A production version of the six-doored Mini Paceman concept from this year’s Geneva motor show will launch 12 months from now and stay true to that car’s mould-breaking formula.
Set to premiere at the 2015 Frankfurt motor show in September next year, the second-generation version of the ‘new’ Mini Clubman will do away with the current car’s cumbersome suicide door layout that the company admits pushed the bounds of reason.
Instead, the next Clubman will build on the formula of the new five-door Hatch model due in Australia this November and premiering in the UK this week — stay tuned for our first drive review in a few days — and offer a proper set of rear doors, as well as the signature barn-door boot.
The move to symmetry will make it a proper miniature wagon that can lug human cargo to a greater degree than present. It will also negate the current car’s issue in which the single rear-side door, made largely for left-hand-drive markets, opens into traffic on right-hand-drive cars.
“Back then the Clubman in 2007 was the longer wheelbase Mini, which had one additional door. [It] wasn’t really practical, and it’s why it only happened one time,” Mini head of communications Andreas Lampka told us this week.
As with all Minis moving forward, it will be based on the BMW Group’s UKL architecture, but the six-door will sit on a different configuration of the platform than the standard hatch.
“The Clubman will not be a spinoff of the Hatch, the Clubman is a different architecture, [it] is a bigger car,” Lampka said. “… A different UKL.”
The fact we have seen spy images of the car mean this news come as small surprise, though the confirmation this week give us a firm launch date, and puts to bed any rumours that niche cars such as this would be culled by a consolidating Mini.
A process of deduction would indicate the Clubman could preview a stretched (length and width-wise) configuration of the Hatch’s UKL architecture that will sit beneath the 2017 Countryman crossover successor.
At 4223mm long, 1844mm wide and 1450mm tall, the Clubman concept at the Geneva show was 262mm longer, 161mm wider and 18mm taller than the outgoing car. Its proportions, which are likely to be largely mirrored by the forthcoming five-door hatch, are also much closer to the Volkswagen Golf, which measures 126mm longer but 45mm narrower than the new Mini variant.