Rumorville: MINI GTI Model Based on the Crossover

We've yet to see the production version of MINI's small crossover model that will most likely be called the Crossman, but there already reports that the British firm is exploring the possibility of adding a sport version to the range aimed directly at the Golf GTI and its likes. Citing sources within the company, Autocar magazine is reporting that the GTI variant is one of two other proposals (the other being a standard family hatch) that MINI is considering to develop from its 4meter long, five-door Crossover platform.

If approved, the GTI model would be a direct spin off of the Crossover with changes including a significantly lower ride height, more driver focused dynamics and a series of exterior cosmetic enhancements such as new front and rear bumpers, beefier alloy wheels in new designs and naturally, an aggressively styled bodykit.

Same goes for the 5-door hatchback's interior that would certainly benefit from a sportier trim, unique seats and a proper three-spoke sport steering wheel.

The GTI's range will probably include the most powerful turbocharged engines that MINI has to offer, which translates to the 172 horsepower 1.6-liter unit of the Cooper S and the 211 horsepower 1.6-liter unit of the John Cooper Works model. While the Crossover will also be available with an all-wheel drive system, the GTI model is said to stick with a front-wheel drive layout, though a future AWD model shouldn't be ruled out.

Given that the Crossman isn't due to hit showrooms before 2010, don't expect to see the GTI model before the end of 2011 the earliest.