Surf''s Up for MINI Concept

Article excerpt

CLASSIC British pleasure transport will drive back to the future when this concept car is unveiled next month.

BMW is reviving the ultimate fun-in-the-sun car of the 1960s with Beachcomber, its radical new take on the Mini Moke, one of the most charismatic models to emerge from British Leyland.

Based on the four-door version of the MINI and using four-wheel drive, the stunning Beachcomber design will be revealed at the Detroit Motor Show.

Just like the original, it seats four and is aimed at providing maximum driving pleasure during trips around sunny coastal regions. Open bodywork allows unrivalled versatility.

"We wanted to demonstrate the options we have with the fourdoor car we will launch later next year with our new ALL4 drive system, said a spokesman.

"The Beachcomber does without doors, a conventional roof and everything else in order to take its occupants closer to their surroundings, whether they're cruising through town, enjoying rough tracks in the mountains or breezing along the beach.

"But, while we're using new suspension technology and extrastrong bodywork, we're still following in the footsteps of the Mini Moke, which quickly became the epitome of adventurous leisure time motoring in the 1960s."

Standing on extra-large alloy wheels, the Beachcomber has a high ground clearance for off-road travel and comes with a soft roof and lightweight doors for use in adverse weather conditions.

Added the spokesman: "We can't say if this design will ever reach the production stage, but it does allow us to show how spacious our crossover model will be when it arrives later next year, as well as representing our vision of a car that leaves behind all conventional standards. …