Canadians build a real Countryman
The BMW Group knows how to blend fashion and product design to garner optimal brand exposure.
RED HOT: This is what happens when Canadian fashion designers customise a Mini Cooper. Image gallery
With its legendary art cars, BMW’s managed to fuse motorsport and contemporary art in a manner considered inconceivable by most. The German premium brand’s latest fashion/automotive venture concerns its iconic British subsidiary, the Mini.
Called the Red Mudder, it’s what Mini should have done with the Countryman in the first place. Based on the standard Cooper S three-door hatchback, Red Mudder was crafted by renowned Canadian design consultancy DSQUARED 2, fronted by twins Dean and Dan Caten.
MAPLE LEAF MUD-PLUGGER
The Catens’ are respected designers (they’re responsible for Barcelona FC’s uniforms, among other things) and with Red Mudder, their first automotive project, they’ve done particularly well.
Additional illumination dominates the Red Mudder design, with four rally-style spotlights added to the upper and lower mesh grille (hiding behind a nudge bar) and another four residing on the roofline. Topside, there's a rugged roof-rack for storing (or fastening) all manner of outdoor activity kit.
Adding to the Red Mudder’s image of robustness, Mini engineers contributed a lifting kit (increasing ground clearance to by an undisclosed value) and the standard Cooper wheel/tyre combination has been replaced with matt-black alloys and chunky mud-grade tyres – which look fantastic. If there is one faux pas to the design, it has to be that hatchback-mounted spare wheel, which may look great, but makes the tail door practically impossible to open.
The cabin has aluminium plating, a compass (obviously) and a classically styled, three-spoked, Mini Cooper steering wheel - sans airbag functionality.
Emblazoned with the Catens’ company logo accross its flanks (a Canadian maple leaf), the Red Mudder is sure to make one Mini collector very happy when it’s auctioned during the last weekend of May at the 2011 Life Ball, Europe's biggest AIDS charity event.