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By Drew Johnson

MINI has made a name for itself – literally – by producing some of the smallest vehicle on the road, but the British automaker will apparently shake that image as it ventures into more mainstream markets.

MINI already shattered its own mold by debuting the Countryman soft-roader at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, and, if the latest reports are correct, the company will continue to shift its image by launching another variant of the baby SUV.

According to Auto Express, MINI is planning a seven-seat variant of the Country. The seven-seat variant would share its overall looks with the standard Countryman model, but would gain a few extra inches of length and wheelbase to accommodate the third row.

As we reported earlier, MINI is also said to be working on a more beach-friendly version of the Countryman, based on the Beachcomber concept.

The standard Countryman will launch this fall, so don’t expect to see the seven seat version until 2011 at the earliest.



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Basing a variant of the Countryman on the Beachcomber concept is a good idea; stretching the Countryman to make it a 7-seater is not.

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