No, you can't go down to your local Mini dealer and order up this unique surf-n-sun set; at least not yet, anyway. But ever vigilant for opportunities to engage in new forms of possibility thinking, the brainstormers over at Mini have joined forces with primo style setters Airstream and Republic of Fritz Hansen to create this slick one-off concept that embraces the best in mobile living with an ocean view. The first public appearance of these trendy traveling companions took place today at the INTERNI Design Energies exhibition that's being held in conjunction with the annual Salone del Mobile furniture show in Milan, Italy.
Both the Mini Cooper S Clubman and its 22-foot Airstream accomplice received a major workover from the boutique Danish furniture maker Republic of Fritz Hansen. Beyond color keying the pair with intense green and white accenting and adding a custom trailer hitch, the Cooper S Clubman's exterior retrim includes applying "wetsuit" materials to its roof and other panels along with a dedicated surfboard-friendly rack. Inside, neoprene trim abounds and the rear seat has been replaced by special securable storage areas than can hold diving gear, air tanks and other necessities for the sophisticated surf bum. The Airstream trailer gets a similar water-friendly materials revamp and also features a flip-up side panel that reveals its built-in sun-bathing platform bed.
Although the real-world viability of this project may be modest, there is legitimate practicality to the effort. "At Mini we have a long and, above all, successful tradition of collaborations," explains Dr Wolfgang Armbrecht, senior vice president brand management. "We like to work with brands which share our passion for design. Collaborations fire our creativity. With the "Mini and Airstream, designed by Fritz Hansen" concept, we are looking to show our customers new and innovative angles for the Mini Clubman and to cast a visionary eye into the mobility of the future."