A fresh report out of the United Kingdom suggests Mini is working on its largest SUV yet, with the newcomer expected to adopt the “Traveller” badge.
According to Autocar, the BMW-backed brand plans to add a bigger SUV to its range by 2024, slotting it in above the Countryman. The Traveller nameplate, of course, was last used on a Mini estate model in the 1960s (the Morris Mini Traveller was sold alongside the Austin Mini Countryman), complete with barn-style rear doors.
Mini boss Bernd Körber told the publication while “it would be hard to imagine a Mini the size of a BMW X3 or X5”, there was a need for the brand’s next-generation range “to address the growth in SUVs and look at if we need a compact SUV”.
Autocar says the new Traveller will likely run on BMW’s CLAR platform and thus also become the first Mini to employ a longitudinally mounted engine.
Körber suggested the Countryman was not large enough to meet buyer preferences in key markets.
“The Countryman is a small SUV. In the US and China, there are certain needs. We will look at a compact SUV in the next generation. There are lots of benefits with a car like that for urban use. For me, it’s a good match,” he said.
In addition, the Autocar report claims Mini is working on a new all-electric, X1-sized model expected to be built under a joint venture with Chinese firm Great Wall Motors.