Following the new third-generation MINI, launched in hatchback form last November, comes the Clubman Concept, a six-door variant of BMW’s ever popular premium-priced B-segment car.
But let’s not mince words here; the next-generation MINI Clubman is no longer ‘mini’, not even from the most rose-tinted of vantage points. Alec Issignosis must be turning over in his grave..
At 4223 mm in length it’s 27.2 centimetres longer than its predecessor, and just under 17 centimetres wider than the current Clubman at 1844 mm. That’s over 5 centimetres more than the Countryman, MINI’s largest model to date, and wider even than the C-segment Volkswagen Golf. A height of 1450 mm is slightly taller (+2.4cm) than the current model but still 11cm lower than the SUV-like Countryman.
The Clubman Concept retains the split rear doors of the current model, but replaces the single suicide-door with two conventional doors on each side. Otherwise space wins over the quirky detailing as the Clubman aims to capture more of the utility/lifestyle segment.
“For over 50 years MINI has stood for maximum use of minimum space,” says the press release “..the MINI Clubman Concept applies this aspiration to a new class of automobile.”
Inside, there’s a new interpretation of MINI’s characteristic ellipsoid design theme with a more sophisticated surface treatment; according to MINI “..these add lightness and a three-dimensional feel to the interior.”
The instrument panel features a mix of premium materials including nubuck, patent and soft nappa leather, while patinized silver adds an accent to certain elements. Small details such as Union Jack embossed buttons on the seats and centre console compliment the contrast stitching, piping and red accents on the sun blinds to liven up the Clubman Concept interior.
19-inch light alloy wheels in a bicolour finish add style to the side view, but expect these to make way for familiar 17 or even 18-inch rims on the production car. In fact, apart from the usual concept-car details this is a lightly-disguised view of the new Clubman, due to go on sale by the end of this year.
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The Clubman Concept will debut at next week’s Geneva motor show along with the new three-door hatchback, which is due to go on sale from next month.