We already knew from a number of prototype sightings that the next Mini Clubman would drop the current model’s eccentric 2+1 door layout with the suicide rear-passenger side door for a more conventional five-door (*technically, it has six doors) estate body. That it would do it in such an eye-catching fashion (at least in concept guise), was something that admittedly caught us by surprise.
One thing that the new concept retains from the soon-to-be replaced Clubman is the split rear doors for the luggage compartment that house the new horizontal tail lamps, which with a little bit of imagination, bring to mind those of the Bentley SUV concept.
Mini says that the second generation Clubman previewed by this thinly veiled study showcases “a new brand philosophy for a higher class of automobile”. It’s a much bigger car as well, with the concept measuring 260mm longer than the model it replaces at 4223mm, while it’s also about 170mm wider at 1,844 mm and 25mm taller at 1,450 mm.
Actually, the new Clubman is Mini’s biggest model yet being surpassing even the Contryman crossover in all directions but height (4,097mm long x 1,789mm wide x 1,561 mm tall).
“The MINI Clubman Concept shows how the MINI Clubman could be taken a step further: more interior space, a greater sense of high-end quality and yet still clever, bold and distinctive. In short: more car, more MINI,” explained Adrian van Hooydonk, Head of BMW Group Design.
Naturally, as a concept model, Mini made sure to dress the more or less production ready body with a collection of showy pieces like the full chrome front grille, 19-inch wheels and a futuristic set of instrument gauges and trim accents inside the clean interior, most of which will be absent from the plainer-looking car you will see on showroom floors.
The Clubman Concept will enjoy its first public outing at next week’s Geneva Motor Show, with sales of the production model to start before the end of the year or early 2015, depending on your geographical location.
By John Halas