Looking at Mini's current lineup, it's getting harder to justify the 'Mini' name outside of its retro-Britcar styling. Given how normal-sized the two-door Cooper hatch has become, and with really-quite-big offerings such as the Countryman and Clubman, Mini's cars are no longer all that miniature at all. However, with the help of Italian rooftop tent specialists Autohome, Mini hopes to get back to their roots by offering big space while occupying minimal surface area ... sort of.
Mini parent company BMW announced today a partnership with Autohome to produce a special edition of the AirTop rooftop tent for the Countryman. The "mobile shelter" will be mounted to the Countryman's existing standard roof rails, and can reportedly be installed with no tools required. On the move, the retracted tent just looks like any other Thule-style fiberglass transport box: aerodynamic, unassuming, and relatively compact. Once ready to call it a night, the adventurous Mini owner can pitch their car-top tent simply by opening three safety clasps, which then activates the tent's superstructure to automatically rise with the help of four gas pressure springs.
Once erect (giggity) the Mini AirTop becomes a mini home-away-from-home, with 37 inches of interior height, a high-density mattress, heat and noise insulation, rain resistance, zip-up doors and windows, mosquito nets, LED interior lighting, and a plethora of pockets and storage for all your personal and outdoor survival gadgetry. An aluminum ladder is also provided for access to the Countryman's top floor.
With the price of housing in many metropolitan areas at all-time highs, living out of your Mini parked at the local Costco parking lot just got a little less uncomfortable.