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Mini Beachcomber bares all

2009-12-18 07:04
Detroit in January is not sunny. In fact, it’s pretty much snow and scarf weather.

Despite this, Mini will be showing off its Beachcomber Concept at the Detroit Auto Show in early January.

In essence it's a dune-buggy reminiscent of the 1960s Mini Moke.

Mini’s latest concept car eschews any pretense at protecting its occupants from the elements. There are no doors, for instance, and the roof? Well, that’s gone missing too.

In all honesty the Beachcomber will never make it to production - which is a shame as those open-door sides are perfect for tipping out irritating in-laws on the move...

Mini Moke revisited

The Beachcomber’s designers aimed to leave behind all conventional standards when designing this Mini Moke heritage concept.

Even the cabin architecture is unusual. The number of ventilation openings have been reduced to make room for additional speakers and off-road biased instrumentation in a peculiar ergonomic prioritisation.

From a utilitarian perspective the Beachcomber concept runs on rather interesting off-road patterned run-flat tyres, allowing the design to do without a sparewheel – thereby increasing interior space.

Surfboard friendly

As one would expect from a car with such a Southern California feel, the Beachcomber features a special fastening for securing surfboards - which are recommended to travel in the vertically stacked position, protruding beyond the Beachcomber’s open roofline.

In the event of inclement weather, plastic inserts fit into position to provide roof and side cover.

Cabin surfaces are finished in a special grain designed to resemble dry earth (thereby masking actual textured dirt), and the trim surfaces get a magnetic paint Mini is allegedly using for the first time.

One area Mini are keeping mum are with regards to the Beachcomber’s powertrain.

We do know it will be all-wheel drive though, and probably serve as the technology showcase for Mini's forthcoming Countryman SUV.


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