The MINI Clubvan Concept will be officially unveiled at Geneva – and is the last spin-off from the existing car, which has been in production since 2007. It promises to be a great-driving city van with an added dash of style. The MINI Clubman-based concept car has an increased load-carrying capability, and opens the (club)door to a completely new market for MINI, premium small businesses.
The ability to adapt goes back to the heart of MINI’s heritage. Calls for maximising the load capacity of the classic Mini began as early as 1960, just a year after the car’s birth, and so the Morris Mini Van was born. With its 10-centimetre-longer wheelbase, separate load compartment and split rear doors, it was perfectly equipped for commercial use. It also provided the basis for the fully glazed, four-seat Morris Mini Traveller, one of the precursors of today’s MINI Clubman.
Limiting the car to two seats creates the capacity needed by business owners on a day-to-day basis, as well as opening up a whole new world of customisation potential. The flat load area which reaches from the split rear doors right up to a partition grille behind the two seats makes full use of the interior’s depth. Six attachment loops recessed into the load floor use elasticated straps to hold cargo in place. The fixed partition grille, made from solid aluminium in the lower part and a stainless steel honeycombe grating, ensures items stowed in the rear won’t fall into the front cabin. The side walls, floor and roof lining of the load area in the Concept are trimmed in anthracite-coloured cloth.
The MINI Clubvan Concept shares the same exterior dimensions as the MINI Clubman – and that includes the LHD ‘Clubdoor’, which in this instance is an irrelevance, but one who’s removal would add significantly to production costs. The company featured on the MINI Clubvan Concept shown at Geneva ‘Hugh Buckingham Signwriter’ is a UK company, based in Southport which creates similar vehicle graphics for its customers. The Concept showcases how these might look on a MINI Clubvan.
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