MINI Clubman

5 Nov, 2007 3:51am

MINI heads into the rough with the Monte SUV

Here’s a MINI bosses would rather you didn't see!

As our pictures show, the car – to be called Monte – has a raised ride height and wider track. Although the standard front-wheel-drive layout is retained, toughened suspension components mean that light off-roading will be possible.

Also evident is the stretched wheelbase, which ensures greater stability and more room for passengers in the rear. However, they are still likely to access the back seat through the reverse-opening Club­door. Under the bonnet will be a range of 1.6-litre petrol and diesel engines. There is also the possibility of a new 1.4-litre entry-level oil-burner. These powerplants will be mated to either manual or automatic gearboxes, both with six ratios.

Bosses at MINI will be keen to stress this is an environmentally-friendly SUV. As with other vehicles from parent firm BMW, it will benefit from Efficient Dynamics technology. This means a stop-start system to reduce emissions and fuel use, regenerative braking and energy efficient engine components.

Prices for the Monte are expected to be around £2,000 higher than for the equivalent Clubman version, and the first examples should arrive in showrooms here in 2009.

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