News from the UK report that BMW is working on a production version of the MINI Beachcomber concept unveiled at Detroit Auto Show earlier this year. According to Autocar UK, sources close to the company say two two versions of the Beachcomber are on the drawing board.
One is close to the concept and known internally as the Moke, a rumor that also appeared in May. The MINI Beachcomber was built as a preview of the new Countryman, but in a stripped down version. Beachcomber lost the doors and roof panels in homage to the Moke – the legendary Mini-based take on the classic beach buggy. The four-seater conept is built on an all new platform, MINI Beachcomber Concept has its roots back in the 1960’s Mini Moke, but with the new concept, MINI is finally moving away from the current round headlamp design. The Countryman platform is also intended to underpin the next-generation Mini Clubman.
The pillarless design will enable the fitting of rear-hinged rear doors on both sides of the car, addressing criticisms (from right-hand drive countries such as the UK and Japan) of the current single-rear-doored Clubman.
The other is dubbed the Canyon Coupé, also confirmed in the last few months by the usual BMW insider, Scott27. Using the same platform as the Countryman, the Canyon is rumored to be a three-door vehicle, shorter than “its brother” and with the All4 drivetrain. MINI Canyon is an idea that takes the formula used in the MINI Coupe, but translated into a small Activity MINI, utilizing 3 doors and space for four people. Inspiration for the Canyon is said to come from the three ‘Canyon Carver’ sketches by BMW’s California-based Designworks studio, which were revealed at the 2005 LA motor show
Autocar’s insiders say the Moke’s tough-look styling and raised ride height are very close to what was seen on the Beachcomber. The five-door Moke has been inspired partly by Honda’s Element Crossover, which has a similar pillarless layout.
The Moke would not be quite as capacious as the boxy Element, but it could get lift-out roof panels that, combined with frameless doors and a wind-down hatchback window, would allow the car to be substantially opened to the elements.
A final decision has yet to be made and the projects are in the proposed design phase.
MINI Beachcomber Photo Gallery
[Source: Autocar UK ]