Concept previews next Mini Clubman

Concept previews next Mini Clubman

The new Mini Clubman has been reinvented as a bold four-door estate ahead of it going on sale in the UK by the end of the year.

Mini will preview the new car with a concept at the Geneva motor show next week, provinding a lightly veiled look at the new Clubman. While the exterior of the concept features some exaggerated proportions, it's also claimed to closely resemble the look of the production model.

The new Clubman avoids the quirky layout of its predecessor, with the single rear-hinged rear side door dropped in favour of a more conventional design with four front-hinged frameless doors. The traditional barn-style rear doors of its predecessors have been retained.

The new layout is aimed at introducing added levels of practicality and versatility to the Clubman, in order to provide it with a broader sales potential against premium-brand hatchback rivals.

Stretching to 4223mm in length, the latest Clubman is 260mm longer than the model it replaces. At 1844mm wide and 1450mm high, it is also 170mm wider and 25mm taller than before.

The added length, width and height make the new Clubman 128mm longer and 54mm wider than the existing Countryman — up until now Mini’s largest model — but 110mm lower due to its lower ride height.

Among the flamboyant styling flourishes added to the concept are recessed headlights with daytime running lights that form a continuous ring within the housing, so-called 'air curtains', 19-inch wheels and tyres, door mirror housings mounted on chromed arms and tail-lights that have been turned through 90 degrees to give greater horizontal emphasis to the rear end.

Inside, there’s a clean, sophisticated-looking dashboard which is claimed to point to how future Mini interiors will look. Premium materials including leather, various wood trims and chromed controls aim to provide the concept with an upmarket feel, although production versions will be rather less well appointed.

The centrepiece to the cabin is Mini’s traditional round centre dial, which houses a high-resolution screen. As with the new Mini hatchback, the main dials are housed within a dedicated instrument cluster behind the steering wheel. The centre console between the front seats is elevated, placing the gearlever and controls higher than in existing Mini models.

The new Clubman is set to get a similar engine line-up to that of the smaller three-door hatchback, which is due to go on sale next month. Included in the range are 1.5-litre three-cylinder and 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol and diesel units in combination with either a standard six-speed manual or optional six-speed automatic gearbox.

Source: autocar.co.uk
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