Mini Crossover Concept

With the recent debut of the Clubman, BMW-owned Mini has begun its march to expand the Cooper line, and at the Paris motor show, Mini will show a concept vehicle that previews the compact crossover we've heard the company has been considering for some time. Called the imaginatively monikered Mini Crossover Concept, the AWD vehicle has been stretched in all directions. It is slightly longer and wider than the Clubman and rides higher than any other Mini product. The Crossover Concept also offers a host of creative interior features. Running the length of the four-seat vehicle between the seats is a tie-down bar for securing cargo, and most of the roof opens up to let in the sun or haul long items. The roof also has racks for carrying more cargo, and the car will have an optional add-on cargo container that attaches to the rear. On the passenger side, the Crossover Concept has two standard doors, but on the driver side, the rear door slides to allow easier loading and unloading. The rear hatch is a single side-hinged door with a retractable window.

Most of the vehicle's controls are integrated into a unique, touch-sensitive, sphere-shaped interface in the center console, called the Center Globe. It is controlled by buttons and sliding switches on the lower part of the Globe, as well as a keyboard that extends out of the dash for the passenger. The driver also has control of the interface via a trackball on the steering wheel. We hope it's easier to use than iDrive, but we're not counting on it. Difficult-to-describe control interfaces aside, the Crossover Concept is an intriguing vehicle that stretches the boundaries of Mini's vehicle range.