ACCORDING TO a trademark submission made by BMW, the company’s upcoming MINI crossover may wear the Countryman name.
The timing of the submission strongly supports speculation that the Countryman moniker will be used by the high-riding MINI SUV, which is expected to debut at the Frankfurt auto show in September.
The Countryman badge also has a history with the original Austin Mini, being used on the long-wheelbase wagon variants of the 1960s-era microcar. Given BMW-owned MINI’s recent revivals of other Mini names (Clubman, anyone?), the Countryman would be an apt choice for the new crossover.
Pre-production prototypes have been spotted orbiting Germany’s Nurburgring Nordshleife, and styling is expected to be faithful to that of the MINI Crossover Concept shown late last year at the Paris motor show (pictured).
The production model is expected to share the regular MINI’s transversely-mounted powerplants, however drive will be taken to all four wheels via an AWD system, instead of just the front axle.
The Countryman will also be larger than the MINI Cooper in every dimension, being a five-door hatch of a similar size to the upcoming BMW X1.