Mini is working on a production version of its Beachcomber concept
21 October 2010

BMW is working on a production version of the Mini Beachcomber concept, first revealed last December.

Company sources say two versions of the Beachcomber are on the drawing board at the Mini design studios in Munich.

See pics of the Mini Beachcomber concept

One is close to the concept and known internally as the Moke. The other is a shorter, three-door version dubbed the Canyon Coupé.

The two cars are being considered alongside the sporting Countryman coupé, revealed by Autocar on 1 September. The starting point for the new Moke is a pillarless version of the new Countryman platform, which 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.

Although the raised sill on the Beachcomber concept was, apparently, sufficient to meet most side impact regulations, the production Moke proposal has four proper doors, with the rear doors rear-hinged.

Read the full road test of the Mini Countryman

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.

The other proposal — the Mini Canyon Coupé — is a rugged three-door interpretation of a ‘beach car’.

This concept is based on a shortened Countryman platform, using a conventional three-door, four-seat layout and the same All4 all-wheel drive system. Mini’s designers are said to be considering a permanent roofbox-style luggage space arrangement.

Read Autocar's scoop on the Mini Countryman coupe

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. A decision on giving the green light to either the Moke or Canyon Coupé is expected by the start of next year, partly to allow bosses to gauge the initial sales of the Countryman.

A decision on the Countryman coupé is said to be further away.

Hilton Holloway

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Join the debate

Comments
18

18 October 2010

I do sometimes question my own motives and impulses, so I ask myself why do I not like this Moke; in fact, why would I be reluctant to be seen dead in it? I think it's because it seems to me to be all about vapid, hey-look-at-me style, whereas the original Moke seems merely utilitarian. Nobody could accuse Issigonis of being style-conscious; if anything he was inattentive to what people might want, as opposed to what he wanted to make.

Fine if BMW wants to make money selling something to the beachcomber-lifestyle market, of which I am not a part. But if regulations preclude the doorless design, I am not sure what Bikini Barbie, or indeed Speedo Ken, will have to swoon over. Perhaps optional seat fabrics by the likes of Calvin Klein or Victoria's Secret? Yeah, now that would be soooo cool.

18 October 2010

Only the other day BMWs top designer Van Hoodynik or whatever his name is was quoted as saying "we wont overdo it with Mini " as I used to drive one .

Hmm I took one look at this and well if thats not overdone then I dont know what is . Hardly small and subtle is it .

18 October 2010

stop stop stop stop

please!

18 October 2010

Personally i would rather them do a Moke than that horrific-looking Countryman.

Although i do have an idea for BMW to try one day: how about actually building a Mini? Not just a car which shares a name and some design cues with the original car, but a proper Mini?

18 October 2010

[quote disco.stu]

Personally i would rather them do a Moke than that horrific-looking Countryman.

Although i do have an idea for BMW to try one day: how about actually building a Mini? Not just a car which shares a name and some design cues with the original car, but a proper Mini?

[/quote]

Well Said

I'd add to that DNA - innovation and space efficiency - which BMW have either forgotten or just don't care about. OK, perhaps they don't feel they need to - they can sell the Mini without it. But If the core product was better, a wider audience would look at the Moke in a more favourable light.

Is it me or did the Citroen Lacoste get a better reaction?

18 October 2010

Not keen on the whole beech thing... but put some doors and a roof on this and you have yourself one robust looking little car. I think it has potential.

jer

18 October 2010

[quote disco.stu]proper Mini[/quote]

A minimal electric or small diesel Moke might have some scope. The Coupe has some appeal (if not logic), the Scooter is tourists walking down Carnaby street, the others are daft. I agree with all the sentiments here.

Of course one first for this - it would be the first > £20k Moke.

18 October 2010

[quote karmagedon]but put some doors and a roof on this and you have yourself one robust looking little car. I think it has potential.[/quote]

They did....it's called the Countryman.

18 October 2010

Compare pictures of them side by side.... quite different. Ground clearance, front valance, grill, rear wheel off tail gate.... Not sure I would like to the Countryman off road even with it's 4wd. Guess I am looking for a mini "defender" that I don't mind getting a bit muddy :-)

18 October 2010

Add doors and theres not a lot of difference with a countryman, its not a little car either unless the guy in that pic is on his way to castings for snow white....................Paragraph................................................................................................................or really is Ken

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