Patrick Rall's picture

Mini Beachcomber put to rest by crash safety issues

Although the Mini Beachcomber Concept that debuted at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show was very popular and was rumored to be slated for production, it seems that crash safety standards may be ending the production of this sporty open-air ute before it sees the light of day.
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The Mini Beachcomber Concept was based on the Mini Countryman chassis with a heavily modified body to provide the open-air experience and a beefed up drivetrain to offer some off-roading capabilities. Unfortunately, the massive openings created when the doors and roof are removed combined with the super-thin roof rails have been deemed unsafe in the UK – this according to Autocar.co.uk. Suggestions were made as to how to strengthen the chassis to make the vehicle safer but company officials decided that the alterations needed to meet government requirements would compromise the styling of the compact SUV too much; likely leaving the project dead in the water.

The Mini Beachcomber was intended to offer the comfort and styling of the BMW-run Mini lineup into a compact, open-air sport ute that would go head to head with the likes of the long-popular Jeep Wrangler. The fact that Mini is unable to make the Beachcomber meet these requirements is disappointing to many, as it was one of the most popular concepts of the 2010 North American International Auto show but this speaks volumes of how the Jeep Wrangler has maintained its dominance in the segment over the past few decades.

Hopefully, Mini will come up with some derivative of the Beachcomber that is a bit sturdier as it would be a shame to have such a cool concept vehicle be completely shot down after getting the production green light.

Source: Autocar

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