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Mini Beachcomber Concept Car

DETROIT — Saying it wants to leave behind "all conventional standards," Mini on Wednesday previewed the all-wheel-drive Mini Beachcomber Concept, which strips away such elements as the doors and roof, just in time to provide a bit of warm-weather whimsy for the 2010 Detroit Auto Show.

The new concept "does without doors, a conventional roof and all other body elements which might possibly limit the intensity of the occupants' encounter with their surrounding world," said Mini in a statement.

The Beachcomber Concept takes its inspiration from the Mini Moke of the 1960s. As Mini recalls in its rollout of the new concept, the Mini Moke "was made up of hardly more than a floorpan, wide sills at the side, the engine compartment lid and the windscreen."

Details of the Beachcomber Concept include run-flat tires. That touch allows Mini to skip a spare tire and provide more storage space for passengers. Surfboards can be loaded into the concept, said Mini. In the event of bad weather, plastic inserts fit on the roof, sides and rear of the car for protection. A soft roof folds into a compact unit.

The striptease even goes as far as the instrument panel, where the number of air vents has been reduced "in the interest of additional loudspeakers as well as special instruments for off-road motoring," said Mini.

The plastic surfaces in the cabin use a special grain designed to look like dry earth, and the trim surfaces get a magnetic paint that Mini said it is using for the first time.

No details on powertrain are offered at this point, and it is unclear whether this concept is bound for production.


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