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MINI eSUV Rendering Keeps the Grille, Still Looks Alien

MINI has just launched its first-ever all-electric model, the MINI Cooper SE, and given the state of the market, we'd be surprised if others didn't follow.
MINI eSUV concept 9 photos
MINI eSUV conceptMINI eSUV conceptMINI eSUV conceptMINI eSUV conceptMINI eSUV conceptMINI eSUV conceptMINI eSUV conceptMINI eSUV concept
Right after being acquired by BMW and relaunching the brand, MINI started making some of the coolest vehicles on the market. They might not have been the most practical or cost-sensible, but what they lacked in those respects more than made up for with great handling and that famed go-kart feel.

After the initial scare that the brand's spirit would be lost, fans were able to relax: the MINI wasn't as tiny as it used to, but it was still perky and fun. But then the crossover segment kept growing and growing, and it got to the point where MINI couldn't ignore it anymore.

The Countryman was born, and even though it used a traditional nameplate (why else would you call a model the "countryman"?), it was becoming apparent that MINI was beginning to lose contact with its roots. Still, the brand customers who were looking for a crossover could then shop in the same place, so the heads of the company were happy.

Expect to see a similar path for the brand's journey into battery-powered electric vehicles. With the SE out, the next logical step would be an SUV/crossover of sorts. Daniel Gombo thought so too, so he came up with his vision of what this vehicle should look like.

It's sad to say his renderings are probably more appealing than the actual model MINI will eventually launch, but let's not jinx it just yet. The artist gave the MINI a tougher, more off-roady look, with a spare tire tucked below the trunk like you would find in a Land Rover and a virtually non-existent rear overhang.

The front end keeps the grille, even though it looks like it serves a purely aesthetic purpose since it's completely covered with a shiny resin-like material. The brand cues are all there, from the bulged sides of the hood to the rounded headlights. The rear is a bit of a departure, but we like the direction it's going so you'll get no complaints from us.

Probably our favorite feature and the one that makes this unofficial concept standout is the flared rear arches and the very imposing hipline that results. It somehow manages to make the MINI look both circuit- and off-road-ready. It's probably neither, but it's got the looks and that's what counts.


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