MINI to Produce 3 Door Beachcomber Variant?

Scott26 (or whatever name he’s going by today) has long been a great source of information for BMW fans. He works for the company and has insider information that is often on target years before a new model is launched. So that makes this new rumor Scott27 rumor all the more interesting to MINI fans.

As we have reported last May MINI is seriously considering putting a version of the Beachcomber into production in the coming years. But what form will it take? That’s where we pick up Scott27’s latest insider information. But one quick caveat before we get to that. The following is his opinion and not ours. While it seems very plausible (and we hope it’s correct) we know first hand how quickly product decisions can be made and then reversed. Now we turn it over to Scott27:

With the expansion set to continue with MINI we are looking at alternatives to widen out the MINI Brand with a new model expansion that will be inherited with the Countryman and the next generation MINI.

The beachcomber Concept was an idea to officially preview the Countryman in light of the MINI Crossover Concept.

The Problem with the Beachcomber is that not everybody is around sea and sand 24/7 especially for a five door concept. Whilst the Beachcomber is a practical solution for a surfer or triathlete and their friends , it does not sit well with the corporate image of having a five dr beach orientated vehicle.

A Solution once conceived in 2005 by the MINI design team is a 3dr more sport orientated activity MINI which is being looked at as a brother vehicle to the MINI Countryman. Using the Countryman’s platform but shortened and All4 four wheel drive drivetrain.

MINI Canyon is an idea that takes the formula as used with the MINI Coupe but translates that to a small Activity MINI , utilising 3drs and space for four.

Range Rover

Comparisons with the Land Rover Evoque are welcomed but MINI had this idea in 2005 and before that.

What is unique is the unusual “Origami” roof line that like the Evoque swoops down giving the car and extremely dynamic roofline which seperates two rear windshields , as shown here a full sized spare tyre is retained , but the design also utilises a luggage box built into the roof for extra flexibility. Aswell as removable roof panels which would make a Beachcomber more possible with this car.

The car is on the Design wall in Munich to decide how to further progress the MINI portfolio. And the overall look remains but the details will be brought into line with the other MINI family.

The proposal goes that if the MINI can spawn a Coupe Can the MINI Countryman propose a smaller 3dr activity Concept.

Official decision has not been taken but it looks likely that the MINI Canyon could become a reality. Although Canyon is the design project name it could retain the original title or use a classic MINI title or something new.

  • Check out my video review of the Beachcomber when it was at the Toronto Auto Show here:

    There were plenty of positive reviews and reactions to it at the Auto Show – I think it would be very successful and cater to the outdoorsy/Jeep/beach/crowd especially well!

  • Bor

    Love the concept, would buy the car

  • MINIme

    Waiting on this to happen. It will be my next MINI!

  • superc00per

    it’s a no-brainer. build it!

  • Dave S

    Thumbs down on the Beachcomber. What’s next, the flying MINI? They should focus on making their cars a little more tight and use some higher-line materials (I know, I know…2011 MY refresh). They have the Clubman already, and the Crossman. They dont need any more links to the past, and if they call this a link to the Moke, that’s pushing it.

    The Range Rover has some Kia Soul in it’s roofline, B, and C pillar areas. Yech!

  • herr26

    We went public for a proposal more or less interpreted by the Evoque in 2005 when MINI showcased in the LA design concept a MINI CANYON CARVER which was showcased alongside BMW’s California Spyder Concept which in today’s post financial crisis is heading for production.

    MINI CANYON CARVER has been brought back into the model strategy to further expand alternative MINI projects. Which will include the Coupe(first teasers will commence in December), Roadster , Countryman , small MINI,Known as-MIN-i and the internally discussed SpaceBox Concept. Known internally as the MINI Activity Coupe Project, The strategy bases the MINI Canyon Carver on a shortended Platform of the R60 Countryman and the proposal will share much with the R60 including drivetrains, engines and interior components , including the central rail system. The design incorporates the look of the Countryman but brings an added dynamic Coupeish look to it. The roof itself furthers MINI’s investigation into seperating MINI from other manufacturers by making the roof a design element. Here when looking down via a birds-eye-view, the rear of the roof resemebles an “Origami” paper swan with the neck seperating the rear and incorporating twin rear windshields , similar to the Clubman. On the Carver it is a sparewheel that is shown integrated into the roof. But alternative design angles look at the roof as an additional storage area to increase flexibility. The Front panel has also been devised to slide back or be removable giving the car a Targaesque feel and would suit the Beachcomber.

    The Beachcomber was introduced as a Preview for the MINI Countryman but there has been interest since the car was unveiled in January. The issue BMW have with the Beachcomber is that not everyone is near sea and sand 24/7. And that in Europe such a car would not be as popular as the original concept. There is also the safety aspect of the car especially in side-impact tests. The 3dr sits better with the management because it can be based off an additional model to be more feasible for general consumption. And it could also sit better if BMW decided to brand the concept as the “MOKE”.

    But BMW are keen on stretching the flexibility of the Countryman with this additional MINI Activity Coupe, comparisons to the Evoque will be made but the real point is that the MINI in it’s base model would possibly be 10-12,000 euro. less than the Evoque. And be equally stylish and fucntional when needed to be. It is possible that we could see something like this car appear as a MINI Concept to determine public feedback in the not-so-distant future.

  • KPH

    When MINI even has a CONCEPT that could get over the Rubicon Trail it will then be interesting to me. This looks more like a Rodeo Drive vehicle.

  • Greg W

    It seems like MINI is going down the same track as BMW – that is breeding a whole lot of models in just about every sector. Whether this captures more market share by having a vehicle for every need is unknown as buyers are fickle and will change marques at the drop of a hat. VW have just released a Pickup utility vehicle and have vans. Mercedes have their commercial range. Perhaps BMW and MINI need to consider commercial vehicles as a way of making more vehicles. BMW needs volume to keep as an independant company. But its no longer a niche product. MINI may go the same way eventually and become just one of the many.

  • herr26

    The Strategy BMW have worked to involves the next line of growth that will be seen in the next decade. Segments that will grow in the Premium Segment, are in principle – Small City Car’s , C-Segment Compact class and the D-Segment Small Sedan class and the small-mid sized SUV class.

    Over the past few years BMW have seriously invested in these three segments than any other. For the small City Cars it will be a three way attack with both the MegaCity Vehicle , small BMW and MINI. C-segment is the 1er and D-Segment will be the 3er. Since the eruption of the global financial crisis one pattern discovered is that in most cases especially for BMW is that owners were downsizing instead of a 5er they would go for a 3er , instead of an X5 the X3 and so on.

    It is looking at this that has prompted BMW to invest especially in these segments because they are expected to offer the most growth for the automobile industry. We have also investigated that future concepts would be looking for more use of their cars and would want various concepts to suit their requirements.

    If we look at the 1er, in terms it matches the 3er with four different concepts. The next generation 1er especially with it’s flexible backbone structure will spawn not only today’s models in the next lifecycle. But in response to future growth 2 more models – Z2 in Coupe and Roadster have been green-lit and additional variants such as a 1er Gran Turismo and a Compactive Sport Tourer are in final feasibility studies. Other concepts are being investigated.

    With the 3er we will add a Gran Turismo model but we are also investigating other concepts such as a Gran Coupe, Shooting Brake and Advanced Sport Tourer.

    The MegaCity Vehicle will initially arrive as a five dr four seater , followed by a 3dr two seater, but if the establishment period for the MCV is successful then we are thinking about a small Activity Vehicle aswell as a Micro-Sports Car and Roadster.

    With MINI we have so far increased the original MINI Concept with a Cabrio, The Clubman and now the Countryman. Soon we will launch the MINI Coupe and Roadster. Other MINI’s being investigated include a MCV based MIN-i strictly a 3dr small MINI, We have discussed the Progressive Activity MINI aka Spacebox. And now we have an insight into basing an additional model off the Countryman.

    Because they are relatively based off the donor platform either 1er, MCV etc. And share engines , powertrains , technology etc the strategy is cost effective and initial inside calculations have shown, expected to be very profitable.

    If we take for example the MINI Coupe , surprisingly The car is built using a “parts bin” philosophy it is very cost effective to produce but special attention is of course paid to the handling of the car in which the brief is to make it more nimble , and more throwable than a typical MINI. We have no doubt that the MINI Coupe could go viral as the BMW 1M has.

    The MINI Countryman for example customer orders have already claimed 50% of first production and rising by the day and that is before the car is launched in the US.

    The strategy has already commenced for BMW especially with the X1 SAV , even before it’s US introduction X1 has surpassed nearly 40,000 units since it’s launch in late 2009.

    Although the MINI brand will expand it will stick to a particular formula and not offer a variant that is over four-metres in length. Management are very specific about that four-metre concept. MINI will remain MINI.

  • KLF23

    I would like to register my vote for the 3 door MIN-i. A small MINI! Keep it light, with great handling. That’s the way to go!

  • I <3 herr26!

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