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by Tim Beissmann

The new-generation Mini Clubman will feature a unique six-door layout designed to enhance the practicality of the quirky wagon-style hatchback.

Images of a second-gen Clubman prototype captured by CarAdvice’s spy photographers confirm the new model will gain conventional front-hinged rear passenger doors like the recently spied Mini five-door, abandoning the right-side rear-hinged half door of the current model.

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The signature rear barn doors of its predecessor are retained, however, ensuring the new Clubman remains easily distinguishable from the rest of the iconic British car maker’s new-generation small-car family.

The front-end styling of this standard Cooper Clubman model is shared with the entry-level version of the new hatch, while the rear is again set to feature unique tail-lights that work around the barn doors.

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The new Mini Clubman is said to be much larger than the current model, with some comparing its proportions to those of the mid-sized BMW 3 Series wagon.

The Clubman will ride on a stretched version of the BMW Group’s new front-wheel-drive ‘UKL’ platform, which make its production car debut beneath the all-new Mini Cooper hatch at last week’s Los Angeles auto show.

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The new Clubman will inherit its turbocharged engines and six-speed transmissions from the hatch, which will launch early next year with 100kW/220Nm 1.5-litre three-cylinder and 141kW/280Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engines and an 85kW/270Nm 1.5-litre three-cylinder diesel.

The Clubman will also benefit from the advanced tech features debuted in the new-generation hatch, including adaptive cruise control, road sign detection, auto reverse parking and a head-up display.

The Mini Clubman is expected to reach international showrooms in 2015, following the launch of the hatch and anticipated introductions of the five-door and Cabrio body styles.




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