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).