Mini's Beachcomber concept was launched earlier this week as a preview to its forthcoming Countryman junior SUV. Autocar was given an exclusive tour of the modern-day Moke by its designer Gert Hildebrand and he explained some of the striking concept's most eye-catching details, which you can see in our latest Beachcomber gallery.
"We took the doors and B-pillar out [of the Countryman production car] and inserted a side-impact bar at hip level," he said. "We also removed the roof panel to give the full open-air effect. As part of the concept treatment, we also designed a new A-pillar and header rail.
"The front end of the Beachcomber is very close to production, as are the rear three-quarter areas. It won’t sit quite as high as the concept, which has got very tall off-road tyres.
"The upright nose – which has a Mini Moke-influenced grille - is designed to meet the new pedestrian impact regulations, so it’s quite tall and flat, almost like a shark-nose effect."
One of the Beachcomer's stand-out features is its striking red interior, which carries a strong Hawaiian theme throughout.
"The interior of the Beachcomber is the message of the car. We wanted to show how we maximised interior space and the cleverness of the interior," said Hildebrand. "We think this is an amazing package, with the kind of interior space that you wouldn’t associate with a four metre-long car.
"The production car will also get the centre console storage rack. We have designed a number of storage containers that will clip onto it, but it only runs the full length of the interior with the four-seat option."
Hilderbrand said more variants of the Countryman could be introduced.
"We have genuinely not decided to do any more variations on this car as yet, but we have plenty of ideas were we could take it," he said.