GET IN THE CLUB, MAN Clubman is 24cm longer than the current hatch and this translates into an extra 8cm of room for rear pass
Fashions and fads have come and gone, yet the appeal of the MINI has remained strong throughout its 48 year life. Born in 1959 and designed by Alec Issigonis, the MINI shook up and redefined the small car class. In 2001, MINI owners BMW, shocked the world, by unveiling a modern interpretation of the British classic.
Now, six years later and onto its second generation during Bavarian ownership, MINI has unveiled the second bodystyle after the 3-door hatchback – a new convertible version is yet to come. Drawing inspiration from the 1960’s Austin Mini Countryman, Morris Mini Traveller and Mini Clubman Estate, the new Clubman offers a five-door estate bodystyle. This, however, is not as straight forward as it sounds. A traditional rear tailgate has been ditched in favour of two doors that open outwards, Clubman style.
The Clubman is 24cm longer than the current hatch and translates into an extra 8cm of room for rear passengers, and an additional 100 litres of boot space. Access to the additional rear space has been made easier by the inclusion of what MINI call a ‘Clubdoor’ on the right hand side. Similar in concept to the rear doors available on the Mazda RX-8, it only opens once the front door has been opened and therefore doesn’t require its own exterior door handle.
Controversially, MINI is only offering the Clubdoor on the right hand side of the car, meaning that UK cars will be built with the door on the wrong side of the car. Rear passengers exiting the car will be stumbling into traffic, rather than the safety of the pavement, as per left-handdrive cars. MINI is keen to point out that it is because of where the fuel-filler-cap is located, rather than cost cutting. Three engines are available – two petrol and one diesel. The 1,560cc 110bhp engine being the same unit that will be familiar to MINI Cooper D owners and was born out of a joint venture between PSA and BMW. Improvements to this engine have seen emissions spiral down to 109 g/km, thanks to the inclusion of BMW’s Brake Energy Regeneration and Auto Start- Stop technology already seen on other BMW group models. These features make the MINI one of the lowest cars in the UK for emissions, meaning a annual car tax cost of £35
On sale: 10th November 2007 // From £15,400
- Engine cc: 1,560cc, 4-cylinder common-rail turbodiesel with DPF
- Power bhp/rpm: 110bhp at 4,000rpm
- Torque lb ft/rpm: 177lb ft at 1,750-2,000rpm (192lb ft with overboost)
- Weight kg: tba CO2 Emmissions: 109/km
- Tax Band: B Combined mpg: 68.9mpg
- 0-62mph: 10.4secs
- Max Speed: 120mph