(from Mini Press
Release) The Sky is the Limit: The MINI Beachcomber
MINI crosses borders,
enters new dimensions of driving pleasure, and wins over additional
Once again, MINI achieves all this by consistently expanding the
model range and through the unconventional creativity of MINI
design. Just a few months prior to the launch of the brand’s fourth
model announced for autumn 2010, MINI is now demonstrating its
potential for further enhancement of driving pleasure and diversity
through another spectacular concept car: the concept of a brand-new
type of vehicle proudly presented by MINI at the North American
International Auto Show (16–24 January 2010) in Detroit.
The MINI Beachcomber Concept is a four-seater concept car designed
consistently for maximum driving pleasure, taking up the enhanced
options of the new MINI and combining these potentials with the
vision of a radically open body concept.
ALL4 all-wheel drive and the variable interior give the MINI
Beachcomber Concept abilities absolutely ideal for a spontaneous and
active experience of freedom and leisure time. The potential offered
by the car’s modern drivetrain technology and space concept is used
here to the greatest possible extent to ensure a highly emotional
driving experience. Hence, the MINI Beachcomber Concept consistently
does without doors, a conventional roof and all other body elements
which might possibly limit the intensity of the occupants’ encounter
with their surrounding world. This makes the driver and up to three
passengers one harmonious entity communicating directly with their
surroundings – whether cruising through town, enjoying rough tracks
in the mountains, or breezing along the beach.
The MINI Beachcomber Concept combines all-wheel drive with
cutting-edge suspension technology, numerous body elements serving
to make the car extra-strong and robust, as well as an elevated
seating position. Generous spring travel and extra-large light-alloy
wheels raise the entire car to a higher level. Access to the front
and rear seats is nevertheless exceptionally convenient and easy
thanks to the omission of doors and the entry cutouts extending all
the way down to the seat bottoms, allowing the driver and passengers
to get in and out in one smooth and flowing process. A pleasant and
interesting side effect is that the distance the occupants feel from
their surroundings is reduced to a minimum.
The driver and passengers will also enjoy the driving pleasure
created by this concept in everyday traffic under regular motoring
conditions – simply because the MINI Beachcomber Concept retains its
unmistakable character even when adverse weather conditions require
use of the soft roof or the lightweight door and roof elements
fitting on easily and conveniently within a few instants.
MINI entering new terrain – with a
fourth model and a complete range
of innovative ideas for the ongoing future.
The MINI Beachcomber
Concept symbolises the elementary values of the brand in new,
radical style – and at the same time the new model continues the
current development of the MINI range in a particularly attractive
Within just ten years after the re-launch of the brand, the fourth
version of the MINI is now set to enter the market. As a unique
crossover in the typical style of the brand, the new model offers a
fascinating re-interpretation of that typical MINI design, with the
functional convenience of four doors, four full-size seats, a
variable interior, and a unique standard of driving pleasure now to
be enjoyed for the first time also beyond the beaten track thanks to
newly developed all-wheel drive.
The new production model now available from MINI goes far beyond the
realms of urban mobility, inspiring the MINI designers to enhance
that un-mistakable MINI feeling by adding further facets never seen
before. Creating the MINI Beachcomber Concept, therefore, they are
taking up the technical and concept qualities of the production
model announced for autumn 2010, offering the ultimate expression of
freedom in a car on this basis. The result is a new, incomparably
open concept for a driving experience for all your senses, plus a
degree of versatility greater than ever experienced before in
discovering and enjoying new terrain.
The potential use and versatility of the MINI Beachcomber Concept is
defined exclusively by the activities and preferences of its user.
Clearly, the most authentic and natural surroundings for a car of
this type are beaches where the MINI Beachcomber Concept, through
its enhanced traction and radically open body, offers that unlimited
freedom of movement it expresses from the start through its name
The MINI Beachcomber Concept therefore allows the driver and
passengers to actively live out their personal style, just like a
kitesurfer, wakeboarder or triathlete is magically attracted to the
hot spots of beach life the world over. Through its robust and
versatile character, the MINI Beachcomber Concept furthermore
follows in the footsteps of the Mini Moke, which, back in the 1960s,
quickly became the epitome of adventurous motoring in your leisure
time and in sports activities in sunny coastal regions.
Unique, typical of MINI, and with
a great role model from way back when.
The MINI Beachcomber
Concept is the vision of a car leaving behind all conventional
standards and creating innovative momentum for individual mobility
of the future. The combination of traction optimised by all-wheel
drive for excursions beyond the beaten track, on the one hand, and
an extreme focus on motoring in the open air, on the other, is quite
unprecedented in the world of the automobile.
Now, therefore, the MINI Beachcomber Concept makes such a driving
experience a truly attractive option, offering a harmonious blend of
features only a MINI can provide in such authentic style. And since
individual character, a clear focus on maximum driving pleasure, and
the courage to create new concepts have always set the foundation
for new models in the MINI range, this open-air all-wheel-drive
concept clearly stands out from the beginning as a typical MINI.
The authentic style and character of the MINI Beachcomber Concept
also results from the fact that the brand once already offered an
extreme thrill of driving pleasure in the open air by conscious
reduction to the very minimum: Way back in 1964, just five years
after the market launch of the classic Mini, the creator of the
first model, the world-famous engineer Alec Issigonis, already
developed an all-open version of this revolutionary compact car.
The body of the Mini Moke, as it was called, was made up of hardly
more than a floorpan, wide sills at the side, the engine compartment
lid and the windscreen. A folding roof served – more or less – to
protect the driver and passengers from precipitation.
With its robust structure and the drivetrain technology carried over
from the Mini, this four-seater fun car became a great success
particularly in the sunny regions of the USA and Australia.
Production of the Mini Moke in Great Britain continued until 1968
with a production volume of some 14,500 units, following which
production was continued in Australia and Portugal.
The MINI Beachcomber Concept now projects the principle of the Mini
Moke into the 21st century. The rustic appearance of the car and its
consistent concept of consciously reducing the body components and
interior to a minimum clearly follow the tradition of the radically
open Mini Moke back in the 1960s. This is indeed further accentuated
by design language strongly inspired by the Mini Moke and enhanced
by various striking details such as the characteristic radiator
It goes without saying that the new model meets all modern demands
in terms of space and comfort, efficiency and safety, while
nevertheless retaining its clear focus on driving pleasure in direct
contact with the surroundings.
Even ALL4 all-wheel drive goes back to a role model from the past,
to be precise a prototype Mini Moke fitted by Alec Issigonis with
two engines in 1963. On this test car appropriately referred to as
the “Twini”, the front and rear wheels were driven in each case by a
four-cylinder from the Mini range of engines.
Versatile, modern, and safe at all
Modern and up-to-date
from A–Z, the MINI Beachcomber Concept offers a wide range of
innovations for consistent driving pleasure in the 21st century. The
outstanding know-how in automotive development of a premium car
maker in the areas of design, drivetrain, safety and production
technology brings together the undiluted character of the concept
car with a wide range of solutions most convincing in practice.
Measuring approximately four metres in length and with its highly
versatile interior, the MINI Beachcomber Concept offers all the
variability and spaciousness required for active leisure time.
Consistently reduced to a minimum, the body of the car ensures an
intense feeling of the sun shining in and the wind rushing by, while
full maintenance of all MINI safety standards guarantees maximum
occupant safety at all times.
The MINI Beachcomber Concept comes with a strong and stable body
structure incorporating clearly defined load paths and deformation
units serving to convey and consistently absorb impact energy in the
event of a collision. Rollover safety also meets the highest demands
made of an open car, the stable frame on the passenger cell able to
withstand even extreme situations formed by substantially reinforced
A-pillars and an equally strong D-pillar bar complete with an
integrated lateral support element at the rear of the car. This
additional safety component is indeed finished in body colour and,
through its geometry alone, conveys a supreme standard of strength
and stability. It is made of high-strength steel for maximum
stiffness on optimum weight, again in the interest of supreme
This concept of intelligent lightweight technology serves to
consistently lower the car’s centre of gravity in the interest of
superior agility at all times. Indeed, this agility is further
enhanced by another special feature also standing out through its
special look, with the lateral support element boasting recesses
shaped to form the “MINI” model designation. Again, this special
feature clearly visible from outside particularly when looking at
the car from above further emphasises the spirit of pure adventure
in the open air.
Extreme variability for all kinds
of activities, weather and road conditions.
Single seats at the rear
adjusting fore-and-aft as required and with backrests folding down
completely offer the passengers a supreme standard of grand touring
comfort tailored to their individual requirements and allow
appropriate adjustment of transport capacities for all needs. In
practice, this means that the driver and passengers are able to
conveniently stow even bulky sports equipment such as mountain bikes
or wakeboards securely held in position by special fastening
When open, the MINI Beachcomber Concept is also able to carry
extra-long objects such as surfboards without the slightest problem.
Fastened firmly to the lateral support, surfboards fit conveniently
into the car, sticking out at the top on the way to the beach.
The driver and passengers enjoy convenient access to the luggage
compartment though the rear panel split vertically down the middle
into two sections. Whenever necessary, the right-hand side may
remain fully open for bulky objects extending out of the car at the
rear. The left rear element, in turn, is a window-less door hinged
at the side and extending up to the seat backrests. The additional
storage case fitted on to the door is reminiscent in its round shape
of a fully enclosed spare wheel holder of the type otherwise seen on
a conventional offroader. But since the MINI Beachcomber Concept
comes with runflat tyres and therefore does not require a spare
wheel, the lockable case may be used to take along additional
luggage, keeping beach mats, towels, surf shoes or similar odds and
ends within easy reach at all times.
Flexible protection from wind and
weather: soft roof or hardtop inserts.
The MINI Beachcomber
Concept is built for the sunny side of life and is simply perfect
for spontaneous action. Through its optimum flexibility, the car is
able to meet all kinds of different requirements, naturally coping
with any sudden change in exterior conditions.
This alone gives the MINI Beachcomber Concept all the qualities
required for everyday motoring, with several options to cater for
new demands and weather conditions.
The soft roof coming off the body completely and folding up into a
compact unit offers particularly convenient and, at the same time,
effective protection from rain and weather. Whenever required, the
roof may be drawn over the car within a few instants like a tonneau
cover on a boat, fastening conveniently on the windscreen frame, the
rear panel and the side openings.
Made of an extremely light and, at the same time, very robust
special fibre, the roof comes with transparent plastic inserts at
the sides and at the rear serving as windows.
In its functional qualities, the roof follows the same standard as
the most sophisticated and demanding outdoor wear combining maximum
protection from wind and rain with minimum weight.
The lashing points holding the roof in position are equally strong,
stable and user-friendly, with the four entry points and the rear
door opening and closing easily when the roof is in place, naturally
keeping out draughts and water from outside.
As a further option for reliable protection even in bad weather, the
MINI Beachcomber Concept is available with accurately fitting
plastic inserts on the roof, at the sides and at the rear. Made of
an extra-light plastic material, these robust inserts carry over the
principle of the removable hardtop to the doors and the luggage
compartment lid of the car. And again in the interest of clear
design and superior convenience, the inserts come flush with the
body of the MINI Beachcomber Concept.
The door elements maintain their defined position through their firm
connection to the opening points and the A- and D-pillars. They are
likewise transparent at the top to provide good visibility to the
outside, with the rear element held firmly in position through its
contact to the left door element, the rear body panel at the right,
and the loading sill.
The hardtop as such is connected to the windscreen frame at the
front and rests in special mounts on the rollover crossbar.
Precisely arranged connections joining the hardtop with the side and
rear elements keep the entire structure extremely strong and stable,
the appropriate connection being unfastened in each case when
opening a door.
Typical MINI design,
re-interpreted and concentrating on the essential.
Thanks to its clear
design language, the body of the MINI Beachcomber Concept
concentrating on the essential leaves no doubts that this is a
genuine MINI. Unmistakable design elements reminiscent of the brand
stand out clearly at first sight. And like on the MINI Crossover
Concept presented for the first time at the Paris Motor Show in
autumn 2008, the new model clearly reflects the ongoing process of
MINI design and the introduction of MINI design language in a new
type of vehicle. Indeed, both the smooth and firm design of the body
and proportions typical of MINI show once again that this is clearly
a member of the range.
Short overhangs front and rear as well as the wide wheel stance
likewise bear the overall look of the brand on the MINI Beachcomber
Concept. Here again, therefore, the new model comes with
characteristic MINI design features at the front, side and rear
re-interpreted on the new model. The extra-wide body frame even
encompassing the wheel arches and extending down to the road
emphasises the robust flair and character of this all-wheel-drive
concept study. And thanks to greater ground clearance, the advantage
of short overhangs front and rear comes out even more on rough
terrain, allowing a particularly large ramp angle for even the
Extending to the front in a dynamic sweep, the entire front section
of the car is angled towards the road. The engine compartment lid is
powerfully chiselled, the powerdome with its integrated air insert
symbolising the outstanding muscle and performance of the
turbocharged engine within the car.
The hexagon radiator grille again so typical of MINI comes with
contour lines carried over directly from the front look of the Mini
Moke. With its vertical position, three robust crossbars and
additional integrated headlights, the radiator grille gives the MINI
Beachcomber Concept particularly powerful and convincing presence.
The large, three-dimensional headlight units integrated in the
engine compartment lid as a new interpretation of a characteristic
design feature also boast a striking look. Accentuated by the classy
chrome frame, the headlights follow the contours of the engine
compartment lid and wheel arches, again confirming the increase in
stature and spaciousness over the MINI models available so far. A
large air intake at the bottom and foglamps moved far to the
outside, finally, round off the front view of the car again in that
unique style so typical of MINI.
Side view: new combination of
robust strength and lightweight look.
Extending far into the
side of the car, the headlights additionally emphasise the short
front overhang. The powerfully designed wheel arches on the MINI
Beachcomber Concept boast large 17-inch light-alloy wheels and
offroad tyres with a rough tread.
The surrounds on the side direction indicators again so typical of
MINI come for the first time in a diagonal shape in the extended
A-pillar, creating a wide band in distinctive colour precisely at
the same point as on the classic Mini and now forming an optical
connection between the windscreen frame and the front wheels. This
graphic element again underlines the solidity of the MINI
Beachcomber Concept with its A-pillars appearing to rest powerfully
on the front axle. At the rear the rollbar forms an equally direct
line extending towards the rear axle of the car.
Massive side-sills along the front and rear entry points interact
with the dark body frame to add a further touch of robustness, while
the free view offered into the interior emphasises the lightness and
agility of this concept car. Stylised push button elements around
the entry point, like on the MINI Moke, indicate the option to fit a
simple and straightforward cover for bad weather. The actual
fastening and adjustment points for the soft roof, on the other
hand, are not even visible from outside.
The graphic look of the rear end is formed in particular by the
asymmetric design of the luggage compartment, the door element on
the left and the storage case fitted on the outside symbolising the
superior versatility of the car while the open section on the left
emphasises the lightness and spontaneous functionality of the entire
Over and above these specific features, the MINI Beachcomber Concept
naturally comes with other design elements at the rear typical of
the brand as such. The rear light clusters fitting like islands into
the side panels, for example, stand upright and are surrounded by a
wide band of chrome. Further down, the rear end is dominated by
horizontal lines interacting with the muscular wheel arches to
emphasise the sheer width of the car and its powerful stance on the
With the roof closed this convincing look of power and muscle is
further accentuated by the growing width of the car in steps from
top to bottom. The numberplate surround takes up the design and
contours of the front air intake, while the rear air dam rounded off
at the bottom again in typical MINI style comes with a robust
underfloor protection element.
The interior: sophisticated,
versatile, robust, and full of character.
The interior design of
the MINI Beachcomber Concept likewise focuses on maximum driving
pleasure in the great outdoors. Extra features added to the car as
well as appropriate and conscious reduction to the minimum versus
the existing models in the MINI range serve also within the interior
to focus on the essential. The Center Speedo comes in that typical
MINI design, comprising the usual display for navigation and audio
With the MINI Beachcomber Concept being intended primarily for
driving in the open air, the number of air vents has been reduced in
the interest of additional loudspeakers on the HiFi system as well
as special instruments for offroad motoring. These additional
instruments are indeed spherical in shape, reminiscent of the
displays in the cockpit of an aircraft.
A liquid-sprung compass fitted to the left of the steering wheel
consistently tells the driver whether he is going the right way and
moving in the right direction. A further special instrument to the
right of the steering wheel, finally, presents an artificial horizon
showing the angle of the car around its longitudinal and transverse
Strongly contoured seats and an additional handle on the front
passenger’s side optimise driving pleasure on rough terrain.
Open-pore footmats allowing a good view of the floorpan characterise
the robust ambience of the car as well as the stitching seams on the
seats matched specifically to this concept car.
The range of colour and trim within the MINI Beachcomber Concept
again reveals the car’s close link to nature, the surfaces and seat
upholstery, in their design, following the elements of earth, air,
water, and fire. All plastic surfaces on the instrument panel come
in a newly developed grain look resembling the structure of dry
The trim surfaces in the cockpit are finished in magnetic paint also
used for the first time to create a special touch of flowing
liquidity. And last but not least, the individually designed seats
again oriented in their colours to the four elements serve as a
symbol highlighting the versatility of the MINI Beachcomber Concept.
Center Rail with new features: everything the sportsman needs at
your disposal at all times.
The Center Rail already presented in the MINI Crossover Concept
plays a particularly important role in the new model. Extending from
the instrument panel all the way to the luggage compartment, this
fastening rail connects the front seats with the rear, emphasising
the common driving experience enjoyed by the occupants on all seats.
A special fastening system developed for MINI enables the driver and
passengers to place individual elements and components on the Center
Rail, such as external music players and other devices, armrests for
the front and rear seats, storage boxes, shelves and holders of all
The MINI Center Rail comes complete with an integrated cable duct
allowing the user to connect a mobile phone or MP3 player in any
position to the car’s entertainment system by means of a holder
fastened to the rail. A further option is to connect additional
sources of light, a cooling box, a laptop or a GPS tracker safely
and securely to the Center Rail, each with their own power supply.
The range of holders has been further extended especially for the
MINI Beachcomber Concept, now including a stopwatch specially made
for the new model, a bottle holder, a compact meal box as well as a
case for cycling and swimming glasses, clearly reflecting the
sporting character of this concept car and simply ideal for the
The MINI Beachcomber Concept:
variable and always open for maximum driving pleasure.
The MINI Beachcomber
Concept offers driving pleasure in its purest form, concentrating on
the essential elements required for genuine joy of individual
Introducing this concept, MINI once again proves the ability of the
brand to convey values such as driving pleasure, lifestyle and
premium quality, that is the values so typical of MINI, to a
completely new type of vehicle.
From the start, the MINI Beachcomber Concept offers an outlook at an
incomparable driving experience in new, unprecedented style
reflecting the needs and wishes of a modern, lifestyle-oriented
target group and the authentic character of the brand.
Following the MINI Crossover Concept opening up fascinating new
options through the further extension of the brand family, the
potential of the MINI’s modern drivetrain technology and its
flexible space concept is now being used consistently to offer
additional driving opportunities in a new dimension. Indeed, the
MINI Beachcomber Concept offers a particularly emotional driving
experience, demonstrating these qualities once again in that unique
style so typical of the brand. Clear proof, therefore, that
unconventional creativity still serves today to open up the door to
brand-new vehicle concepts pointing into a future bound to offer
even more fascinating renditions of that unique feeling so
characteristic of MINI.