Should Mini build this off-road-ready Clubman?

Mini’s Italian division has infused the DNA of its Dakar-winning Countryman race car into the second-generation Clubman to create a concept called Scrambler.

Billed as a go-anywhere city car, the Clubman Scrambler is inspired by the BMW R NineT Scrambler motorcycle. It consequently sits taller than a regular-production Clubman, it rides on knobby tires, and it gains a pair of fog lights up front. A vintage-looking roof rack makes the concept more versatile, while a flat gray paint job with contrasting black trim around the wheel arches adds a finishing touch to the look.

The seats, the headliner, the center console, and the door panels are upholstered in Nappa leather, Alcantara, or both. The result is a surprising elegant-looking cabin, and Mini explains that combining the two materials provides the ideal blend of comfort and durability.

Mini hasn’t published technical specifications, but a closer look at the Scrambler reveals that it’s based on the Clubman S. That means it uses a turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that delivers 189 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 207 pound-feet of torque at just 1,250 rpm. An eight-speed automatic transmission sends the turbo four’s power to all four wheels via Mini’s All4 all-wheel drive system.

Read more: Execs say Minis don’t have to be mini in size, and they’ll go bigger if buyers ask for it

Mini’s Italian division stresses that the Clubman Scrambler is simply a one-off concept built for the local auto show circuit. While there are no plans to bring it to production, the BMW-owned marque has previously promised that the next-gen Countryman that’s set to bow in the coming months will be markedly more rugged than the model that’s currently found in showrooms. If Mini keeps its word, its Dakar-winning DNA will trickle down to a production model after all.


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