News : MINI Clubman debuts at Frankfurt

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

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The latest addition to the MINI range opened its doors at Frankfurt – it’s now a conventional five-door estate, retaining the split doors at the rear of the old model, but with an altogether roomier interior, thanks to a 10cm increase in wheelbase. But there will be cries that this car should be called the Maxi, as it’s 27cm longer and 9cm wider than the current MINI 5-door.

The Clubman gets a number of features that are debuting in a MINI, including an electric parking brake, eight-speed Steptronic gearbox,  electrical seat adjustment and the option of MINI Yours Interior Styles with backlit door bezels. It will launch nationwide in the UK on 31 October 2015 featuring the latest generation of engines with MINI TwinPower turbos.

The four-cylinder petrol engine in the MINI Cooper S Clubman has 192bhp, which delivers 45.6mpg and combined CO2 emissions of 144 g/km, but the majority of cars sold in the UK will undoubtedly be the Cooper D Clubman model. This car is powered by MINI’s turbodiesel in four-cylinder form, which makes a debut in this car, boasting 150bhp and 109g/km. The Cooper SD was also unveiled in Frankfurt. It pumps out an impressive 187bhp, delivering 62.8mpg combined, and CO2 emissions of 119 g/km.

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Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

14 Comments

  1. Leaving aside its size, it’s not bad, though not as cute as the old model, which I found strangely appealing. The club door was a nonsense though!

  2. This is perhaps a car I could buy and live with, as opposed to any of the other versions since the BMW Mini launched. I have liked how the ridiculous dinner plate speedometer has ben ditched in the latest round of Minis too.

    Remember, Mini is now a brand, not one model (just as Fiat is trying to do with the 500)

  3. Afraid I don’t like the look of this at all… I still prefer my Mini’s to be of the old school variety. As is well noted, MINI is a brand now and not representative of body size. Can’t come to terms of Mini’s being as big as a Focus or Mondeo… sorry.

  4. It simply looks too big to be a Mini. Looking to its size it is just 7 cm shorter than the BMW 1 Series, so I would rather call him Maxi than Mini!

  5. I think it looks ok but I don’t like the rear and side on this length with Mini styling themes looks just a tad odd. Ditto the interior – in a car this size and with such power I wouldn’t want the dash to be harking back to Mini.

    The car would never have existed if BMW had retained Rover. MINI would be pretty much as the first MINI leaving Rover for bigger cars.

    • It’s hard to say. The MINI brand name is internationally much stronger than Rover, that I can see how even if BMW owned both they’d be tempted to use MINI on cars other than the original R50 supermini.
      You can see FIAT doing the same with 500 MPVs and SUVs!

  6. Has it got the framed windows too like the five door? Horrible clunky things in my eyes, I hope they don’t spread across the whole range.

  7. If it is 9cm wider than a MINI hatch, does that mean that it has distinct frontal bodywork? (ie. bonnet, grille etc. are not shared with other MINIs?)

    I don’t mind it, though it lost some of the quirkyness that the previous “shooting brake” model had (even with the wrong-side rear door).

    Used to be reluctant to embrace big MINIs, but I’ve since realised that they are a marque and not a model, they’re probably what Austin could’ve become.

    Imagine a BMW Rover where the 75 was dropped (as per the Honda Accord, Nissan Primera etc.), focusing on hatchbacks and crossover SUVs. That is MINI….

    • It’s shares same platform as the BMW 2 series as I understand, both front wheel drive.

      I like it, more interesting than a Focus and much better looking than the Countryman, though not saying much.

  8. I have owned 2 MINI Clubmans, or at least my wife has as it’s she who uses it. She’s more comfortable driving small cars, and had a series of Reliant Kittens, Minis, Metros and MG ZRs before ARG went out of business. She thought the regular MINI too small for our needs so bought the Clubman. The much maligned Clubdoor is actually no problem at all in practice.

    But we are not sure yet about this new model. It’s actually much bigger than previous MINIs.
    However we’ll go and see it when launched, and decide if it’s for us or not. At least it’s still British built.

  9. Hardly a “Mini” but who cares? – Far better than the old model. A Very handily sized, usable car. Only problem BMW will have is building them fast enough.

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