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Top location with lake view: explore Northern Italy in the MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4 with roof tent.

Lake Iseo is a camping lovers’ paradise. Driving along its lakeside roads in the MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4 reveals many picturesque places by the lake to spend the night. Those seeking variety and wishing to relocate every day can travel spontaneously and in style with a MINI Design-inspired sleeping area mounted on the roof of the 5-door all-rounder.

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Munich. Though the Mediterranean is still a long way off, there is certainly no shortage of cool waters in the northern Italian Lombardy region. Whether it’s the sophisticated Lake Como, or Lake Garda, a favourite with German visitors for decades: everywhere tourists are enticed by clear waters, light winds and the mountain panorama of the Alpine foothills. Lake Iseo is particularly popular with camping lovers. Here the sheer abundance of camping pitches located right on the lake makes it hard to choose the perfect place to spend the night. This is why tourists, wishing to explore in a short time as much as possible of the picturesque scenery and the scenic villages with little ports, pretty promenades and quaint restaurants, tour around in a camper van. Or in the new MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4 (combined fuel consumption: 6.5 – 6.2 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 149 – 142 g/km). It offers considerably more driving pleasure on the narrow lakeside roads, is agile even on unsurfaced terrain and transports two comfortable places to sleep to locations which are out of reach for conventional camping vehicles.

This is made possible by a roof tent specially designed for the MINI Countryman by the Italian manufacturer AUTOHOME. As a result, spontaneous relocations on Lake Iseo are a pure delight. The mobile shelter is the product of a cooperation with the MINI Design Team and is available in black or white, the same contrasting paintwork colours available for the roof and mirror caps of the 5-door all-rounder. Its special attachment system makes it easy to secure on the roof of the largest model of the British premium brand, on the optional roof rails and the roof rail carrier available in the Original MINI Accessories range. The solid fibre-glass housing of the roof tent resembles a roof box when closed, with its flat aerodynamically optimised shape reducing drag and wind noise en route to Lombardy.

The new MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4 effortlessly assumes the role of a camper van. Folding down the rear seat with its standard 40 : 20 : 40 split increases its luggage compartment capacity from 450 to up to 1,390 litres. This means that, besides the holiday luggage and sleeping bags, one or the other indispensable piece of equipment for stylish alfresco holidays can still be packed: whether it’s the camping barbecue for preparing a freshly-caught char from the lake or the espresso machine with connection to the 12-volt socket in the luggage compartment. Thanks to a maximum permissible additional load of 560 kilograms, it takes quite a while to reach the transport limits of the MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4.

Anyone looking at Lake Iseo on the map will notice an elongated "S" not unlike the letters affixed on the side scuttles and the radiator grille of the MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4. And its agile drivability is also well suited to the landscape. On Lombardy’s winding country roads the premium compact model immediately demonstrates its sporty character, even with more generous vehicle loads. Its 131 kW/178 hp 4-cylinder engine with MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology, standard 8-speed Steptronic transmission and optional adaptive suspension guarantee a blend of camping anticipation and unmistakeable driving pleasure.

You can drive right round Lake Iseo, situated between Bergamo in the east and Brescia in the west, on lakeside roads. Spectacular views of the water and mountains invite you to stop off along the roadside, whereas access to particularly idyllic bathing spots and camping areas is sometimes via unsurfaced roads. This is where the ALL4 all-wheel drive comes in handy. The instantaneous reactions of its electronically controlled system ensure the needs-based distribution of driving power between the front and rear wheels at all times in all road surface and weather conditions. Thus even heading for a place to spend the night that is somewhat off the beaten track but especially secluded is unproblematic.

On arrival there, the advantages of the roof tent literally unfold in a few easy moves. Once the safety clasps on the housing are released, the tent is automatically raised by means of four gas pressure springs. Then, on entering the mobile accommodation, it is clear that the brand’s hallmark principle of clever use of space also applies on a MINI camping holiday. The equipment range of the roof tent includes a foldable aluminium ladder to climb up onto the top floor of the MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4. Inside, the space measuring 2.10 meters in length and 1.30 metres in width provides a comfortable sleeping area for two on a high-density mattress with cotton cover. The LED interior light, doors and windows with zips and mosquito nets, storage nets and pockets clinch this top location overlooking Lake Iseo. And so camping becomes an individual holiday in typical MINI style.

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