Currently reading: Detroit motor show: Mini Beachcomber
Early details on the Countryman junior SUV
Autocar
News
2 mins read
11 January 2010

This is the Mini Beachcomber concept, unveiled today at the Detroit motor show.

The Mini Beachcomber's body, dimensions and drivetrain are shared with the Countryman; just add doors and a roof and remove a few of the more outlandish concept car touches, such as the tailgate-mounted spare wheel.

The Countryman sits on a modified version of the Clubman’s platform that has been stretched and widened to create a car that is roughly the same size as the new Volkswagen Polo. It’s a layout that could also be used for a more off-road-oriented model.

The production car’s dimensions will be the same as the concept’s, making it the first Mini to be more than four metres long. “Four metres was a border that was heavily discussed within the company,” said Mini design boss Gert Hildebrand.

The rear doors will be front-hinged, and the side-hinged tailgate of the concept will be replaced by a normal top-hinged hatch.

Exclusive Mini Beachcomber concept pics

New Mini Beachcomber concept

Mini Countryman may be WRC car

Mini Beachcomber designer Q+A

Mini wants the Countryman to offer what BMW’s head of development, Klaus Draeger, has described as “a serious proposition for those who want a family car”.

The driveline consists of a transversely mounted engine that provides drive to all four wheels through an electronically controlled, multi-plate-clutch four-wheel drive system similar to that employed in BMW’s X1.

The Mini’s set-up will be called ALL4 and it will feature a six-speed manual gearbox. But front-wheel drive will be standard on the entry-level models.

While Mini is not making big noises about the Beachcomber’s engine, Autocar can confirm the Countryman will be sold with 1.6-litre petrol and diesel engines at launch. The appearance of a sizeable air duct within the Beachcomber’s bonnet hints at a turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol powerplant, though. This is most likely to be the 173bhp unit from the Cooper and Clubman S.

The Countryman will also be available with a 120bhp naturally aspirated version of the same 1.6-litre petrol motor, as well as a 110bhp 1.6-litre common-rail diesel. All of these units will come with stop-start and brake energy regeneration.

Later on, Mini is expected to create a JCW Countryman with a range of new turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol and diesel engines taken from the BMW stable.

Greg Kable

Twitter - follow autocar.co.ukSee all the latest Mini reviews, news and video


Detroit motor show 2010

Detroit motor show: Hot BMW Z4, Detroit motor show: BMW electric 1-series, Detroit motor show: Buick Regal GS, Detroit motor show: Cadillac CTS-V Coupe, Detroit motor show: Cadillac's new flagship saloon, Detroit motor show: Chevrolet Aveo RS, Detroit motor show: Chrysler 300C, Detroit motor show: electric Fiat 500, New Ford Focus revealed, Detroit motor show: Ford Mustang V8, Detroit motor show: Hyundai Blue-Will, Detroit motor show: Jeep specials, Detroit motor show: Merc E-class cabrio, Detroit motor show: Mini Beachcomber, Detroit motor show: Toyota hybrid concept, Detroit motor show: VW Jetta coupe hybrid concept, Detroit motor show: electric Volvo C30.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Find an Autocar review

Back to top

Join the debate

Comments
3
Add a comment…
TStag 11 January 2010

Re: Mini Beachcomber in detail

I like many of the styling cues in this version of the Mini Countryman. I hope BMW carry as much over as possible

evanstim 16 December 2009

Re: Mini Beachcomber in detail

Did someone mention side impact protection?

Peter Cavellini 16 December 2009

Re: Mini Beachcomber in detail

What ever next for the Mini?!, buy a house?, get a free Mini!, i really think this is taking a British icon(the original, not the German one) too far, i mean how many niche's can you turn out of a Mini?

Find an Autocar car review