Mini shows a trio of camping-oriented concepts
Mini fans desperate for their next hardware fantasy fix need wait no longer. The automaker has just unveiled three one-off exercises aimed at individuals who like to spend their time communing with nature but who aren't exactly looking to "rough it" any more than is absolutely necessary.
First up is the Clubvan Camper, which Mini refers to as "the world's smallest luxury camper van." It's based on the standard 2-passenger Clubvan that's proven reasonably popular in Europe but was pulled from the U.S. lineup earlier this week due to virtually nonexistent sales here - we're talking 50 total units on the year. In addition to its single-person sleeping berth and versatile roof rack, the Clubvan Camper's kit includes a modest but functional extendable kitchenette with propane stove and refrigerator, an integrated hand-held shower with its own water tank, a built-in TV, auxiliary heater and the Mini Navigation Portable XL satellite navigation system. While less ambitious, the Mini Countryman ALL4 Camp features a pop-up roof-top tent that will accommodate two adults and resides in a bespoke hard-shell box when not in use. Mini claims the modular tent system with its folding access ladder and custom-fitted bike rack also can be fitted to a standard hardtop model.
Last but far from least is a smartly styled and amazingly well equipped travel trailer, the Mini Crowley. Named after the historic factory that was home to the original BMC/Austin Mini lines and today is known as Plant Oxford, the teardrop-shaped Crowley is just 4.7 inched wider than a Mini Clubman - including its mirrors -- and only weighs about 660 pounds. Access to the Crowley's wood-lined two-person sleeper space comes via dual side doors that feature sliding glass elements that recall a similar greenhouse feature that was part of early Mini design.
Other nifty Crowley amenities include a solar module that charges its on-board battery, a 230-volt connection to power the fridge, plus TV/DVD and audio equipment. Lifting the Crowley's large rear door/hatch reveals a fully finished work area with a twin-burner gas stove, wash sink and a water tank complete with internal pump. Frankly, this is one bit of Mini concept work we think has some serious real-world potential, even if only as a limited-production offering in the automaker's already bountiful accessory catalog.
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