When MINI unveiled its John Cooper Works inspired April Fools prank back in 2012, the RVing Examiner commented in an article at the time that “this was a pretty neat Aprils Fool hoax but MINI is daft if they don't actually go ahead and merchandise these products!” Well, it seems that the marketing gurus at BMW were listening because yesterday the iconic German owned brand rolled out a trio of specially adapted MINIs -- the Clubvan Camper, the Cowley and the Countryman ALL4 Camp -- that are aimed squarely at fans of camping, overlanding and RVing. Described by BMW as a “premium home-from-home option for the enthusiastic traveller,” all three models incorporate those classic MINI design cues which have helped turn this quintessentially British motor vehicle icon into a global marketing phenomenon.
According to MINI, the bespoke vehicles have been developed with the intention of providing drivers with ‘maximum touring pleasure with (a) minimal footprint.’ Something that has been synonymous with the pint-sized brand since the first Sir Alec Issigonis designed MINI rolled off the production line way back in 1959.
• The MINI Clubvan Camper -- described by BMW as “the world’s smallest luxury camper van” -- is outfitted with a spacious one person sleeping berth, plus a small, extendible kitchenette complete with propane stove and chest fridge. Other onboard additions include an auxiliary heater, television and portable XL sat-nav. The Clubvan Camper also includes an integrated hand-held shower, with a water tank housed underneath the load floor.
• The two berth MINI Cowley teardrop camper -- which was one of the players in the original MINI April Fools hoax -- weighs in at just under 300 kg and provides MINI owners with a luxurious overnight camping solution. The unit comes equipped with a twin-ring gas stove, 230-volt fridge, and a self contained water tank complete with pump and sink. A solar module helps keep the on-board battery fully charged whilst TV/DVD combo provides the in camper entertainment.
• The AWD MINI Countryman ALL4 Camp replaces the original Columbus Variant “Aprils Fool” roof-top tent with a larger two-berth Maggiolina tent model making it the perfect pocket-sized vehicle for overlanding. The tent can be easily deployed out of the roof-top storage box and quickly folds away when you want to get back on the road. The vehicle can also be equipped with a bike rack so that erstwhile adventurers can explore local attractions using a healthy dose of pedal power.