It’s taken a few months but last week we sat down with MINI Design head Gert Hildebrand and looked through all submissions of the Rail Accessory Contest. Gert and I talked about how each submission would work in the car and how true to the original concept each idea was.

But before we get too far we have to say, wow. We were absolutely blown away by many of these submissions. And there were by far more great ideas then are even listed in the top five below. But without getting too verbose, let’s get right to the winner and the two runners up (after the break)…

#3: Entertainment Device / Mr Mercado

We don’t know who Mr Mercado is, but the man can clearly come up with an idea and sketch it out. So for the idea (first and foremost) and the sketch (as seen above) he gets 3rd place.

#2: iPad Holder / Owen Kelly


We received quite a few ideas around the iPad or an entertainment device but given the level of thought below, I think you’ll see why we chose this as our runner-up.

I’ve come up with an iPad holder. The premise behind the design is to provide a rear entertainment accessory for passengers as the SatNav/MINI Connected unit will primarily be used for front seat occupants. I’ll post the photo now, and detail it below.

The arm can rotate at the rail through 360 degrees. The elbow of the arm is a racheted pivot, and at the end of the arm where it connects to the holder is a ball joint which allows it to move in any direction – similar to a premium manfrotto tripod.

The iPad holder itself has design touches allowing it to integrate with the colour and trim options the Countryman owner has chosen. The interior surfaces of the pockets that support the iPad are lined with a protective suede/flock finish, which is co-ordinated to the Countryman’s Colour Line. The MINI wings logo appears in the centre of the device.

The telesopic arms extend to cradle the ipod, but as seen in the sketch can also contract to a shape no larger than the width of the rail for stowage. This maximises the interior space of the Countryman when the device is not being used.

Finally, because the iPad has an accelerometer which allows for use in portrait, or landscape modes, the entire assembly can also be rotated on the ball joint through 90 degrees.

And (drum roll please) the winner of the MotoringFile Rail Accessory Contest is…

#1: The Lego Table (Thomas Ammentorp and his 11 year old son Max)


We just loved the simplicity of this idea. More than anything this idea captured the child-like spirit of the rail system. In fact the entire idea of the rail was inspired by Legos and the ability to create almost anything you want out of it. It seemed like the perfect winner. Here’s the description from Thomas himself:

This is my 11 year old son Max’s submission. It’s a lego table that sits on the rails between the two rear seat passengers, one of which might be a kid. It’s a flat surface covered in lego studs surrounded by a wall to contain the lego bricks. In each corner of the table, is a pocket which holds unused lego bricks.

Congrats to Thomas Ammentorp and his 11 year old son Max! They will be getting a first edition MINI Design book (MSRP around $140 – you can see a sneak peak here) autographed by Gert Hildebrand.