MINI Beachcomber: Love it or Hate it?

Few things have divided the MINI community more than the idea of a MINI crossover vehicle. And with the MINI Beachcomber we’re getting out best look yet at the forthcoming MINI Countryman crossover. In fact what you see above is an R60 with the doors cut in half and the top taken off. Otherwise it’s not that far off.

But forget about the R60 for a second. We want to know your thoughts on MINI’s latest concept.

Your Thoughts on the MINI Beachcomber Concept

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

  • JonPD

    As a concept about the Beachcomber alone, and despite not having any love for the front end of the design I chose “Love it”. A rather unique concept for a car in this range.

    Still as this concept is just window dressing on the R60, basically the concept is not dissimilar to spending hours laying down successive fine layers of hand polished wax on a Yugo! BMW/MINI could make the coolest variety of the R60 and at the end of the day still have no patience for the concept of a micro SUV in the model range.

  • The sketches seem quite captivating it will be interesting to see if BMW does market this model, how much of it truly makes it past the concept side. I would like to it to be a bit more open-aired in honoring historical Mini Moke fashion, though.

  • DUDE!

    Though I still see no reason to buy the Countryman this thing is pretty kool looking, will I buy one, nope. For me these vehicles… Beachcomber and the Countryman are as silly as a 4 door Porsche, like that could ever happen…;-)

    I wonder if these variants can be far behind… truck, delivery van, motorcoach?

  • Franticfreddy

    Looks like it should be a “Land Rover” or something like that. It does look like it would be a lot of fun. But, it sure isn’t a MINI.

  • The R60 actually makes a lot of sense to me. I love my Clubman, but there are definitely times I could use a bit more space (I can take the toddler and jogging stroller, or I can take the dog, but I can’t take both…). I actually think it makes a lot more sense for the brand for Mini to make a small crossover versus a somewhat larger car/hatch/wagon.

    As for the Beachcomber, it’s completely retarded, but in a ridiculous way that makes me love it all the same. I used to offroad a Defender 90, so I totally appreciate the open-air qualities. That said, I’d have rather seen an R60 done up in rally guise, especially given the rumors indicating something of that nature might be in the works.

  • Chad

    It’s fine as a concept. Will never be more than that for a number of reasons (side impact? rollover?) so we’re just looking at MINI/BMW’s attempt to ease in the R60 design. So while I like the concept, I don’t like what it will inevitably become. Though I WOULD like a 4 door MINI, I really just want a bigger Clubman, more like a real wagon, not a crossover.

  • RJ

    As far as small SUVs go, I really like the design of the current Opel Antara / Saturn Vue. If I needed a small SUV, I’d prolly go with the Opel/Saturn design. It’s a bit longer than the R60 as well, approx 20″.

  • Ian F

    Apparently they were shooting for a Moke.

    They missed…


  • I like it, but it’s a bit over the top. I’m really interested in the Countryman, and will probably trade my R50 for it in 2012 if I feel it works for me. I like seeing all these new concepts for MINI, even if some are not that great.

  • Eh, I like aspects of it. I like the concept art a bit more than the actual concept, but if the Crossover will be something like that, it looks quite interesting.

  • vee wee kid

    as concept I like it, would I buy hard to say. It’s very interesting and I find it fun. look to the future !

  • that.guy

    What a colossal waste of time.

  • Great concept…but so far from a MINI that it almost deserves to be under a different brand….along with the Crossover….

    I do dig the assymetrical tailgate though and the overall rugged design details are well executed….sort of like the Isuzu vehi-cross that I think was a fantastic vehicle but the beltline was way too high…

  • …the short answer would be the following comments that these 2 men made:

    PS: For the record,I’ve state in the first discussion of the,”beach comber”,that it would still be a hit with coastal states.

  • …the short answer would be the following comments that these 2 men made(around the 1minute,20second mark):

    PS: For the record,I’ve state in the first discussion of the,”beach comber”,that it would still be a hit with coastal states.

  • bee1000

    “Hate it” but not because it’s a Mini. I just think it’s lame.

  • I think it has the potential to be a neat vehicle, but hope it doesn’t turn into something like a Subaru Outback.

  • lavardera

    I never liked the idea of this, and I’ve always been among SUV haters, but damn – I have this feeling that they have hit on something with this. If they bring out something that has some of the spirit of these sketches I think Mini is going to be serving up a heaping serving of crow to all the doubters around here. It will be worth it for that alone.

  • JonPD

    Not all of us Lav, personally don’t think a concept that will never see production will give me any warmer feelings for a MINI cr-v.

  • Volkan

    It’s funny. It seems like people who love it just click the button and move on, whereas people who hate it click the button and have the need/urge to explain why they hate it so much.

    To me, it looks like a supercharged vehicle in the sense of its presence. You can compare all of its the dimensions, weight, etc to other vehicles in a similar class, but you know that there wont be anything like it on the road once it is released. MINI CR-V? Really? The character of this concept -and let’s hope the R60- is miles away from the soulless CR-V -or any other crossover for that matter.

    lavardera said it well, and that’s coming from someone who dislikes the idea of a MINI SAV.

    Cant wait to see it in dealers!

  • glangford

    I don’t understand the vote really. The R60 was panned and this garbage is loved??

    I wouldn’t mind the R60, but if I wanted an offroad vehicle Mini would be the last thing I’d want to buy.

  • 777

    wow. They went with the CR-V approach and the designers get sent home back to the drawing board. Now they come out with a Jeep/Subaru skin and it looks like they get a lack luster response. Its nice to see how they keep trying but, in the end, its outside their niche market. If they keep wandering too far, they will eventually drown in a sea of already established.

    Make mini more economical, less expensive. Flood the market with exceptional quality and matching power. Release iterations that matter not just models with window dressing. Stay close to your roots and people will take notice. Solve the transportation issue and evolving gas crisis. Lead like Pirus, not follow like Jeep. Its the direction you must follow. People will notice.

  • Omg I love it. I want it.

  • GSP

    “Indifferent” … simply because the design is irrelevant.

  • Incredible. Love the initial sketches will be interested to see how much BMW allows the designers to keep although I would allow more open air design in keeping with true Mini Moke tradition.

  • Cory

    I can’t decide on this one. Considering it looks nothing at all like the original Mini moke, and that the Mini moke looks nothing like any other variant of the classic Mini, I wonder why this was even considered an option. It seems like they’ve tried too hard to create a vehicle that functions like a Jeep or Volkswagen thing, but also tried to hard to make it look like a Mini (even though it pretty much doesn’t.) When I glace at it, I just see any of the countless other crossover type cars on the market, but with removable doors.

  • It’s never going to be available (at least in the US). The next round of safety regulations are going to deal with cabin ejections during rollover. And no matter how much one loves this design, it’s not going to meet any ejection standards of any sort. This is just a design study, but that will be the end of it.


  • lavardera

    Matt, I think the character of the sketches that make it appealing have nothing to do with the open sides and roof. In fact my favorite image is the sketch at the top of the post that shows infill doors, and the open roof is not even visible. So I don’t think roll over safety has anything to do with whether or not Mini can transfer some of this vibe to the Countryman.

    What I like about it is the aggressive stance, the two-tone coloring, the large black Minilite inspired wheels, all things that can easily be part of the production vehichle without open sides and top.

  • Huckleberry

    Indifferent-I bought a Mini because I don’t care for SUV’s and what they’re about(poor handling and bad gas mileage). However if I were to buy a SUV it would be from MINI because as SUV’s go this is the concept I like the best. I hope this will bring the people that wouldn’t consider buying a Mini because it’s not big enough into a Mini dealer. I like to see the company do good so hopefully this will mean more profits to the Mini brand. I would like to see it next to a Mini Cooper to see the size comparison. I would also like to test drive it to see how it handles compared to my car.

  • danny

    Meh. I live on the coast and am not interested… but I would bet BMW has done more research then me, so I guess if they are happy with the numbers they think they can sell….

  • I like it.

    But lets face it. So do we truly need 5 sizes of MINI’s? Clubman sales aren’t skyrocketing. And it seems that BMW is about to give away JCW Clubman for free OK ZERO financing… Pull the R55 and give the R60


    Keep up the creativity MINI. This is nothing short of awesome and really picks up the Moke theme very nicely. I would love to see this in our showroom sometime in the near future. A very nice surprise to come back from vacation to. Thank you!

  • Ian F


    Isn’t it perfectly legal for a Jeep owner to remove the doors from their Wrangler and drive around? I don’t see this design being any different.

  • This thing serves such a tiny niche, it’ll never see the light of day. Reason being the people who this will appeal to the most won’t be able to afford the price BMW would have to sell it for. There will be too much competition in this price range to pull it off, at least in the states.

    Lava hated it. But know, wait, it’s a BMW concept, the more he thinks about it, he loves it!!! Surprise, surprise….

  • Bernie

    Definitely a concept only. That tire design will not work in sand.

  • lavardera

    Chris – I have not changed how I feel about it, I don’t like suvs – I’m just more convinced that it will sell.

    As for your prediction that “it’ll never see the light of day”, maybe in that private idaho you’re living in. If your reasoning was true then Mini would not be selling any cars at all, because the people they would appeal to the most would be busy buying Chevy Aveos, and Toyota Yaris’s…

  • JonPD

    From everything I’ve read so far Lav the Beachcomber is only a concept. Also there is no way that design will ever pass the side impact testing to ever be available here even if it were to go to production. I think this is mostly a design study to soften the impact of the R60 on the MINI community. By creating something unique they will get most of the R60 in front of us and will be able to see the feedback on a “concept” sparing the roasting that some of the community is likely to give to their SUV.

  • cct1

    Yep, I agree with you Jon–think this is just BMW keeping the whole R60 thing up front and center.

    Lava, I have no idea where you get the basis for your last sentence–a base Mini Cooper isn’t that expensive, and fills a desirable niche that no other car hit well–a hot hatch with performance and a certain amount of luxury and refinement. Let’s not forget the whole BMW MINI explosion was initially a labor of love, was unexpected, and didn’t make any money until the R56 came along. BMW is done doing charity work with the MINI brand, it’s going to have to make money, and this R60 offshoot is merely an attempt to keep the R60 in the news. And it succeeded.

    The price of the R60 is going to be an order of magnitude higher than a base Cooper, which brings an entirely different demographic into play. Apples to Oranges, as is your arguement….

    As for the R60 as a product, personally I think the Clubman was enough. The R60 is nothing more than BMW using the MINI marquee to sell a small SUV. They probably didn’t feel comfortable badging it as a budget BMW SUV, so slid it into the MINI brand, where it really doesn’t belong either, but will probably still sell well. A bit disappointing, but they have to make money, getting into the small SUV market makes sense, they had to have somewhere to put this thing, and if this helps insure the MINI brand for the future, so be it. There won’t be THAT many of them, so it’ll be easy enought to ignore.

  • lavardera

    Jon, I’m fully aware its a concept car. What I’ve said is that if they can deliver some of the spirit of the concept in the Countryman I think it will sell well. And this is at least the third small SUV concept they have pitched – we all know why they are doing it.

    cct1 – my comparison of the countryman to the mini is just what it is. You may disagree but I think we’ll find that it appeals to a different demographic than other small suvs, and will sell at its pricepoint just as the other mini models have. Its the same product placement logic. No use arguing over it – we’ll just sit back and see what happens.

  • JonPD

    Think BMW should just label the R60 and X.5 and throw a roundel on it personally.

  • KLF23

    I own a 1974 Moke and a 2002 R50 Cooper and I live at the beach. I was really looking forward to the new Moke concept. Unfortunately, this totally misses the mark for me. It’s FAR too big. It doesn’t look like a Mini or a Moke (removing the doors and putting 3 rectangles on the bottom does not work). They seem to have spent too much time on little design features at the expense of the actual car (lego rail, case attached to the boot). Gert, please go back to small, light, clean lines and round headlights. I wonder what Frank thinks of this concept.