Cars Coming Soon->MINI Beachcomber, Infiniti Performance Line and the All-New Jetta

MINI Beachcomber

What would you get if you crossed a Jeep Wrangler, a MINI Cooper, and a dune buggy?

MINI thinks the result would look something like the vehicle pictured above. It’s called the Beachcomber, and MINI is reportedly seriously considering creating a production version of the concept that debuted at this year’s Detroit Auto Show.

AutoExpress says,

The Beachcomber was built around the road-ready version of the Countryman, but lost the doors and roof panels in homage to the Moke – the legendary Mini-based take on the classic beach buggy. Its four individual seats are wrapped in wetsuit material for all-weather durability, and the rear-mounted spare wheel holder is actually a lockable storage box. If the weather takes a turn for the worse, a fabric tonneau can be attached to the car, while more long-term rain protection is provided by lightweight, removable plastic door and roof panels.

I don’t live very near an ocean beach, but I do live in the rain-soaked Pacific Northwest, so wetsuit-wrapped seats sound pretty awesome! Heck, I’d take ’em even in a car with doors and a roof.

If the Beachcomber does make it to production, expect MINI’s ALL4 four-wheel-drive system to come standard.

Last week we touched on Infiniti’s tease about two upcoming models. We know a little bit more today, based on the fact that Nissan has filed for trademark protection for the names “Infiniti Performance Line” and “IPL.”

Autoweek reports that the trademark would cover Infiniti’s use of high-performance motor vehicle parts, including turbochargers and superchargers for engines, exhaust and muffler systems, suspension parts, brakes, sports seats, and more.

It’s no secret that Infiniti hasn’t been able to compete with Mercedes-Benz and BMW in the performance realm, but maybe a new IPL line will begin to change that. Come August, when the two mysterious new models are set to debut, we’ll have an even more clear view.

2011 Volkswagen JettaFinally, the 2011 Volkswagen Jetta has been caught looking nearly production-ready (aside of course from the obviously fake Toyota-like logo on the grille). I’m curious to get your thoughts on this one, VW fans. To me, this new design seems like it loses the Volkswagen personality that set the last-generation Jetta apart from the competition.

Perhaps, though, this version will be less expensive, while offering the same 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine that has previously been available only in Europe. The much-loved 2.0-liter TDI diesel will remain an option, too.

While I’m not feeling the design direction, I think the engine choices will keep the Jetta successful.

Do you like the Jetta’s new design? What are your thoughts on the Beachcomber concept?

-tgriffith

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2 Comments

  1. The Beachcomber is simply ridiculous. Can you imagine, tgriffith, living where you do and struggling with “a fabric tonneau” for the roof (I guess) and removable door panels? And it’s really ugly, to boot.

    The new Jetta is indeed a sad transformation of a car that had a unique design and sold in the millions. Looks like a small Camry, right?

  2. This looks like an older model Camry. And… it’s not one of what I would consider one of the better looking versions of recent Camry’s. It’s a shame, because I thought the current version of the Jetta was a good looking car. So now it will be able to be ugly, underpowered, have the reliability of a Chevy, with the repair costs of a European car.

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