• Jan 7, 2011
Mini Beachcomber Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

If you were hoping to be able to take to the sand in the production version of the Mini Beachcomber sometime soon, we may have some bad news for you. According to the minds at Autocar, the open-air Mini may have encountered some fatal trouble when it came to getting by crash standards. The report says that in order for the Beachcomber to get past government regulators, the company would have been forced to incorporate additional side bracing to protect occupants in the event of a collision. According to the UK, the decision makers at Mini have determined that doing so would have compromised the vehicle's styling too much to be worth it.

As you may recall, the Beachcomber was intended to be a modern interpretation of the old Mini Moke, a funky looking machine that seemed more at home on a golf course than a highway. Based on the Countryman architecture, the Beachcomber would have been a less hardcore alternative to the famously doorless Jeep Wrangler. Whether or not Mini finds a way to skirt these crash regulations remains to be seen, but we wouldn't be surprised if this particular concept is banished to realm of never-produced.



[Source: Autocar]


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  • 23 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Sorry about spelling mistakes, I was typing this while driving my Hummer.
        • 4 Years Ago
        ...to the gas station.

        ...to the scrap yard.

        ...to try and trade it in.

        ...off a cliff.

        ...while being winched out of a ditch by a Jeep.

        etc.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Perhaps we should all drive nice safe Camry's?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Safety regulations may be improving vehicles but it's also making our choices surprisingly milquetoast. So far, increased safety regs have killed most of the compact trucks because the current models can't step (with Lund of IIHS taking every opportunity to remind us how "unsafe" small trucks are and both Colorado and Ranger being unfairly regarded as deathtraps), and slowly but surely the regs are screwing with smaller SUVs (which must be both more fuel-efficient to meet CAFE and safer to meet NHTSA regs, meaning no weight to spare for off-road parts) and even some sports cars.

      Beachcomber's just the latest death, and I'd like to ask, just as an honest query, where do the major safety agencies get the idea that it's OK for a manufacturer to release an enormous gas-guzzling monster of a vehicle, like the Ford Raptor, which could easily crush any poor sap that happens to cross its path in a Geo Metro, but it's not OK for Mini to release a fun little compact crossover? Isn't it, I don't know, the responsibility of the buyer to realize that if they buy a vehicle without doors they're more likely to get hurt in a wreck?

      I feel like the major safety organizations are missing something about the nature of vehicle safety, namely, that there's more to making a vehicle safe than just protecting the people inside. Sure in Europe they test for pedestrian hits, but there's something strange about getting on the Beachcomber's case when it wouldn't endanger pedestrians and owners would surely know that the lack of doors reduces their protection in the event of a collision. Can't we just for once look at this as a "let the buyer beware" scenario? Or just add removeable doors, like so many others have suggested?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Sorry, gotta disagree with your first sentence. Safety regulations are actively making cars WORSE. Heavier, poor visibility and lower interior space (for the same length car) are the first things that come to mind.

        The irony is that I personally do not feel safe driving many newer cars. The massive pillars obscure visibility too much on any road but an interstate (as long as you aren't merging or changing lanes) for proper awareness of what is around you.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Mist i do everything...

      REMOVABLE DOORS PEOPLE....

      Send my check...

      Peace.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Play Misty for me...
        • 4 Years Ago
        i must have misted that one...
      • 4 Years Ago
      What would have been the problem with removable pillarless suicide doors? They'd have to be strong, but it can be done.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Easy....just make some cheap doors to put on, but make them really easy to remove.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Like others who have suggested, removable doors or even simply a removable b-pillar would easily solve this problem. Why not continue the "MINI" branded crossbar on the roof down through the sides and make them removable? That would blend with the design language and overall form of the car...
      • 4 Years Ago
      'darn..I always wanted a car named after a G1 Transformer
      • 4 Years Ago
      As cool as that looks, some massive-SUV-driving updating-their-Facebook-status-while-driving moron would clip that thing at the wrong angle and the passangers wouldn't stand a chance.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Not to mention all it would take to kill everyone on one side of the car is a truck with a protruding brush guard t boning it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Seems like our safety regulations are out of control.

      Just give it a poor crash test rating for side impacts. People are either going to be aware that this thing is a rolling deathtrap if it ever gets into an accident or too oblivious to think that maybe their doorless subcompact might be dangerous to drive.

      The product itself is not dangerous nor is using it dangerous. What might be dangerous is other people, which is going to be true no matter what. I'm all for keeping toxins out of our food or making sure cars don't spontaneously burst into flames. I don't think the government should be determining for us what cars are safe enough for us to drive. Sheesh, it's not like motorcycles are known for side impact safety.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I have an Idea

        Take off a wheel and advertise it a a bike
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why don't they add something like the doors on the BMW Z1?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Just add a cross bar
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