Thursday 11 November 2010

Mini to revive Moke, working on Canyon coupé

BMW Mini is looking to put the Mini Beachcomber concept in production, which was first revealed last December.

Insiders suggest two variants of the Beachcomber are on the drawing board at the Mini design studios in Munich.

One of the variants is close to being a concept car and is known within Mini as the Moke. The second variant is a smaller, 3dr vehicle called Canyon Coupé.

The two cars are being mulled alongside a Countryman coupé. Both vehicles will use a reworked pillarless Countryman platform, which will underpin the next-generation Mini Clubman, giving the Clubman the ability to accommodate AWD. The pillarless design will allow the rear-hinged rear doors on both sides of the car, tackling criticisms from right-hand drive markets like Ireland, UK, Japan and Australia of the current single-rear-doored Clubman.

The production Moke will have four genuine doors with the rear doors being ‘suicide’ doors (rear-hinged). Muscular styling and raised ride height will remain the on production model, from the Beachcomber concept. Lift-out roof panels, frameless doors and a wind-down rear window will give the feeling of an authentic cabriolet.

The Canyon Coupé will be a rugged three-door version of a ‘beach car’. This concept underpins a shortened Countryman platform, using a predictable 3dr, four seat layout and the same All4 all-wheel drive system. Mini’s designers are bearing in mind a permanent roofbox-style luggage space arrangement.

The Canyon is inspired by the three ‘Canyon Carver’, which were shown at the 2005 LA motor show. A green-light verdict on the Moke or Canyon Coupé is likely by the start of next year, partially to allow bosses to measure the early sales of the Countryman. A decision on the Countryman coupé is further away.

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