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Motor Show: Mini Concept Tokyo

Overheat

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The original Mini has long been a desirable cult car in Japan - many of the final-run limited edition models were snapped up and exported by Japanese buyers - and the new BMW-born Mini is taking off in Tokyo as well.

The Mini Concept Tokyo appears under the motto "Go British", and feedback so far suggests that Japanese show-goers are loving it. It's not just an exercise in appealing to the Anglophiles, though: it's a very definite pointer to the station wagon model which will feature in the next-generation Mini range, due 2007, as well as being a modern recreation of the classic Mini Traveller, Austin Seven Countryman and Mini Clubman.

Essentially a differently-trimmed version of the Mini Concept Frankfurt displayed in Europe last month, the show car in Tokyo has the same extended wheelbase, raised roof and vertically-split twin rear doors, like those of the original Traveller. Its two side doors have advanced hinges that open both sideways and forwards, for easy access to the rear seats, and frameless windows with sliding side rear sections. The functional cabin has an adjustable cargo box, an open-out rear roof section and a slide-out tray, with flat-folding rear seats and swivelling front seats.

Like the Mini Concept Frankfurt, it is upholstered in white leather, but with green sections and brass buttons giving a Chesterfield sofa-style effect. It shares the same silver paint with black neoprene side stripes and trim along the wheel arches and side sills.

Further new touches for Tokyo include Union Jack decals on the bonnet and striped mirrors and roof liming inspired by British designer Paul Smith (who once created specially-trimmed limited-edition versions of the original Mini, now collectors' classics in Japan). The roof load-carrying system can now hold a small table and two chairs for a picnic; an extra cargo box with picnic set is fastened to a side window.

The air intake on the bonnet, small "power-dome" and twin exhaust tailpipes hint that this could be a Cooper S Mini, though the new range of engines under development for the next-generation range include turbocharged, rather than supercharged, units. Other changes for production will include shorter doors and a different bonnet design.

Although BMW hasn't formally confirmed this Traveller for production, saying at Frankfurt that a decision will be made at the end of the year, it's pretty well a dead cert. It's also definite that the next-generation Mini hatch will receive the same 80mm-longer wheelbase and elongated headlights as seen on this show car.
 
Argh those headlights :yucky:

And clearly BMW aren't aware of what a 'traveller' is to an Aussie
 
Pimp my mini motorhome :lol:
 
What the hell is that? I suppose the Japanese will love it, but they would have to call it the BMW Mini Happy Sun Wet Dishcloth Type 2.31
 
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