Revealed last year's Detroit Auto Show, new reports out of Europe this week suggest that MINI is now considering two versions of its Beachcomber Concept, with only one of them to get a production future.
According to Britain's Autocar, ongoing positive feedback for the BeachComber concept has moved MINI to tag the high-riding compact SUV for possible production.
There is reportedly internal debate however on what form the new model should take, with opinion divided between a recreational vehicle true to the concept, and a three-door offroad sports coupe.
While both versions would reportedly built on the Countryman's underpinnings (its pillarless design allowing for a more exciting rear-hinged door arrangement,) the report adds that the three-door proposal, known at MINI as the 'Canyon Coupe', would be built on a shortened version of the platform.
Built as a preview for the MINI Countryman (due in Australia early next year), the Beachcomber Concept features the ALL4 all-wheel-drive system used in the Countryman, along with a number of its styling elements.
Utilising the same platform and basic mechanical setup as the Countryman, putting the BeachComber into production wouldn't require a massive investment.
Featuring an open-body style reminiscent of the iconic Mini Moke, the Beachcomber Concept was designed to be as much at home on mountain trails and the beach as MINI's Cooper range is on the road.
Measuring four metres long, MINI says the Beachcomber offers an ideal pairing of unique style and practicality for the brand's "modern, lifestyle-oriented" buyers.
The Beachcomber features reinforced A- and D-pillars and MINI's ALL4 all-wheel-drive system, all of which are expected to appear in the upcoming crossover.
While the Beachcomber is built on a robust modern chassis, the Mini Moke it draws its inspiration from was little more than a floorpan with wide sills, an engine and a windscreen.
A true 60s creation popular in Australia, production of the Mini Moke continued until 1968 and reached a production volume of more than 14,500 units.