch, wagon and cabrio. Over the next cou­ple of years, that num­ber is ex­pected to dou­ble.

The first to ar­rive in Aus­tralia early next year will be the Coun­try­man com­pact SUV, which BMW Group ex­pects will rep­re­sent 30-40 per cent of global sales.

Mini cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager Piers Scott says the com­pact SUV is one of the fastest-grow­ing mar­ket seg­ments.

Coun­try­man is built on a new plat­form that is wider and longer than the hatch, cabrio or wagon.

It has a new all-wheel-drive sys­tem that op­er­ates in front-wheel drive un­til the wheels slip, then power is di­rected to the rear wheels via a rear dif­fer­en­tial, rather than a cen­tre diff.

The Cooper S model will be avail­able in AWD and 2WD, but the Cooper will come in 2WD only.

‘‘It won’t can­ni­balise sales of the X1,’’ Scott says. ‘‘We’ll more likely get cus­tomers from the Ja­panese com­pact SUVs like Subaru and Toy­ota.’’

The ve­hi­cle has 350 litres of cargo


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