We find out what industry insiders thought of the 2014 Geneva Motor Show
2014 MINI Clubman concept: pictures and details
With the dust barely settling following the unveiling of the all-new MINI Hatch, we can now reveal details of the next-generation MINI Clubman. And the big news is, the new MINI Clubman now has six doors.
The irony of using the word ‘big’ to describe a new MINI won’t be lost on the good readers of MSN Cars, and in keeping with the evolution of the modern MINI, the Clubman has grown even larger. But we need to stop thinking of MINI as a descriptor and more as the brand name it so obviously is. And boy, what a successful brand it has become.
How big is the new MINI Clubman?
At 4.22m long, 1.84m wide and 1.45m high, the new Clubman is 26cm longer and 17cm wider than the car it will eventually replace. To put that into perspective, the new MINI Clubman concept is 14cm wider than the Rover Montego Countryman Estate, and only 24cm shorter. It’s also significantly larger than the old Austin Maxi.
We suspect the luggage capacity will increase from the current 260 litres of space
But rather than get bogged down in a mini versus maxi debate, let us concentrate on the headlines.
While MINI is keen to point out that the car set to be unveiled at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show is just a concept, we’re not expecting the exterior styling to change dramatically before its launch, likely to be sometime early in 2015.
New MINI Clubman says goodbye to the ‘Clubdoor’
Gone is the third ‘Clubdoor’, which will be music to the ears of British buyers. The door was fitted to the right-hand side of the car, meaning rear-seat passengers had to exit onto the traffic side only. Not ideal. In doing away with that concept – and replacing it with proper, ‘non-suicidal’ doors – the new Clubman looks more conventional.
In a continued nod to the original Mini Countryman estate car, the van-like double rear doors still remain and we suspect, although MINI hasn’t confirmed this, the luggage capacity will increase from the current 260 litres of space. In fact, we predict with some confidence that the new Clubman will have the practicality and premium dials turned up to the max.
What does the new MINI Clubman look like?
Whether the styling is successful is a matter of opinion, but we’ve always felt the Clubman – and the Clubvan – have been among the most successful variants of the modern MINI.
MINI is promising a number of trim levels, with various leather and fabric options on offer
The new car displays all of the familiar MINI hallmarks, such as the hexagonal front grille and the round headlights. Around the back, the upright rear lights have gone, in favour of some horizontal units, much like those found on the Paceman. You’ll also note the large C.L.U.B.M.A.N lettering on the rear doors, just in case the car behind forgets you’re in a MINI.
MINI’s press material accompanying the unveiling of the Clubman concept speaks of what it calls many “so-called” items, such as the AirCurtains at the front and the AirBreathers on the side. They’re in place to help the car’s aerodynamics and you’ll also note the split roof-mounted rear spoilers, with a centrally mounted third brake light.
The concept also showcases a pair of plexiglass sections on the roof. MINI is calling them “rally stripes”, and while that might be stretching the realms of reality, we do expect this to be an option on the production model.
What’s the new MINI Clubman like on the inside?
Inside, the MINI Clubman is classic motor show stuff. In other words, you can expect the production model to be much more in-tune with the standard third-generation Hatch.
MINI is promising a number of trim levels, with various leather and fabric options on offer. The concept showcases the use of contrasting Sky Blue Nubuck and Black soft Nappa leathers, plus a leather-trimmed instrument panel, surrounded by blue-limed ash grain and white porcelain. Which is nice.
What engines will power the new MINI Clubman?
Engines are likely to mirror those of the MINI Hatch, so a Cooper using the 134hp 1.5-litre petrol engine, the Cooper S boasting the 189hp, 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine and the Cooper D making use of the 114hp, 1.5-litre turbodiesel.
When does the new MINI Clubman go on sale?
The MINI Clubman concept makes its debut at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, before the official production model is unveiled later in the year. We’d expect the new car to go on sale at the beginning of 2015, with prices starting from £15,000.
You can also expect a raft of special editions, including a potent John Cooper Works performance model. And how long will it be before we see an all-new Clubvan? MSN Cars will bring you all the latest news from Geneva.
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