Currently reading: Mini Beachcomber: new pics
Mini designer Gert Hildebrand explains some of the Beachcomber's design features

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.

Exclusive Mini Beachcomber concept detail pics

"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."

New Mini Beachcomber conceptMini Beachcomber in detailMini Beachcomber designer Q+A

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.

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Wanger 19 December 2009

Re: Mini Beachcomber: new pics

At least these new pics are close-ups, this way the reader does not need to fall of his/her chair in fits of uncontrollable belly-ache laughter, when the whole exterior (of the disaster that is the styling) comes into focus!

Perhaps thats it!!! Focus designed this car.... (Apologies to Focus for such a unpleasant and needless slur)

catnip 19 December 2009

Re: Mini Beachcomber: new pics

That red-ringed key fob may look very nice in the box, but as soon as youve put it in and out of the dashboard slot a few times it willl begin to look very tatty - just as the regular 'chrome' rimmed one does.

Not a very attractive thing to have on your key ring.....

noluddite 18 December 2009

Re: Mini Beachcomber: new pics

I think I have spotted the first evidence of cost-cutting at Mini - the two dash halves taped together. Nice.