MINI CROSSMAN

These photos illustrate the Mini Crossover Concept first revealed at the Paris auto show last fall. We're pleased to tell you that this baby has life, and is on its way to production.

Expect a Clubman-like package with an increased ride height and either standard or optional all wheel drive. It won't be as "shiny" as the show car, likely trading some of the gloss for sturdier materials and perhaps a cargo area trimmed for outdoorsy duty.

No word on powertrains at this point, but its reasonable to expect the first Mini crossover will be offered with the Clubman's naturally aspirated and turbocharged powerplants. The production version will likely debut at the Frankfurt auto show this fall, going on sale some time in mid to late calendar 2010. The name is still TBD, but we vote for Crossman or Traveler.

BOTTOM LINE: How could this not succeed?