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