Mini designer Gert Hildebrand explains some of the Beachcomber's design features
18 December 2009

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."

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

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.

Twitter - follow all the latest Mini reviews, news and video

Join the debate


18 December 2009

Aha ! The plug symbol on the radiator is very fitting as the car should be called "Plug " after the ugly character in the bash street kids. Seeing this abomination again is not a good way to start my day ....puts me off me breakfast.

Oh and the designer ranks as "Smiffy" he was the thick one !

18 December 2009

The grill looks like an old Ssangyong Korando, itself a copy of the original Jeep!

18 December 2009

The car obviously has had a team spend many hours designing the style of the concept... and it's up to individual taste if you like it or not, but what about function / practicality ?

Take your gleeming new Mini Moke down your local beach... and you will be spending the rest of it's life trying to get sand out of all those little nook's and crannie's :-)

However, I do like the style and think it has much potential. I personally would like this as a fully functional, go any where... economic,, nippy,,,4x4... with doors, roof and a nice warm heater.

Back up the design with some practicality and good engineering please....

18 December 2009

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

19 December 2009

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.....

19 December 2009

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)

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week