News : MINI Clubman Concept shown at Geneva

John Slavin


The MINI Clubman Concept has been shown at the Geneva Motor Show. The show concept features production-ready styling that chimes perfectly with the new F56 hatch. A production version of it will replace the outgoing Clubman, and it is a more conventional five-door design, rather than an the existing quirky three-plus-Clubdoor arrangement.

There are five seats and the new car will sit on the same UKL platform that also underpins the new BMW 2-Series Active Tourer. Like the current Clubman, the concept gets split rear doors, but it does have some flourishes that are unlikely to feature in the finished product. Similarly, the cabin features bucket-style seats and a mixture of materials and colours, with blue, red and black elements.

First impressions from the show are that it’s far more elegant looking than the old model, but its increased size takes away some of the charm of the original car. The conventional rear doors have gone down well with the crowds, especially in conjunction with the famed split rear doors – a carry-over from the old model.

It’s too early to say what will be under the bonnet, but expect an engine line-up much like that offered in the MINI hatch, with new three-cylinder turbocharged engines. The current Clubman is priced from £14,570, but there is likely to be a significant price-hike for the new model.


Keith Adams


  1. I prefer the older one, but I suppose it has been designed to meet the needs of its customers and in response to feedback (4 doors?)

  2. I pre-ordered the old Clubman and then when I first saw it, canceled my order on the spot! Awful, awful, awful!

    This new one looks more promising….

  3. shock horror! This one might actually look better than the normal bini. Shame they didn’t have the nerve to call it the Maxi! Hope it going to be made in the UK.

  4. Doesn’t say where its going to be made UK. I hope it isn’t the dreaded Dutch factory. All that said it looks absolutely fantastic, so much better than the odd arrangement of the current Clubman. Its so much bigger tho’. They should call it the Minor as Im sure BMW kept the name. I think this car will sell well.

  5. I have the existing Mini Clubman, and its a great car, I’m afraid this one is getting too big, and doenst look much like the classic mini estate…

    This one isn’t for me… Thats one car sales they are missing on.

  6. 9. I never understood why BMW called it a Clubman, more MINI Traveller surely? If it was being true to it’s heritage a Clubman would have been a MINI with a Ford Mondeo-esque front grafted on (if you assume the Mondeo is the modern day Cortina).

  7. Tiresome. Seriously, does anyone who’s commented on this car’s size know how big it is? Has MINI actually published its dimensions yet? There’s a lot of supposition going on here, based upon the two published pictures and very little else…

  8. I really like this – could be on the shopping list for replacing the family Focus shopping car.

    I hope it is made in the UK but, as we know, Oxford is at capacity.

    Now how can the government persuade BMW to build a new MINI factory in the UK?

  9. @16, Despite my comments or anybody else’s Keith I think it is worthy of coverage just like any other car.

    It may just look better in the flesh than the pictures, from my standpoint im only being mischievous!

  10. This looks like a very handsome car coming from a manufacturer with a clear strategy – namely to allow the brand to evolve which is what would have happened in it’s original guise. It’s the first Mini that I desire – if it’s built in the UK I’ll have one.

  11. Leaving Mini further and further behind. Looks wise, it’s attractive but I’m not going “Oh, I want one!” However, neither of these are criticisms. It’s moved with the times, will appeal to many and is almost bound to succeed.

    I wonder, though, as MINI grows and grows is there not space below for something more Mini? Or, is EVERYONE now wanting high, wide, large cars?

    Five doors makes sense – three would compromise the practicality of what looks like a fairly big car.
    I think some more Mini looking rear lights would have been a nice touch – more distinctive. Still, the split tailgate is still there.

    Overall, MINI is a huge success. It’s not Mini

  12. Sorry, Keith, I’m supposing too. I don’t know the dimensions of this latest MINI but it does look rather big and given the growth trend we’ve already seen…

  13. @15 Keith
    Not trying to be clever but according to Autocars article which I read before yours here.
    It says “stretching to 4223mm in length the latest clubman is 260mm longer than the model it replaces. At 1844mm wide and 1450mm high it’s also 170mm wider and 25mm taller than before”.
    Having repeated that, Autocar can be wrong on occasions.

  14. I’m not really that interested in how it compares in size to a car that went into production 55 years ago and remained in production for around 30 longer than it should have done.
    I just hope that Cowley may have an opportunity to build a viable, relevant and premium alternative to the ranks of VW Golf clones that seem to be the default choice.

    Bring it on. Please, just build it at Cowley, with the engines from Hamms Hall!

  15. Tigger @ 24

    ” I’m not really that interested in how it compares in size to a car that went into production 55 years ago and remained in production for around 30 longer than it should have done. ”

    The reason why people comment on MINI’s (relatively large) size is that it replaced a car, Mini, whose fundamental design principle was maximum interior space, minimum exterior dimensions. MINI does not closely follow this design principle, continue the tradition. If you believe MINI should follow in the footsteps of Mini in terms of space efficiency then you will question it’s size.

  16. @Dave Dawson The reason I do not use a vacuum cleaner designed in 1959 is that it is no longer fit for purpose. That’s why comparing the new to old Mini is just not relevant….

  17. Dave Dawson @ 25

    I understand your argument, but they are building what the car buying public want to buy, certainly proven until the arrival of the Fiat 500 at least! Even the most charitable Alec Issigonis supporter couldn’t deny that he would usually build what he thought they ought to buy, rather than what they actually wanted to buy!

    Sticking to the principal of “maximum interior space to minimum interior space” would have kept Alec Issigonis’ memory and a small but loyal band of follows happy, but (I would suggest) would be unlikely to sell around 1/4 million new cars a year and show a useful profit.

  18. I’m not in the least criticizing MINI or denying it’s undoubted success. Quite obviously it is what many want. In fact, the trend across the entire car market is towards larger (more crash resistant) cars. I’m just trying to explain why I think people question MINI’s size.

    Would a significant number now buy into something more Mini? Smaller, lighter, more fuel efficient it maybe but would people feel happy in traffic surrounded by SUVs and other much larger cars?

    Times change. When you’re younger you very much tend to support the change, the new. When you get older, however, you tend to hark back to the old. In the eighties, in my teens, I very much saw the wisdom of the hatchback taking over from the saloon. I’m sure, however, the older generation often thought “aye, I want my boot separate, like” !!

  19. OK its hardly a Mini, but its hardly a big car either relatively speaking. Given there are probably plenty of people that like the Mini style but need to cart a family about this is probably right on the money and will sell like hot cakes. A modern day ADO16 perhaps?

  20. Clearly the new clubman has moved away from my demographic (young professional-[ish] couple with no kids who buy quite a lot of crap from the local IKEA, who go surfing in Wales now and again when they want to impress their friends who all drive VW or Merc vans…). The new car will certainly be excellent in every regard, but it doesn’t perpetuate the spirit of the Clubman. Clearly not marketed at current clubman owners. Pathetic as it sounds, but I feel a little rejected…

  21. Perhaps they should launch a further brand called Maxi. To stay true to the original we could have a gear linkage that doesn’t always work and, better still, have it using the same doors as the Rover 75….

  22. There is still room for a smaller Mini to sit along side these new minis. We must remember Mini is a mark in its own right now and is no longer considered to be just a car with variations as the original. The Fiat 500 is small and sells well but built in Poland I believe. It is likely that any new small mini would be built abroad, therefore, much like the Countryman I would have a diminished interest in it.

  23. People buy Rihanna CD’s because people say she’s the dogs twitcher, only they forgot to tell everyone her voice sounds like a piano falling down a fire escape…

  24. BMW have said they always considered the Issigonis BMC 1100/1300 to be part of the original Mini range in all but name…..the MINI range now covers that area of the market and the Mini brand is no longer tied to the smallest car in that range.

    BMW have stated they will build a small MINI (probably called MINI-Minor or MINI City) when they can see a profitable market case for something like their Rocketman concept…however the small MINI could not be developed out of the new UKL platform so volumes are a problem. Like most other small ‘city’ cars it would likely have to be built in a low wage country to be viable…..another reason why BL/Rover never replaced the ‘small’ Mini.

  25. Yes – just how small does a car need to be? Cars like the original Mini and Fiat 500 evolved in the post war era when money and raw materials where tight and the market wasn’t awash with relatively new and still serviceable used cars. People fell over themselves for anything that would move and not cost a kings ransom. We’ve moved on, people want more and use their cars more. The new MINI is just about as small as a manufacturer can get away with these days and still make money.

  26. @16 Keith;
    “I am sure if it’s built solely at NEDCar, I won’t be covering it on AROnline.”

    Surely you are kidding, right?

  27. We have the current Clubman.
    I dislike intensely most new cars. As I do around 30,000 miles a year I have to have one.
    The Clubman however is brilliant – especially the half door on the offside. I’m disappointed that BMW have bowed to convention. How boring.
    When will people realise that MINI (when written as such) is a brand name
    and not a descriptive word.

  28. Thinking 2014 and MINI brand rather than “but it’s not Mini” I think it looks pretty cool. Grown on me since the last pictures. Still wondering, however, if some more Mini rear light clusters would be better.

  29. I was shopping with Mrs T at Costco last night and saw a young couple attempt to load their (pretty nominal) shopping into the boot of their 59 plate MINI. It is the first time I have seen inside a MINI boot, and it genuinely surprised me as it looks smaller than the original. I know I read somewhere that in relative % terms the MINI has less passenger and load space than the original, but is it possible that the MINI boot has LITERALLY less capacity than the original??

  30. Has anyone else noticed the paradox of no real front bumpers on many new cars, even though they are much safer in higher speed impacts? I agree that the new Clubman’s much better looking than its ‘bitty’ predecessor, but that bonnet leading edge looks even more vulnerable than an Allegro’s.

  31. @36.
    They could make a no thrills Mini tomorrow, they wont make it anytime soon while while they make profit out of what they make now.

    They wont make and Aygo-esque Mini that is stripped out basic transport that they cant load up with options that make money.

    An example is the BMW 530d-£800 for the sport mode switch -already hard wired into the system, I charge £70.

  32. @49.
    If BMC/BL/Rover had worked out for themselves how to market and sell profitable Mini’s built here in the UK they might still be around as a car company today…..

    The MINI First was sold as a stripped out basic MINI with no alloys or air con but few UK buyers resisted ticking some options… see far more ‘basic’ cars of all makes on the road in mainland Europe….UK buyers seem to like all the toys and creature comforts included.

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