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Spy shots: Mud-Mini is coming

2009-01-29 14:44

Mini enthusiasts have a whole new reason to get excited, now that the name of the company's upcoming crossover has been released and the production vehicle has been spotted for the first time.

The Mini Crossman, previously referred to internally as the "Colorado," will bring the brand firmly into new territory. What will likely be called the R58 within BMW from here on out, the Crossman is obviously riding higher than current Mini models, and have all-wheel-drive.

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.

Initial response to the new name has made some wonder if Mini lost its creative edge. Likewise, one potential 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 UK. Austrian manufacturer Magna Steyr will build the car for Mini, which is rapidly running out of space at their current facilities.

The Mini Crossman is scheduled for release in 2010. It will share much of its desing with the Crossover concept shown at last year's Paris Motor Show.

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