There aren’t many cars on the market with six doors, and of those that are available, none are as small as this: the 2016 Mini Clubman.
The new-generation Mini Clubman has be revealed in production guise, with the BMW-owned British brand claiming the new model is “an innovative vehicle concept for the premium compact segment”, one that offers a “unique combination of functionality, everyday practicality and long-distance suitability offering driving fun, premium charisma and individuality in Mini style”.
The new model arrives nearly 18 months after the car debuted in concept guise, and while there are plenty similarities between the show car and the production model, it is quite a different beast to the previous generation model.
That Clubman had only one rear door (on the driver’s side for right-hand drive markets, making it less than ideal for getting in and out). The new Clubman is more of conventional wagon, with two back doors, and the same funky barn doors that characterised the first-generation new Mini Clubman.
The Mini range focuses heavily on styling, and the Clubman is claimed to be a “new interpretation of the tradition-steeped shooting brake concept adapted to the demands of the compact class for the first time”.
It looks long, and it is. Compared to the Mini 5 door hatchback, the Clubman is 27 centimetres longer (4.25m) 9cm wider (1.80m), has a 10cm longer wheelbase (2.67m) and sits quite tall for a Mini, too, at 1.44m. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that the overall size of the Clubman is almost identical to a standard Volkswagen Golf hatchback, which measures 4.25m long, 1.79m wide and 1.45m tall.
That size has benefits inside the cabin, with five “fully-fledged”seats, a 360-litre boot (which is still smaller than most small hatchbacks!) with a 40:20:40 split-fold rear seat, which can maximise the load space to 1250L.
There are interior changes, too, including a new broad instrument panel that is different to the hatchback models, as well as revised switches and new diamond pattern quilted leather. The cupholders have also been revised, and so have the door pockets, which are considerably more copious than those in the hatch models.
The new Clubman model will be built on the same underpinnings as the current-generation Mini hatchback, which is available in three- or five-door bodystyles. The same platform also sits under the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer.
Mini has confirmed three engines for the new Clubman.
The first is the three-cylinder turbocharged petrol 1.5-litre with 100kW of power and 220Nm (230Nm with overboost) as is seen as the mainstay of the standard Mini range. This engine is teamed with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic, and no matter which gearbox you choose the Clubman can sprint from 0-100km/h in 9.1 seconds. Fuel use is claimed between 5.1 and 5.3 litres per 100km.
The performance model is the Mini Cooper S Clubman, which features a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine producing 141kW/280Nm (300Nm with overboost) that is available with a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic. Mini claims a 0-100km/h time of 7.2sec for the manual and 7.1sec for the auto. Fuel use is claimed between 5.8L and 6.3L per 100km.
The Mini Cooper D Clubman is the diesel option, using a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder producing 110kW/330Nm. Its claimed 0-100km/h sprint time is 8.6sec for the six-speed manual or 8.5sec for the eight-speed auto. Fuel use ranges between 4.1L and 4.4L/100km.
Further engine variants that could join later down the line include a Mini Clubman One model, with a lower-output 1.2-litre with 75kW/175Nm, and maybe there’ll even be JCW model, with 170kW/320Nm as the hatch has. However, there’s no confirmation of such plans at this point in time.
Mini claims the Clubman offers the “highest level of ride comfort and brand-based go-kart feeling ever seen in a Mini” due to the unique suspension setup fitted to the wagon. It has a single-joint strut front axle and a multilink rear axle designed specifically for this model, and there are also technologies such as dynamic damper control sports suspension available. The standard stability control system features an electronic differential lock, too.
Mini’s Australian division has confirmed the new-generation Mini Clubman will arrive in showrooms in the fourth quarter of this year. Stay tuned for pricing and further specifications prior.
Click the Photos tab above for more images of the new 2016 Mini Clubman.