MINI recently showed the world their latest concept, the Beachcomber. Previewing the forthcoming Countryman (ever get the feeling they’re running out of names..!) this compact SUV activity vehicle pushes the MINI brand into new markets.
Gert Hildebrand, MINI’s chief-designer sites ‘dog-ownership’ and Japanese garage standard door-height as being key package-definers for this car; MINI owners need more space and Japan is a key export market, essentially.
There’s a lot of blog traffic about this car, in a nutshell bemoaning the fact that it’s not really a mini anymore. Cos it’s so big..but we need to be real here, currently the MINI’s under fire from all sides. Fiat’s 500 has made customisation a little more affordable and it’s chic in a way the MINI used to be, Kia’s Soul is shooting for the urban-tough niche and comes in a variety of MINI-esque flavours, and cars like Toyota’s iQ and Aston’s Cygnet are championing the affordable and not-so affordable miniturisation market. So MINI needs to diversify.
Here’s a great render of the concept;
According to Hildebrand, the production version will be pretty much as the concept + doors, so with a bit of Photoshop, something like this;
As long as estate-agents and energy-drink companies aren’t allowed to buy this, MINI might have a hit on their hands. Otherwise they could be in trouble….