The estate-bodied Mini, named Clubman, is the next new Mini on the way now we’ve seen (and driven) the reborn hatchback in Cooper and Cooper S trim.
If you chastised the three-door Mini for not looking different enough to the outgoing model, this new Clubman might be up your street. It’s longer, lower, and has grown an extra door for easier use. More than that – its designer has aimed to give it a look all its own. This version is the 192bhp Clubman Cooper S, betrayed by its bonnet scoop and extra bumper intakes up front.
What’s new for the next Mini Clubman?
The concept car unveiled in Geneva earlier in 2014 gave the game away: the Mini Clubman Mk2 has six doors. It keeps the split rear doors, but ditches the silly ‘Clubdoor’ that opened into traffic on right-hand drive versions, and couldn’t be opened independently of the driver’s door.
This time, there are four conventional passenger compartment doors. Thanks to a generous growth spurt – the new Clubman is around 260mm longer and 160mm wider than before – it should be an easier-to-access, more spacious family car. Good thing too – the current Mini hatch is still essentially a 2+2, due to its cramped rear seats.
Looks like a familiar interior…
Yes – our spy shots reveal that the standard Mini Mk3 dashboard will be lifted wholesale into the new Clubman. On the outside though, the Clubman’s designer Anders Warming says he aims to give the wagon its own identity.
Warming’s big idea is to use more horizontal styling lines, typified by the stretched rear light clusters. It’s a departure from Mini’s usual signature of upright, sit-up-and-beg lines. The elongated, Mini Paceman-style lights were seen on the concept car, and set the Clubman apart from other Mini’s vertical rear lights.
What versions of the Mini Clubman can I choose from?
The engine range is almost certain to mirror the Mini three-door’s line-up. So, expect a 1.5-litre turbo triple in the Clubman One, and a tuned-up 136bhp version in the Clubman Cooper.
The Cooper S pictured here uses a 2.0-litre four-pot to delivering just shy of 200bhp, while a flagship John Cooper Works version is sure to follow in due course, offering around 220bhp and a muscular bodykit.
A six-speed manual gearbox with automatic rev-matching when you downshift is a standard feature, with a six-speed automatic featuring paddleshifters the alternative option.
What if I want a more practical Mini but not this boxy Clubman estate?
A solution isn’t far away. In 2015, Mini is expected to launch a five-door hatchback model for the first time. Spy shots show it to be a longer, larger Mini than the three-door Mini – it won’t be a five-door supermini in the Audi A1 Sportback sense. If you like the idea of some retro motoring but not a hearse-shaped estate, it could be the Mini to hold out for.