| 4:36 PM EST

A Bigger MINI (No, Not Like “Jumbo Shrimp”)



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MINI is expanding its range of offerings with the MINI Countryman, which is a bigger MINI, with an overall length of 161.3 in. and a wheelbase of 102.2 in. That is, compared to the new four-door, which is to become available in the U.S. in early 2011, the MINI Cooper Hardtop is a mere 145.6 in. long and has a 97.1-in wheelbase.


The Countryman is described as a “crossover” vehicle. There are two aspects to this. One is the packaging. The other is the drive system.


As for packaging, it offers nearly 40-cubic-feet of cargo space. There is also what’s called the “Center Rail,” which is an aluminum track that runs from the front to the rear of the cabin and, in addition to providing storage for small items, offers electrical and USB connections.

As for the drive system, the car, which will feature a turbocharged, direct-injection engine, will have a four-wheel-drive system designated ALL4.

Here’s what we don’t get: The people in this picture: