Production Bound? Mini May Build Beachcomber Concept, Two-Door Countryman

Mini showed off its Moke-inspired Beachcomber concept earlier this year at the Detroit Auto Show as a preview of the Countryman SUV, but recent reports indicate that the wild, open-air Beachcomber itself may also be destined for an assembly line.

Britain's Autocar reports that sources within Mini revealed the automaker is working on two production-intent versions of the Beachcomber concept. One is reportedly close to the concept and known internally as the Moke, while the other is a shorter two-door hatchback called the Canyon Coupe.

According to the report, the Moke's styling is extremely close to what was seen on the Beachcomber concept, albeit it now wears doors. It rides on a pillarless version of the Mini Countryman platform, which allowed Mini to fit rear-hinged rear doors on both sides of the car.

Despite the addition of doors, the Moke could be transformed into quite the open-air tourer. Mini is considering building the car with removable roof panels that, combined with the frameless doors and wind-down hatchback window, would render the car open to the elements.

Autocar says Canyon Coupe is a "rugged interpretation of a beach car" and draws inspiration from the Canyon Carver sketches shown at the 2005 Los Angeles Auto Show. Unlike the Moke with its two rear-hinged doors, the Canyon would retain a conventional two-door hatchback profile, along with seating for four occupants. The vehicle would likely ride on a shortened Countryman platform and use the same All4 all-wheel-drive system.

Mini is also said to be working on a fourth model based on the Countryman platform: a Countryman coupe. According to inside sources, the two-door Countryman would feature a stylish, steeply sloping roofline designed to compete against the Range Rover Evoque, but carry a dramatically lower price.

Autocar says to expect a decision about production of the Moke and Canyon Coupe early next year after Mini has had the chance to observe initial Countryman sales. A decision on the Countryman coupe is further out, but if given the green light, the vehicle is expected to go into production in 2013.

Source: Autocar

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