MINI have announced the launch of the new Clubman, a "stretch" version of the new MINI based on the old Morris MINI estate versions the Traveller, the Countryman and the Clubman Estate.
The car features the double rear doors of its predecessor and a reverse-opening "club" door on the driver's side to allow better access to the rear seats.
The new MINI Clubman is the third MINI model to go into production since BMW acquired the brand, coming after the Hatch and Convertible models. It will go on sale in the UK in November.
Below is an edited version of MINI's press release:
The new MINI Clubman
MINI introduces third model to its range
The new MINI Clubman will go on sale in the UK on Saturday 10 November 2007. Based on a concept first shown at Frankfurt Motor Show in 2005, the new car is a modern interpretation of its famous Mini predecessors taking into account all the demands and technologies of the 21st century.
Available from launch in three engine variants: Cooper D, Cooper and Cooper S, the new model offers flexible use of space, easier access through innovative door concepts, more space for rear passengers and high levels of safety and customisation options, all without compromising the MINI’s revered driving dynamics.
The new car takes inspiration and styling cues from the Morris Mini Traveller, Austin Mini Countryman and the Mini Clubman Estate, which enjoyed widespread success in the 1960s. Combining enhanced functionality and versatility, the new MINI Clubman nevertheless stays true to the MINI design language with the retention of short body overhangs, wide track, a long wheelbase and the high shoulder line rising towards the rear.
The new MINI Clubman is 24cm longer than the Hatch, signifying 8cm more legroom for rear passengers and the opportunity for MINI to enter the market with five seats. Boot capacity has increased to 260 litres with the seats in place and up to 930 litres with the rear seats down. Access to this extra space has been made easier via the split rear doors and innovative Clubdoor on the right-hand side.
Modern high-performance engines, designed specifically for the 2nd generation MINI, feature new improvements to optimise fuel economy and emission management. Auto Start-Stop, Brake Energy Regeneration and a Gearshift Point Indicator are standard on all variants and helps the MINI Cooper D Clubman to achieve a low emissions figure of 109 g/km C02.
The Clubman is the next body style in the MINI range to join the successful Hatch and Convertible models, which have sold over one million models since 2001. All three derivatives will be built at Plant Oxford, where £100 million has been invested in the past two years to increase production up to 240,000 by 2008. This is more than double the planned production capacity prior to the first car coming off the line in spring 2001.
As with the Hatch models, the petrol engines will be assembled at Plant Hams Hall in the Midlands and the body panels and sub-assemblies are from Plant Swindon. This ‘MINI production triangle’ employs approximately 6,800 production associates in the UK.
MINI Cooper £14,235
MINI Cooper D £15,400
MINI Cooper S £17,210
Many important details have made it into the production version of the ‘Shooting Brake’ concept first shown at Frankfurt almost two years ago. Historically, ‘Shooting Brake’ models are so-called due to a combination of premium two-door styling, with added interior flexibility for owners leading active lifestyles. The three versions of the MINI Clubman are identical to the MINI hatch design and body structure up to the B-pillar, retaining the familiar hexagonal radiator grille and large, round headlights.
Some of the design highlights…
• The two piece split-door is a modern interpretation of an authentic detail found on the MINI’s classic forerunners. Hinging at the outside, the rear doors open up to the left and right offering convenient access to the rear. To ensure clear visibility at all times the two doors come with separate windscreen wipers.
• Access to the rear is facilitated by an additional door. The Clubdoor is hinged at the back on the right-hand side of the car and opens against the direction of travel. For safety reasons, this door can only be opened when the front door is open. The Clubdoor does not require an outside door handle and therefore blends smoothly into the body of the Clubman.
• The MINI Clubman is the same width as the Hatch model and approximately two centimetres higher.
• The rear light clusters on the MINI Clubman are a new design for this model. Sweeping slightly to the inside at the top, the design replicates the exterior lines of the car as seen from the rear.
• The MINI Clubman’s compact proportions and low-slung look creates the same dynamic impression as all other models in the MINI family.
• The individual model variants are designated at the rear by their names Cooper, Cooper D and Cooper S, while the name Clubman is highlighted on the right-hand door sill strip.
• There are 12 body colours to choose from, creating 36 combinations of exterior paintwork. Hot Chocolate is new and reserved exclusively for the MINI Clubman.
• The C-pillars and rear bumper of the MINI Clubman are painted either Silver or Black. The roof can be ordered in Silver, Black or Body Colour.
The interior design of the new MINI Clubman replicates the design changes introduced on the 2nd generation MINI hatch model. Therefore, the opportunities to personalise it are just as varied as the Hatch with four interior colours and a wide range of trim options including Brushed Alloy and glistening Piano Black Paint.
The generous luggage compartment is 260 litres, 100 litres more than the Hatch, and offers easy loading options thanks to the split-rear doors. Folding down the rear seats provides 930 litres (250 litres extra compared to the Hatch), and a completely flat luggage compartment floor is available as an option. The benefits are greater practicality and flexibility for a larger variety of transport requirements.
The MINI Clubman is entering the market with five seats as standard. It is also possible to choose two seats at the rear as a no-cost option. The passengers in the rear enjoy 8cm more legroom than the MINI Hatch.
The three modern, high-performance engines were developed specifically for the 2nd generation MINI and guarantee sporting driving pleasure combined with remarkable efficiency:
MINI Cooper S Clubman
Powered by a 1.6 litre four-cylinder petrol engine with direct injection and a twin-scroll turbocharger complete with intercooler. Response time when accelerating is virtually instantaneous due to separating the channels of two cylinders each into exhaust manifold and turbocharger. This reduces the exhaust back pressure and plays a major role in ensuring that the charging effect of the turbocharger kicks in at just 1600rpm.
Maximum output is 175hp at an engine speed of 5,500 rpm.
Maximum torque: 240Nm at 1600-5000 rpm (260Nm with Overboost)
Top speed mph: 139
Acceleration 0-62mph: 7.6 seconds
Fuel consumption combined mpg: 44.8
CO2 emissions EU g/km: 150
MINI Cooper Clubman
The 1.6 litre four-cylinder, naturally-aspirated engine features fully variable valve management based on BMW Group’s VALVETRONIC technology. This improves the engine’s response and refinement, as well as the all-round efficiency of the power unit. Maximum output is 120hp at 6000 rpm.
Maximum torque: 160Nm at 4250 rpm
Top speed mph: 125
Acceleration 0-62mph: 9.8 seconds
Fuel consumption combined mpg: 51.4
CO2 emissions EU g/km: 132
MINI Cooper D Clubman
Four-cylinder turbo diesel with common-rail fuel injection and variable turbine geometry ensures optimum smoothness, efficiency and response even at low speeds. A diesel particulate filter almost eliminates diesel exhaust emissions and helps to make the MINI diesel engine one of the most environmentally friendly cars available. It develops maximum output of 110hp at 4000 rpm.
Maximum torque: 240Nm at 1750-2000 rpm (260Nm with Overboost)
Top speed mph: 120
Acceleration 0-62mph: 10.4 seconds
Fuel consumption combined mpg: 68.9
CO2 emissions EU g/km: 109
As with all MINI Hatch models, the MINI Clubman range will benefit from the improvements introduced in production from August 2007 to bring further reductions in fuel consumption and emissions. Technologies include Brake Energy Regeneration, Auto Start-Stop function and a Gearshift Point Indicator.