The Mini Countryman.
The Mini Countryman. Contributed

Big, bold SUV Mini coming soon

MODERN-DAY Minis really don't live up to their moniker.

Buckle up, because now the famed British brand (owned by BMW) is about to go bigger and bolder than ever.

Next year will see the Mini Countryman's arrival, an all-new compact sports utility vehicle.

The brand synonymous for its bulldog styling and go-kart-like handling is looking to muscle in on new territory with buyers flocking to the funky soft-roader segment.

Japanese offerings such as Subaru's Forester and Outback, as well as the Toyota RAV4 are in the Countryman's sights.

Mini estimates the Countryman will ultimately make up between 30-40% of its global sales.

While Australian market share is forecast to be well below that in terms of overall figures, Mini Down Under is confident of taking a big slice of the niche SUV pie.

Deliveries here have been held up by a surge in European demand since its launch there in June.

The Cooper S derivatives will have all-wheel drive option – the first Mini to have this capability.

At about 4m long and sitting on an all-new platform, it's also the biggest of the fleet.

Pricing hasn't been finalised, but given the European example, expect the Countryman to retail for about $45,000.

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