MINI will introduce a brand new concept at the 2010 North American International Auto Show next month. The MINI Beachcomber Concept is all about outdoor fun, as the name suggests. Its influences include the Mini Moke of 1964 which was also a fun young vehicle and strongly hints at the heavily speculated fourth model in the MINI line-up after the hatch, the Clubman and the Convertible.
To emphasise the open-top nature of the four-seat, all-wheel-drive vehicle no conventional roof is fitted. Neither are any doors for that matter. The company says this ensures that occupants are as close to the elements as possible, that they feel a sense of unity with Mother Nature. Should rain approach a lightweight special fibre roof can be drawn over the car quickly and fastened to hold about as tight as a normal one. Door elements can also be fitted for extra protection.
Being a seaside sort of car the Beachcomber can carry equipment such as surfboards and mountain bikes conveniently and securely. Exact dimensions were not released, suffice to say it is almost 4 metres long. The off-road runflat tyres wrap around large 17-inch light-alloy wheels.
Styling characteristics include a chrome frame, a large air intake, foglights and a power dome on the bonnet. Power is said to come courtesy of some turbocharged engine.
The modern interior features items like storage boxes, shelves, a bottle holder, a compact meal box and a case for cycling and swimming glasses. A MINI Center Rail allows for the connection of music, laptop or external GPS tracker devices easily through their own power supplies.
The MINI Beachcomber Concept's Detroit debut will be followed by the market introduction of the production MINI Crossover some time in autumn 2010.