When you think of scramblers, the Mini brand doesn't necessarily spring to mind. That's probably because, until now, the word has only been associated with motorbikes, not four-door crossovers. Undeterred by this fact, Mini's Italian design team has kitted a Clubman out with knobby tires and raised suspension, before slapping a scrambler badge on the back.
It might have four wheels instead of two, but Mini has tried to stay true to the original concept behind scrambler bikes. You wouldn't take it along the Rubicon Trail, but the team in Italy has fitted an all-wheel drive Clubman with knobby tires and a raised suspension system for improved performance on muddy lanes and rutted roads.
Beyond these functional tweaks, the rest of the changes made to the ALL4 Scrambler are style based. That doesn't mean they're not seriously cool, though. Those front spotlights hark back to the lights on the legendary rally cars that carved up Monte Carlo in the 1960s, and look just right to our eyes.
Speaking of cool, the Clubman is also fitted with a roof rack designed to evoke memories of the Traveller from the 1970s. It's unashamedly retro and it's diminutive size doesn't do much to improve the car's practicality, but if we've learned anything over the last decade it's Mini designers are the masters of modernizing classic design cues for a new, young audience.
Opening one of the car's Frozen Grey doors reveals an interior trimmed in tan leather and Alcantara. The color has been chosen as an explicit reference to BMW's RNineT, although we're not sure if the Clubman's carpeted boot area and luxurious interior really fit with the free, go-anywhere spirit of scramblers past.
The Clubman ALL4 Scrambler debuted at the Salone dell'Auto Turino, which runs until June 12.
Source: BMW ItalyView gallery - 10 images