Camping in style with Mini conceptsComment on this story
Camping in style with Mini concepts
Reflecting the growing popularity of camping and festivals - Glastonbury, Coachella, the Burning Man and our own Splashy Fen to name but a few - BMW has created three home-from-home Mini concepts for that weekend getaway, each designed to make the most of the brand's small footprint - but in three different styles.
BMW calls it the world's smallest luxury camper, with practical solutions to accommodate an individual on a weekend away.
Behind the solid side windows there's a spacious sleeping berth for one person, plus a small, extendable kitchenette complete with propane stove and chest fridge.
Satnav helps adventurous campers find their way to the most remote spots, a flat-screen TV provides entertainment if the weather gods are unkind and an auxiliary heater takes the sting out of chilly mornings.
A small glass panel in the roof can be opened for ventilation or star-gazing, while the storage rack above means owners can take along equipment for outdoor sports.
There's even a hand-held shower fed by a water-tank under the camper floor.
This compact caravan for two people with twin-ring gas stove, fridge and sink is named after the historic factory - now known as Plant Oxford - where cars have been made since 1913, where the classic Mini was built in the 1960s and where most of today's Minis are made.
It comes with two berths, a twin-burner gas stove and a water tank complete with pump and sink. A solar module charges the on-board battery and there's a 230-volt connection to power the fridge, TV/DVD and audio system.
It's been styled to echo classic mini lines, with sliding windows in the doors - a standard feature in the original Mini up to 1969. It weighs in at less than 300kg and it's only 120mm wider than a Mini Clubman, measured across the door mirrors.
COUNTRYMAN ALL4 CAMP
This pocket-sized SUV has roof-top tent for an adventurous couple in the style of African safari and expedition vehicles. Never mind about looking for overnight accommodation even when the all-wheel drive Countryman has taken you completely off the beaten track - just go upstairs.
All you have to do is fold the upper half of the tent out of its storage box, plump up the pillows, and your luxury safari camp is ready.
There's even a built-in bicycle rack, so you can ride out to fetch breakfast on your mountain bike.
While it makes sense mounted on a Countryman, this simple and practical sleeping solution could actually be fitted on any Mini hatch or Clubman model.
Sadly, BMW has no plans to put these lifestyle concepts into production, but they do showcase what is possible within remarkably small parameters.