Mini Launches Countryman Center Rail Design Contest

The designers at Mini thought up the “Center Rail” storage system in the new Countryman crossover, but now it’s your turn to dream up ways to use it. To celebrate the Countryman’s launch, the automaker is holding an international design competition to create new Center Rail attachments.

As seen in several Mini concepts (including the Beachcomber), the Center Rail runs between the front and rear seats in lieu of a center console, but allows owners to fit various attachments to suit their needs. Mini says it’s designed a full range of attachments already, including sunglasses cases, cupholders, and an iPod dock. But in case it missed out on a niche application near and dear to your heart, the company’s letting you have a chance to craft your own.

Few guidelines have been issued for the contest, but Mini notes “when it comes to using this new feature, creativity need know no bounds.” The more quirky, the better. After all, designers equipped the Beachcomber’s Center Rail with some decorative plastic palm trees.

The top three finalists' designs will be turned into prototypes and displayed at the 2010 Paris motor show. The top finisher will receive a trip for two to the show while second and third have to make due with MacBook Pro computers. Other prizes include iPods and iTunes gift cards.

The competition is open to all creative minds, but you’d better hurry -- the deadline to enter is May 11. Enter at minispace.com.

Source: Mini

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