By: Jason Woosey
Judging by how production-ready it looks, the new Mini Clubman Concept is not likely to change much as it morphs into an imminent showroom model.
Yet the big significance here is that the Mini Clubman is about to enter the mainstream in a ‘big’ way.
Whereas the current Clubman is an oddly-styled niche model with just three passenger doors, the new one is a far more 'normal looking' car that also has four passenger doors - although one could get all technical and call it a six-door due to its vertically-split tailgate.
26cm longer and 17cm wider than today's Clubman, this new Mini is anything but miniature. Measuring 4223mm in length, the Clubman Concept is just 32mm shorter than a VW Golf, to put its size into perspective.
Not surprisingly then, Mini says the concept's five-seat cabin offers “plenty of space for the pursuit of an active lifestyle.” It also promises an inviting atmosphere, thanks to Mini's elaborate selection of colours and high-end materials.
On the outside, the Clubman Concept remains faithful to Mini's contemporary styling themes. The front end retains large circular headlights and a hexagonal grille, while the rear ditches tradition with a snazzy set of horizontal taillights that give the car a broad (and dare we say aggressive?) appearance.
WIDE RANGE EXPECTED
No mention of what lies beneath its skin as yet, but it's a safe bet that the production Clubman will offer the same range of engines found in the new Mini hatch.
At the very least you can expect BMW's 100kW/220Nm 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbopetrol in the Cooper, the 141kW/280Nm 2-litre turbopetrol in the Cooper S and 85kW/270Nm 1.5 turbodiesel in the Cooper D.
If Mini decides to introduce Mini One Clubman variants, then a 75kW/180Nm 1.2T petrol and 75kW/220Nm 1.5T diesel are also on the cards.
One thing we're certain of is that this new Clubman will be a lot more popular than the current one. Mini lovers with families are surely going to flock to this one.