MINI floats a Cooper boat
Converted 2004 MINI hardtop will cruise Boston’s Charles River this weekend.
No one could accuse MINI of being normal. As part of the quirky brand’s Not Normal Sales Event and its annual “Motor-Tober” activities, MINI has built a Chili Red Convertible boat that will take to the water this weekend as part of the Head of the Charles Regatta rowing competition in Cambridge, Mass.
People attending the crew-boat racing event may be surprised to see the carlike boat tooling down Boston’s Charles River since it will be the only other vessel on the three-mile course, and especially since it includes headlights, tail lights, a grille, a steering wheel, MINI badges and even wheels and tires. The fiberglass MINI boat, constructed by ACI Composites of Lancaster, Pa., is based on a mold from a 2004 MINI hardtop that was mounted to a boat hull.
While it’s not as nautical as the MINI Yachtsman concept the brand brought to the 2012 New York Auto Show as an April Fool's joke, this version is actually seaworthy, if not the kind of amphibious craft that captures our collective imagination.
The Quadski we reported on earlier this week is the latest in a long line of land-vehicles-cum-boats. Made by Michigan-based Gibb Sports Amphibians and set to go on sale in the U.S. next month, the Quadski claims to be the fastest land-water vehicle ever made, reaching a top speed of 45 mph on the water. The Quadski is also quick to get ready to take a dip by retracting its wheels in five seconds and redeploying them just as quickly when it runs aground.
The MINI boat, powered by a 6-horsepower outboard motor, is built more for cruising and style than speed. If you can’t attend the Head of the Charles Regatta this weekend to catch a glimpse of it, the boat will later be used at events on the Potomac and Hudson rivers.
MINI isn’t the first automaker to create a floating car. It is, however, the first to be allowed on the water at the Head of the Charles Regatta. “We have never before allowed a company to float a car on the Charles during racing,” Fred Schoch, executive director of the event, said in a statement released by MINI.
EXPLORE NEW CARS
MORE ON MSN AUTOS
ABOUT EXHAUST NOTES
Cars are cool, and here at MSN Autos we love everything about them, but we also know they're more than simply speed and style: a car is an essential tool, a much-needed accessory to help you get through your day-to-day life. What you drive is also one of the most important investments you can make, so we'll help you navigate your way through the car buying and ownership experiences. We strive to be your daily destination for news, notes, tips and tricks from across the automotive world. So whether it's through original content from our world-class journalists or the latest buzz from the far corners of the Web, Exhaust Notes helps you make sense of your automotive world.
Have a story idea? Tip us off at firstname.lastname@example.org.