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Mini ute concept revealed


You probably thought you'd seen the limits of how far modern-day Mini could stretch their design. But there's one body type they hadn't tackled -- until now -- the ute. But a group of BMW interns has filled in the gap with a concept based on the Paceman softroader.

Dubbed the Mini Paceman Adventure, the diminutive load-carrier gets a small trayback lined with a chequerplate tub, offroad tyres, a roof rack bearing the spare, a snorkel to let the 1.6-litre turbo engine keep breathing through creek crossings and roof-mounted spotlights perfect for highlighting a bit of circle work at the Deniliquin Ute Muster.

It rolls on a modified suspension system and the Paceman's all-wheel drive system, and gets higher ground clearance and increased entry and exit angles over the donor car, with Mini saying the little ute could tackle gravel, dirt and desert tracks.

Do they have plans for production? No. Would it sell if they did -- yes, probably. But with even the SUV version of the Mini being largely a city-dweller once it leaves the showroom, they might have to add a torneau cover to protect the hipster buyer's shopping. Those artisan breads and single-source cereals won't take kindly to getting wet.

This reporter is on Twitter: @KarlaPincott