April 24, 2009 A collaboration between MINI, Airstream trailers and Danish furniture designers Republic of Fritz Hansen has resulted in this hip, beach-ready design study made up of a modified MINI Cooper S Clubman and a customized 6.8m long Airstream trailer. While largely retaining the familiar metallic look of the iconic Airstream trailer on the exterior, the inside of the trailer is kitted-out with wood panel flooring, ergonomic Egg chairs and, in keeping with the sun-loving vibe, neoprene lining and floral prints add to the interior trimming while a bisected surfboard provides the shelf space. But the killer app is an electrically operated fold-out side panel that incorporates an open air day bed where you can kick-back while waiting for the tide to turn. Traditionalist may disagree but, parking issues aside, we think the concept definitely points to a stylish advance on throwing your surfboard and a sleeping bag into the back of a Combi Van.
MINI isn't a brand that usually springs to mind when you're thinking of towing and a trailer coupling is one of the obvious modifications added to the MINI Cooper S Clubman for the project (though there's no mention of more torque or beefed-up suspension). Other design tweaks include more neoprene on the roof, below the bumpers and on the seats, dashboard and side paneling. Green trim has been added to the window molding, headlights, bonnet and radiator grille surround, and there's a contrasting white finish for the exterior mirrors, wheel rims, side panels and bonnet stripes. Republic by Fritz Hansen has designed a special roof rack and storage options for aquatic equipment abound in the form of four specially made securing shells with purpose-built mounts for gear like flippers, a mask, wetsuit and oxygen tanks.
The MINI design study is on show at the INTERNI Design Energies exhibition in Milan.