The new generation of the MINI model family continues to grow with the latest addiction of the all-new MINI Clubman. With four doors and the characteristic split doors at the rear, five fully-fledged seats and a generously sized, versatile interior, the new MINI Clubman is touted as the longest and widest Mini yet. It measures a useful 10.9 inches longer than the Hardtop, 2.9 inches wider, and rides on a wheelbase that’s four inches longer. It’s also a big larger than the outgoing Clubman, which had been on the market since 2007.
The new MINI Clubman introduces a contemporary interpretation of the tradition- steeped shooting brake concept. This genre of vehicle – especially popular in the country in which MINI originated, the UK – combines sporty style with functionality and is reflected in design by means of a stretched silhouette, a long roof line and a steep rear.
The split doors with their striking metal surround are the most striking feature at the rear of the new MINI Clubman. The central bar between the glass sections of the two side-opening wings is significantly narrower than in the predecessor model, thereby optimising the view to the rear. The split doors are opened by means of a dual-section door handle finished in chrome. Non-contact opening of the split doors is possible in combination with the optional Comfort Access function. If the driver has the car key on them, it is sufficient to make a foot movement under the rear apron to trigger automatic opening.
Five fully-fledged seats, convenient access, plenty of freedom to move for all occupants and a versatile luggage compartment are the salient features of the MINI Clubman. A clear signal of the more sophisticated character of the MINI Clubman is its exceptionally wide instrument panel with cockpit facia frame. This design feature is also echoed in the door trim panels and centre console. Below the air outlets there is a horizontal decorative strip which lends additional emphasis to the width of the interior.
Though diesel options will be offered overseas, American buyers will be able to choose between Cooper and Cooper S specifications. The former comes with a 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-three with 134 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque, good for an 8.9-second 0-60 time and a 127-mile-per-hour top speed with either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. The Cooper S upgrades with a 2.0-liter turbo four good for 189 hp and 207 lb-ft, to reach 60 in 7.0 seconds flat with the six-speed manual or 6.9 with a new eight-speed automatic, topping out at 142. Despite the added size, Mini promises the all-new MINI Clubman will offer the same go-kart handling for which the brand has become known.
Pricing and availability are set to be announced in September before the all-new Clubman reaches US showrooms at the beginning of next year.
all images and video courtesy of MINI