This seems nearly unbelievable but it is true, the BMW/Mini design studio is currently
considering various concepts which is not to say that one of them will be brought into
being one day. A further, but very different SUV creation from the British Island bears the brand
name Land Rover.
On a shortened Discovery platform, the Brits have recently unveiled the Range
Rover Sport to attend the competition for the coolest city off-roader. This one actually
is a car of the usual size and, one of sophisticated but expensive technology which is why an even
smaller model, maybe a 2-door version, could follow later.
Volvo is supposed to consider a
little less high-tech for its own derivate but will presumingly fall back on the British
technology to realise its own SUV. The Swedes will probably set other priorities than
their British colleagues, and focus upon offering a trendy car at a more reasonable price.
America's number two obviously respects its brand's core values and gives them plenty of
rope which has turned out more successful than GM's policy that is at the
present about to put its European makes to death by dictating disastrous things.
Predictions of what is to come would be too daring since the strategy changes in frequent
intervals but all known plans have one adverse thing in common. What ever contemplated, only
relabelled models designed and manufactured in either America or Asia seem to come into question
for the giant combine from Detroit.
The badge engineering idea might work in
the rest of the world, maybe, but not on the old continent and not with brands of tradition,
such as SAAB and Opel, in this case. FIAT, linked to GM, but still independ-
ent, is also supposed to
plan a crossover model in offroad style. The same for its reputed sister brand Alfa Romeo.
An example of how doing it right could come from France. Renault has developed a compact SUV platform in
association with its sister company Nissan, but is going to
put an individual body on it. The housing will, of course, be shaped in compliance with the
latest out-sticking Renault design language.
Thus, the Gallic car is going to represent, together with the
Smart and possibly the Mini, the more pied sort of this kind of cars, whilst Audi, Mercedes, and
Land Rover will serve their wealthy clientele with noble vehicles of highly-sophisticated features
First models are already to come in this year but the major wave swashes over the
roads in the following three dozens of month. Means, future is getting higher, at least in terms
of ground clearance and we bet, not all tuning cars will be lowered in this time.
 Mini Offroader*
This sketch depicts how the supposed impos-
sible combination could
look. No need to love it though.
 Land Rover Sport
Just a photoshop here. But there already was a concept car that hints to
a further 2-door vehicle from Ford's off road specilalist.
 Renault Koleos
The concept shows the Frenchmen's aspira-
tions - a production model
sarily have to look that futuristic
* Illustration by
Enes Canay, All rights reserved [c] 2005