• Oct 18, 2010
Mini Beachcomber concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

Remember back in the day when BMW revived the Mini and there was just one version? That was the three-door hatchback, but was also a long time ago in product lifecycle terms. These days, the Mini franchise has expanded to include a convertible, the Clubman and the Countryman crossover. There are diesel, gasoline, supercharged and JCW versions of each, and there are more yet on their way: never mind the Mini E or the electric scooter concept unveiled in Paris (let alone the WRC rally version). In the cards are said to be coupe and seven-seat versions of the Countryman, along with production versions of the Speedster and Coupe models unveiled last year in Frankfurt.

Engine choices and one-offs aside, that's already eight body-styles off one little car. But that ain't even the end of it. Not according to reports from Mini's homeland of jolly old England.

Britain's Autocar magazine reports that BMW is working on two parallel programs to put a Jeep Wrangler or Honda Element-style crossover into the mix as well. One program apparently calls for a high-riding three-door model tentatively known as the Canyon Coupe, a model that revives the old Mini Moke beach car bodystyle. The other is closer to the above-pictured Beachcomber Concept unveiled nearly a year ago, and while doors would be added, so might removable roof panels, frameless doors and a wind-down rear window to give a real open-air experience.

Only one will be given the green light (if at all), but either would offer the All4 all-wheel drive system and a pillarless frame that would allow easier access, as well as a proper four-door version of the next-gen Clubman, addressing criticism that the single rear suicide door on the current model doesn't work well for right-hand drive markets (like Mini's own domestic market in the UK).

[Source: Autocar]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      As awkward as the original. Maybe that's the point.
      • 4 Years Ago
      My '08 Rubicon is shaking in it's MTs.
      • 4 Years Ago
      If they manufacture a production Beachcomber that is anything close to the original concept, I'll be the first in line to buy one. I love seeing manufacturers go the way of out-of-the-ordinary niche products. They're often the ones that fly off the lots at dealers, as exhibited by the Raptor SVT.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Could this one beat a Porsche? LOL!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Somebody wanted to give the Juke an ugly competitor.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Just to be contrarian, Imma let you finish, but I just wanna say that the Juke is one the best looking small crossovers of all time! OF ALL TIME!
        • 4 Years Ago
        I think you are in the minority complaining about the Juke. The Nissan dealership I work at has gotten so much traffic about a car that is not even out yet it is unbelievable. The first one that comes off the truck tomorrow is sold already...

        They are polarizing for sure, but keep in mind for every person that hates a car design there is a good chance there is someone that loves it. Plus torque vectoring AWD + turbo 4banger is an instant winner.
        • 4 Years Ago
        That'll be a tough battle for the company who isn't Nissan - unless Honda re-styles the Element.

        puke in mouth
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ Not THAT Matt: Honda already restyled the Element, for the worse. I'm a big fan of the utilitiran look of the original (2003-2009) and its unpainted perimeter bolt body panels. New fender: $70, no need to paint, and cheaper than repairing a conventional fender.

        • 4 Years Ago
        @jake b

        Maybe you're right. If Nissan can move the Cube, the freakin CUBE, the maybe they have a market for this thing.

        That being said, I don't know how well they've done. According to the below article they moved about 12k in the first 8 months of 2009 (versus 21k for the Soul). I don't know how well 12 (or even the Soul's 21) thousand units is for this type of car, although I imagine they weren't bringing it over to try and move a quarter million of the things.


        Nissan's *thing* if you will seems to be to try and bring over funny niche stuff (Cube, Juke, etc) and go from their. I suppose if the profit margin is good enough on this kinda stuff, they'll be in good hands. I just find it a slap in the face to the loyal Z/GT-R fans out their that the same brand brings you the Nissan friggin' Cube.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It's nice to see that someone has a grasp of the concept of minimal sport. Jeep lost its way when it made the unreliable new Wrangler with power options galore. They also decided to market it to women who wanted their hair to blow in the wind.

      Nice to see someone getting back to their roots so to speak with the minimal interior, manual gearbox, and the simple seating layout. They've even left the doors off. Quite a bit would have to be changed for production, but as long as the car stays true to minimalism and as long as it retains the 4 buckets seats, this could be a really cool car.

      Honestly, I don't trust German engineers to make simple vehicles, but at least they can make interesting concepts.
      • 4 Years Ago
      More Beachcomber/Wrangler and less Element/Juke, PLEASE.
      • 4 Years Ago
      screw the cheap heavy current crop of bmw minis... the original moke is the shiznit! quite possibly the most entertainingly odd thing i've ever turned over.
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