MINI fans have a new reason to get excited, now that the name of the company's upcoming crossover has been released. The MINI Crossman, previously referred to internally as the "Colorado” and “Monte”, will bring the brand firmly into a new territory. This news comes from an Auto Motor Sport interview with MINI CEO, Kay Segler.
What will likely be called the R58 within BMW from here on out, the Crossman is expected to ride higher than current MINI models and they will all have All Wheel Drive, making it a possible choice for off-roaders. With these new capabilities, MINI plans to expand their customer base to include young men who want something a little more "masculine" than the current models.
First reaction to the new name has made some wonder if MINI lost its creative edge. Likewise, one latent downside to the company releasing a crossover is, if they will end up alienating the fan base that has rallied around the small car brand since the release of the Cooper.
This new vehicle will also mark the first time a MINI is assembled outside the U.K. Austrian manufacturer Magna Steyr will build the car for MINI, which is quickly running out of space at their current facilities.
The MINI Crossman is scheduled for release in 2010. Segler says there are currently no plans for a fifth MINI model.