The R60, aka MINI SUV

Updated

Welcome Googler! You are here because you are looking for information about the MINI Cooper R60. This post is fairly old and we have since seen what this automobile actually looks like.

I have updated my thoughts on the R60 here if you care to read it, and everything anyone knows about the new MINI Crossover can be found at MotoringFile, including high resolution images and full specifications.


This is a re-post from the comments at Motoringfile . It’s something that has been bothering me for while, so I’m going to post it here as well.


I really don’t understand how many of you are totally caught up in and/or pissed off about a MINI SUV. Besides the few comments in this post and a few others, I currently have several emails that are of the hateful variety in my inbox.

This is a vehicle that nobody has seen (AWD Clubman test mule spy shots don’t count) and the only thing we know about it, for sure, is that it will be AWD and based to an extent on the Clubman and 1 Series.

The Clubman. A car that is 9″ longer than the R56

A car that gets the same MPG as it’s R56 brethren.

A car that, still, barely has room in the backseat for 2 full sized passengers.

Quite a number of you are acting like it’s the end of the world because MINI will be building a replacement for the Ford Excursion. When, in reality, this will be a car that, I can only imagine, will be quite a bit smaller than a RAV4 or CRV and still get over 25mpg. I also think it’s going to be only slightly larger than a Clubman. Larger to accommodate 4 real doors, seating for 4, possibly 5, and a bit more boot space than the Clubman has now with the seats up. To me, this sounds like the makings of a nice sized wagon, not an SUV.

But, I too am only speculating. I don’t have wild dreams of gas guzzling MINIs terrorizing the city-side. Instead, I’ve gleaned the information right from Motoringfile. Check out this post and this one for the most comprehensive information we have to date.

Maybe before everyone gets all riled up because in a press release somewhere MINI used the term SUV, we should not worry about it until we see what the car will really look like or get some honest-to-goodness specifications about the car.

And, don’t worry. If it’s a fire-breathing, gas-guzzling Suburban killer, all of you haters can line up behind me.

Join the Conversation

14 Comments

  1. I don’t like it because I think it dilutes the brand too much and goes against the Mini’s philosophy. But that’s just me. And I’m saving all my hate for the BMW X6 anyways hehe.

  2. At first I was skeptical (not hateful) of the whole MINI SUV thing but now I’m actually anxious for more info on the R60. We (OK, I) am thinking of a 135 as a slightly larger stablemate to my R53. I figure that, with “some” inconvenience, we can manage with 1 kid and a dog in both the 135 and the R53. But… in 2 years or so when it’s time to start looking for a replacement for the Cooper S (’06 btw) then by that time we’ll NEED 4 functioning doors (and the Club door on the R55 just doesn’t quite cut it) so I’m thinking that the R60 would keep us in the MINI “family” and give us enough room for my own family. I’ve looked at other, bigger models (3 series, Jetta, A3 Sportback) and none of them float my boat. They’re either too big for my tastes (i.e. 3 series, nice car but just a bit too wide) or else they’re not as fun to drive (i.e. A3/Jetta/GLI). Oh, or else they’re out of my price range (i.e 335/A3 3.2Q). I’m hoping that the R60 can give me just enough of that MINI Character/handling in a package large enough to fit the whole family.

  3. Heyya DB,

    Think I am the main person that comes to mind about when there is talk about “hate” for the R60.

    I don’t expect Mini to develop an huge SUV, I have enough respect for Mini to know they will do a bang up job with it.

    My issue though is still I think this development completely turns its back on the historical precedence of the brand. I think that it will have a sizable negative effect outside of the community on the brand. Guess it all boils down to this, they have chosen to develop a car that has a large amount of direct competition. Just because its a market Mini doesn’t produce cars for isn’t a good enough reason to make it. Heck if we do that why doesn’t Mini make a small truck, at least this has historical precedence.

  4. That’s a good point Jon.

    I think MINI is trying to bring a car to market for those among us that actually *need* to carry passengers or haul more gear. A truck would only accomplish part of that and probably get more hate than any other MINI to date.

    They could just not build it. Stop with the coupe, convertible and Clubman. That would be bad business tho.

    I think it makes sense. I don’t think it’s going to be damaging to the brand in the slightest. If anything, it’s going to make MINI the brand that has something for everyone.

    But, that’s just me.

  5. I do hear what your saying DB. The issue is there will always be people in the Mini community that need a auto outside of Mini’s scope, how far do we want Mini to go on producing cars with that mentality?

    For the last many years Mini has created a stir by presenting something in direct opposition to the bigger is better philosophy that dominated the auto industry. As a direct effect of of small cars making a comeback more than one manufacture has produced a small SUV. For me personally I feel that a good measure of the buzz Mini has created is going to be muted by Mini developing the exact same solution as every other manufacture has, a suv.

    I am not sure about the idea of making the Mini brand something to everyone. To me this is taking what is so very special about the Mini brand ethic and taking up the ethic of GM.

    This car will sell a ton in our size obsessed nation no doubt, but at what damage to the brand image, and to the community.

  6. Jon, I think you have a valid point in that the Crossman will do some damage to brand image in the purist’s eyes however I think they (BMW/MINI) feel that the opportunity to bring new customers into the brand outweighs that. As I mentioned above, it also allows some of us who are outgrowing (in a good way) our Coopers another option within the brand.
    I don’t (yet) see this as MINI retreating from it’s philosophical opposition to “Bigger is better”. If MINI builds an SUV-type vehicle that is half as fun to drive as the Cooper (and still gets decent gas mileage) then I think they’ve hit the mark. If they instead simply build a bigger car that is as exciting to drive as an Escape… then your point becomes more than valid ;-)

  7. I understand you point Drill, my question is just this.

    So lets say that a owner moves from the coupe to the Clubman, and then to the R60. Doesn’t this mean heck if this Mini person has four kids that Mini should then build a 3 row capable suv etc etc. I just happen to believe that being something to everyone isn’t really something I would like to see Mini go.

    It will bring more people to the brand, however I believe this development is a stake in the heart of more than a few in the community. I personally will never accept a suv as being part of the Mini community as I feel that this is a insult to everything that Sir Alec Issigonis believed in.

    Another huge issue is going to be the price point, as the r60 is sharing many components with the upcoming x1 we once again are going to have the same issue that BMW/Mini has right now with the R56/1 series. How many people formerly looking at a JCW Cooper or performance Mini have jumped the boat for the 135i? My prediction is that the r60 is likely to be the most expensive Mini and will slot in right below the X1, which is going to diminish the impact of this car.

  8. But hasn’t MINI been slowly drifting from Sir Alec’s vision since this new generation began? You could argue that the R50/53 was a modern incarnation, but the R56/55/57? Each new model that BMW/MINI bring out seems to be a step away from what Mini was. Is that BMW/MINI’s fault? After all, the brand would have died out if someone somewhere hadn’t thought that they could make some $$$.
    As for your first question, to be honest I think MINI is REALLY pushing the “Mini” thing with the R60 so I don’t see them considering anything larger however I DO see them eventually suffering from the 3er Syndrome, i.e. each new generation (Cooper(S), Clubman, Crossman) will be just a bit bigger than the previous one until we wind up with a Clubman-sized Cooper (shakes head)

  9. ya, mon,……..put a 2 liter stroker motor in one o them babies, and look out loose pavement!
    Here come de judge! WOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

    Just imageine, if you can, that experience!

  10. >put a 2 liter stroker motor in one o them babies, and look out loose pavement!

    Sometimes you guys scare me ;)

  11. I love our MINI and are looking forward to the SUV version! Actually, I understand the roots of the Clubman, but knowing that the SUV was coming out, I am surprised they even released the Clubman. For my personal tastes, the Clubman looks long and awkward. The SUV concept drawings I’ve seen look far more complimentary to the MINI line and, alone, would not dilute the brand too much. Having the Clubman, though, makes too much of a good thing. For me, I would have only the MINI and the MINI SUV. That’s it. But until I actually see and drive the SUV, I won’t bag on it (and my compliments go only so far as the sketches, but based on the sketches, I like it a lot!)

  12. Hi Guys: What do you mean that you haven’t seen a Mini SUV.. I have. About 6 weeks ago in central Florida. At first I thought I was confused… then caught up with it on the I-state and examined it close up. It was a BIG and Tall Mini with 4 doors – clearly 4 doors unlike the Countryman etc. I am familiar with Minis (had an original) I saw it on the road between in the area of ORLANDO.

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