BMW announces new Mini Countryman
Thursday 21 January 2010
BMW has announced the new Countryman. The company describes it as the fourth model of Mini – it joins the established hatchback, Clubman estate and Convertible – but it is a bigger departure than this description suggests.
The existing models are all closely related to each other and built together at BMW's factory in Oxford but the Countryman is a larger vehicle based on a new platform that will be manufactured at Magna's Austrian plant in Graz. The new car will be offered with four-wheel drive and is officially described as a crossover, but in its final production form appears to be much closer to being simply a very large four-door Mini than an off-roader of the sort trailed by the Beachcomber concept car.
One worry has to be that the Countryman may just be a Mini too far. Even the standard version of BMW's reinvented classic is much bigger than the 1959 original; with its size and visually bulky styling, it's questionable whether there's anything "mini" about the Countryman at all. Another disappointment is that BMW doesn't really seem to have made any effort to advance the design language that looked so fresh on the first reinvented BMW Minis in 2001 but which is now, nine years later, starting to look a bit stale and overdone. Now over-familiar details such as the big "dinner plate" central speedometer, eyeball vents and oval rear-view mirror are still there in the Countryman, highlighting the difficulties of trying to introduce fresh elements into what is essentially a retro look.
Life & Style blogs
GTA 5 Online DLC: San Andreas Flight School update brings 16-seater jet plane and more
What is ALS and the Ice Bucket Challenge?
James Foley beheading: Twitter 'actively suspending' accounts sharing graphic imagery
Anal sex study reveals climate of 'coercion'
'Long Live the Nazis' spaghetti dish sold in Taiwan renamed after backlash
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Scottish Independence Referendum: Salmond described as 'arrogant, ambitious and dishonest' by Scottish women
- 1 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 2 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 3 World peace? These are the only 11 countries in the world that are actually free from conflict
- 4 Nicki Minaj 'Anaconda': Singer finally releases predictable video
- 5 James Foley 'beheading': Met police warn public watching murder video could be criminal offence
£300 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: An experienced Digital/Ecommerc...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum + 25 days holiday and bonus: Clearwater People Solut...
£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Supply special educational ne...
£32500 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Birmingham: European Social Fund...