Mini Beachcomber Concept (2009) first official pictures
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Mini Beachcomber Concept at Detroit motor show 2010
First Official Pictures
15 December 2009 23:00
This funky beach-biased concept car has just appeared at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show in January. Called the Mini Beachcomber Concept, this flight-of-fancy Moke-inspired show car gives us our first glimpse of how Mini's production-spec 4x4 crossover will look at launch - we'll see the real car at the Geneva motor show in March 2010 ahead of an autumn UK launch.
Talk me round the Mini Beachcomber Concept
This four-seater, four-wheel-drive machine has been designed without doors or a conventional roof, so that its occupants are not cut off from the outside world. Not a bad idea, if you live in southern France... The real car will of course have four doors, a hatchback boot (discount the barn door Clubman disguise on the prototypes), and a normal roof – but today's concept is dropping heavy hints about real design elements such as the headlights and butch stance of the production Mini Crossover.
Inside the Beachcomber concept is a Center Speedo console for navigation and audio systems, while sited on either side of the steering wheel is a compass and an artificial horizon, so you know exactly where you are when you off road.
Carried over from the 2008 Mini Crossover Concept is a Center Rail to which armrests, music players, storage boxes and other auxiliaries can be attached – a clever character detail that dominates the interior. Expect something similar in production.
What if I want to drive the Mini Beachcomber Concept in poor weather or in Britain?
Luckily, soft and hard-top roofs and detachable plastic door panels – which Mini claims can be fitted in 'an instant' – are provided with the Beachcomber for combating both the elements and pesky carjackers.
Other design nuances to distinguish the Mini 4x4 from regular estate agent fodder include long-travel suspension and 17-inch alloy wheels with off-road tyres, which raise the car's ride height in line with its more robust design philosophy. The inspiration for this concept car is clearly the utilitarian 1964 Mini Moke.
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