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Concept previews big four-door Mini

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.

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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.

GOLF-SIZED CLUBMAN!

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.

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