As modern Minis get better and more comfortable, they seem to be straying further from the meaning of their name. This is evident in the new Mini Clubman, now sporting four passenger doors and a split door in the rear.
This Clubman is now officially the largest model in the modern Mini range. Compared to the already large 5-Door, the Clubman is 270mm longer and 90mm wider, and has a wheelbase that is 100mm longer. With this size increase comes five full-fledged seats, a luggage volume of 360L, and a maximum storage volume of 1,250L with the rear seats folded.
The face of the Clubman bears the current Mini look--slightly larger grille design, bigger and more swept-back headlights, and fancier intakes on the lower part of the bumper. But the most apparent difference is the stretched stance.
The cabin has been redesigned. The instrument cluster now moves to the steering column, whereas in the previous generation the speedometer was located in the massive circular multi-information screen in the middle of the dashboard. Speaking of circles, it’s evident that the designers still loved to play with their compasses when they envisioned the Clubman interior.
There will be three powerplants at launch: a 150hp four-cylinder diesel (we certainly won’t get that), a 136hp three-cylinder engine, and a 192hp four-cylinder engine. All this turbocharged power will be sent to the front wheels via six-speed and eight-speed transmissions.
Being a member of the BMW family, the Clubman gets all the nifty safety acronyms that the Germans have developed so far. There’s Dynamic Stability Control, Dynamic Traction Control, and Electronic Differential Lock Control. There are also new toys like a head-up display, parking assistant, and driving assistant that includes camera-based active cruise control.
With Philippine distributor British United Automobiles actively pushing the brand, expect to see the Clubman on our streets sooner rather than later.