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 |  Jun 08 2010, 6:58 AM

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The MINI brand looks to expand in a big way – and not just in numbers either. While several new models are set to debut over the next few years, the biggest news might just be an even bigger model. According to a report by the notoriously speculative AutoExpress, MINI plans to introduce a larger 7-seat version of its new crossover. The Countryman already caused quite a stir, being the first four-door MINI and the first MINI to offer all-wheel drive.

According to AE’s sources, the new model would compete against models like the Nissan Qashqai and VW Touran (neither of which are offered in North America). Interestingly, the Touran is more of an MPV than a crossover and so perhaps a larger MINI would take that form.

Adding a measure of credibility to the report s a quote from MINI brand manager Dr Wolfgang Armbrecht, who says the Countryman’s wheelbase is already capable of being stretched.

MINI already plans to introduce both Coupe and Roadster models in the coming hears and more recently we’ve heard reports that the Countryman-based Beachcomber Concept has been given the green light for production.

[Source: AutoExpress]