2017 Mini Countryman Offers Roof-Top Home Away From Home
If the redesigned 2017 Mini Countryman inspires you to get out of the city and go exploring, Mini has coming a penthouse tent (a tenthouse?) that offers a no-hassle home away from home.
Mini designers worked with Autohome, an Italian maker of premium roof-top tents, to create a special edition of its AirTop pop-up for the Countryman in black or white to go with the contrasting paint colors offered for the roof and mirrors of the Countryman.
In keeping with the premium compact SUV, it's a premium pop-up. When closed for the road, it looks like a typical aerodynamic fiberglass cargo box on the roof, mounted to the Mini's standard roof rails and accessory roof rack crossbar system with steel clamps — no tools required. When you're ready to bed down, release three safety catches and gas-pressure springs raise it automatically to an interior height of about 3 feet inside from the removable 80-inch, high-density foam mattress to the high point of the top.
The rainproof tent fabric is European-made Dralon and has two doors and two zippable windows, with mosquito netting for all openings. It also has an LED light and storage pockets. Access is via a solid aluminum ladder.
Andrew Driscoll, a partner in Autohome USA, the exclusive distributor here, told Cars.com that the special-edition Mini tents will be available in the U.S. sometime in July, via Autohome USA direct sales and dealers, and through Mini dealers. While the price has not been set, he estimated it will be "a couple hundred" more than the standard Air Top Black Storm model, which is listed currently for $3,199 (48 inches wide) to $3,699 (54 inches). You would also need to get from Mini the model-specific accessory roof rack system at about $250.
If a retro-British Mini Cooper is not your cup of tea, Autohome USA sells similar premium rooftop tents for most cars, trucks and SUVs. And additional fabric and shell colors are available for special order.
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