From practical to playful

Think again if you thought your car should only take you from A to B. The new Mini Countryman may feature a fireplace or karaoke equipment.

Early in 2010, Mini launched a competition that called on designers to develop a prototype accessory for the interior centre rail of the new Mini Countryman.

The top prize went to Satoshi Nakamura from Germany who proposed an interior fireplace for the countryman. This whacky idea comes with an electric kettle and warm beverage holders. A fireplace inside a car, you might ask? It makes it ideal for camping trips.

And while you’re out camping in the Countryman, the Mini Star Karaoke might also come in handy. Chris Townsend of the UK designed a compact karaoke unit that attached to the rail for backseat passengers. This development is an innovative way to keep the whole family entertained on long trips. Everyone can sing along while the driver judges the performances by voting with a red or green button on the steering wheel.

The Countryman should also make provision for technological advancements, Andrew Till from Italy reckoned. He created a mounting bracket to hold the iPad in a horizontal position on the centre rail. Positioned between the two backseat passengers, the iPad can also be used as a gaming board.

DougRG of Guatemala’s Extra Steering Wheel attached a backseat steering wheel to the centre rail so that the young ones (at heart) can also feel like a Mini driver. Alessandro Rota from Italy suggested personalising the Countryman’s interior by mounting a container for markers and interior panels to the centre rail. These can then be tagged or drawn on, adding an unique creative touch.

The three best ideas will be produced as prototypes for the 2010 Paris Motor Show.

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