If you’re a fan of the Mini Cooper but need something in XXL, this could be the car for you. This illustration portrays a van variant of the Mini—Mini Van, get it?—which sources claim could go on sale by 2015 (if not sooner). Having finally delivered on its promise of a smaller Mini, courtesy of the 2-passenger Coupe and Roadster, it appears the brand is moving back to a “bigger is better” mantra.
The Mini Van
The extended Clubman model and Countryman crossover have already nudged Mini to previously uncharted dimensions. The Mini Van appears to share the overall proportions of the Countryman, minus that model’s slightly fussy front end and fender flares. It’s also unlikely Mini would fit the Countryman’s (optional) all-wheel-drive system to the Van, though it’s not completely out of the question.
The current 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine, in normally aspirated and turbocharged forms, is guaranteed to find its way into the engine bay. A choice of 6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic transmissions is also a safe bet. The more upright body should provide ample head room and a significant boost to cargo capacity. Mini might opt to fit sliding rear seats, like those found in the Countryman, for added utility.
With the Coupe and Roadster just coming to market, Mini will likely wait until 2013 before offering any official hints as to the next model to join the lineup.