The MINI Clubman

It's back - and that's official. The MINI Clubman has finally broken cover and will be available in three engine models, on sale in the UK from Saturday 10 November 2007. The new car is a production version of the ‘Shooting Brake’ concept first shown at Frankfurt almost two years ago, and features two conventional passenger doors (as the regular saloon), split tail doors like the 1960s original, and an extra single door behind the driver that opens backwards (like the Phantom) for access to the larger rear passenger compartment.

This single door - opening over a 'Clubman'-scripted door sill - is called a 'Clubdoor', and will only be available on the right hand side of the car (the kerb side in LHD markets). For safety reasons it cannot be released unless the driver's door is already open.

Like its famous forebear (we had one in the Sixties - Ed.) the rear doors are hinged at the outside, opening up to the left and right offering access to the rear. The loadspace has been increased to 260 litres with the seats in place and up to 930 litres with the rear seats down. The car 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, although two rear seats only is a no-cost option. To ensure clear visibility at all times the two rear doors come with separate windscreen wipers.

Three engines designed specifically for the 2nd generation MINI will be available at launch, featuring 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 help the MINI Cooper D Clubman to achieve a low emissions figure of 109 g/km CO2.

The fastest model will be the MINI Cooper S Clubman with its 175 hp turbocharged engine, while the MINI Cooper Clubman makes do with a 120 hp 1,600cc naturally apirated four-cylinder and the MINI Cooper D Clubman has 110hp at 4000 rpm, and more importantly maximum torque of 240Nm at 1750-2000 rpm (260Nm with Overboost).

All cars come with Brake Energy Regeneration, while 6-speed manual versions will also have an Auto Start-Stop function and a Gearshift Point Indicator. A six-speed automatic is an option on all models.

As with all MINIs, each car can be extensively (expensively?) optioned-up, and 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.

On-the-road-prices in the UK:
MINI Cooper £14,235
MINI Cooper D £15,400
MINI Cooper S £17,210

Text: Classic Driver
Photos: Mini

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