Home2010 Detroit Auto Show
Consumer Reports auto experts report from the 2010 North American Auto Show in Detroit.
Mini Beachcomber
What is it? The Beachcomber concept portends Minis entrance into the sport/utility arena. The all-wheel-drive, four-seat concept is aimed at the active driver and can go without doors or a conventional roof for a closer connection to the elements. To keep the elements out, the Beachcomber has a soft roof and lightweight door that can be put on quickly and easily. (Think Jeep Wrangler for young, urban professionals.)

The seating is designed to ease access and flexibility to stow bulky outdoor equipment. Run-flat tires help the Beachcomber maximize space by avoiding the need to store a spare tire. A storage case for additional cargo can be attached to the rear.

The single rear seats can be adjusted and folded down completely, and the driver and passengers have access to the luggage compartment through the rear panel. The center rail that has been shown on the Mini Crossover Concept also plays a part in this concept by allowing all occupants to place items on the rail such as a music player, laptop, or GPS and each connect to their own power supply. Since the Beachcomber concept is designed for open air driving, the air vents have been reduced to add additional audio speakers.

The Concept aims to prepare the market for an eventually crossover version of the basic Mini Cooper design, though the production model will likely have a proper roof and doors.

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