Mini has revealed a trio of concepts showing how nomadic owners could convert their Mini Clubvan or Mini Countryman hatchbacks into mobile campers. The automaker says the models were inspired by a philosophy of, "maximum touring pleasure with minimal footprint," and reflect young drivers' growing interest in camping and outdoor music festivals.
The first of the three versions is the Mini Clubvan Camper -- the basis of which has been discontinued in the U.S. due to poor sales. The rear of the vehicle is split between a small bed, which places the driver's head near the dashboard, and an extendable kitchenette that boasts a gas stove and small refrigerator. A glass roof panel can be opened for ventilation in the summer, and Mini also includes a TV and an auxiliary heater to keep campers happy in less-than-ideal weather. Better yet, there's a built-in hand-held shower run from a water tank hidden beneath the car's floor.
Next up is the Mini Countryman ALL4 Camp, which wears its camping chops on its, uh, roof. A pop-up tent is attached to the car's roof rack, so drivers can stop and sleep almost anywhere. A metal ladder facilitates access to the rooftop perch. For campers who want to explore under their own power, an included bike rack holds two mountain bikes.
The final of Mini's camping-ready concepts is a Cowley caravan. Named for the factory in which the original Mini was produced, the teardrop-shaped caravan can be towed behind a Mini Clubman. The trailer weighs just 660 pounds and is only 4.7 inches wider than the Mini that tows it. Inside are two beds, a gas stove, a water tank and sink, and a solar battery charger to power the built-in TV and DVD player. Sliding doors on both sides of the Cowley trailer hark back to traditional Mini window designs of decades past.
Mini affirms that none of these vehicles will ever go into series production, but it seems likely that adventurous owners might try to retrofit their Countryman, Clubman, or Clubvan based on inspiration from the trio of camping concepts.