On Sunday 9 July, the MINI BARge was tugged into place at London’s ExCeL in preparation for the opening of next week’s British International Motor Show.

The MINI BARge is a specially designed floating hospitality area exclusively for MINI owners. It features three sundecks and four themed rooms, including three bars and a games den. MINI UK will also be displaying the MINI Concept, MINI GP 0001 and the full model line-up on its stand.

The BARge covers a floor space of 350 square metres, weighs 45 tonnes and took four months and 4000 bolts to build.

It was built near Norwich, but final engineering tweaks have been taking place at King George V dock, and on Sunday it was towed 2.5km by two tugboats.

Andy Hearn, MINI UK General Manager, said: “MINI is known for setting precedents at the Motor Show such as the stunt-driving antics at Birmingham in 2002 and 2004. We really wanted to push the boat out this year and make use of the natural setting while giving MINI owners some extra tlc. We look forward to welcoming everyone to the stand.”

At the end of June, MINI UK sent out information packs about the Motor Show to the 20,000 MINI owners who live closest to ExCeL. An email has also gone out to all owners across the country inviting them to visit the MINI BARge. MINI is close to reaching 200,000 sales since the launch in July 2001.

MINI owners just need to show their key fob to gain access to the BARge.