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MILA Coupic is three vehicles in one

Magna MILA Coupic roof openHave you ever wished that your SUV was also a pickup? Or that your pickup was also a convertible? If you can’t stand the idea of sticking with one body style, Magna Steyr may have the answer. The Austrian company will unveil a concept car, called the MILA Coupic, at the Geneva Motor Show that is three vehicles in one: an SUV, a pickup, and a convertible.

The key to the transformation is the Coupic’s roof, a soft top with embedded glass panels. The top is hinged at the B-pillar, and can open at either front or the back. Occupants can open it from the front for a sunroof, as in a Mini Cooper convertible, or from the front and back for the full convertible effect. Well, almost: as in the Fiat 500C, the roof rails stay in place.

The rear roof section can also be opened by itself to make a small pickup bed. In pickup-mode, the rear seats are folded up and moved forward to maximize bed space and protect the cabin from the elements.

When the roof is up, it is essentially all glass which, Magna says, will “allow passengers to keep everything in view in an incomparable ambience.” The company also said the flexibility of its glass panel-and-textile roof allowed it to give the Coupic a sleek, coupe-like roofline. The combination of coupe and SUV styling cues makes the Coupic look a little like a BMW X6 or Acura RDX, both of which claim to offer coupe-like styling on an SUV chassis.

Magna says the design of their green-and-white creation was inspired by “modern sports shoes” and that the goal of the project was to show off the company’s manufacturing capabilities. “Our customers expect suppliers like Magna to bring them innovative solutions to help them meet the increasingly demanding challenges of this industry. The MILA Coupic multifunctional concept showcases vehicle functionality through flexible seating systems, roof modules and materials,” said Guenther Apfalter, Magna Steyr’s president.

Magna Steyr is not a car company, but it does build cars. It contracts with automakers to assemble their vehicles at one of its factories. Magna currently builds the Aston Martin Rapide and Mini Countryman, among others. It also helped develop Mercedes-Benz’s 4Matic all-wheel-drive system.

Trying to cram three cars into one is a great way to show off a company’s technical skills. General Motors built an SUV that turns into a pickup (the Chevy Avalanche/Cadillac Escalade EXT), there are convertible SUVs (Nissan Murano Cross Cabriolet and, soon, Range Rover Evoque) and Dodge even made a convertible pickup (the Dakota), but no one has tried to make a convertible SUV-pickup. The MILA Coupic probably exceeds the needs of the average person, but it will probably attract plenty of attention at the Geneva Motor Show this March.

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