January 11, 2010
Mini Beachcomber concept. Click image to enlarge
Mini Beachcomber concept
Detroit, Michigan – The spiritual successor to the Mini Moke, the Mini Beachcomber Concept unveiled in Detroit today is a four-seater concept car designed for open-air driving pleasure, “whether cruising through town, enjoying rough tracks in the mountains, or breezing along the beach,” says the company. The Mini Beachcomber Concept has no doors or a conventional roof, but in adverse weather, a temporary soft roof and lightweight doors can be installed quickly.
Though a concept vehicle, Mini indicated that the Beachcomber “sets the foundation for a model destined to enter the market in the not too distant future.”
The Beachcomber features all-wheel drive, a high ground clearance, generous suspension travel, extra large tires and wheels, and an elevated seating position. Access to the front and rear seats is convenient thanks to the omission of doors and the entry cutouts extending all the way down to the seat bottoms, allowing the driver and passengers to get in and out in one smooth process.
Single seats at the rear adjust fore-and-aft as required. With rear seatbacks folded down, the driver and passengers are able to stow bulky sports equipment such as mountain bikes or wakeboards securely held in position by special fastening systems. When open, the Beachcomber Concept is also able to carry extra-long objects such as surfboards. Fastened firmly to the lateral support, surfboards fit conveniently into the car, sticking out at the top.
The driver and passengers enjoy access to the luggage compartment though the rear panel split vertically down the middle into two sections. Whenever necessary, the right-hand side may remain fully open for bulky objects extending out of the car at the rear. The left rear element, in turn, is a window-less door hinged at the side and extending up to the seat backrests. The additional storage case fitted on to the door is reminiscent in its round shape of a fully enclosed spare wheel holder of the type otherwise seen on a conventional offroader. But since the MINI Beachcomber Concept comes with runflat tyres and therefore does not require a spare wheel, the lockable case may be used to take along additional luggage, keeping beach mats, towels, surf shoes or similar odds and ends within easy reach at all times.
The Beachcomber Concept comes with a strong body structure to absorb impact energy in the event of a collision. Rollover safety also meets the highest demands made of an open car, with substantially reinforced A-pillars and an equally strong D-pillar bar complete with an integrated lateral support element at the rear of the car.