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Clubman Update & Official Sketch

Here’s the best sneak peak yet at the upcoming MINI Clubman. We recently aquired an official MINI Clubman sketch based off of the production car that will be debuting later this year. But we weren’t going to simply pass it along untouched. Instead we’ve colorized the sketch to correspond with what our sources are telling us will be an optional silver roof and silver boot section (the outter corners around the lights).

We’ve also included a bit of updated Clubman information taken straight from our “MINI’s Future Models Revealed” story that has also just been updated with new details on several upcoming MINIs. Enjoy!

As first reported on MotoringFile, the Clubman will feature around 18 inches added to an R56 chassis (8″ within the wheelbase, 10″ behind it) along with a right side suicide “coach” door. The door will open to allow easier access to the rear seats making the MINI much more small family friendly.

The coach door’s handle will only be exposed when the front right door is open and will be on the right side of the car in all world markets. The Clubman will seat five (yes, three in the rear seats) outside the US market and feature some extra storage features not seen on the coupe. Expect US versions to make due with a two seat configuration similar to what is found in the current coupe.

Unlike the R56, the longer R55 will come standard with a space-saver spare tire on some models. However when the car is equipped with runflats, there’s an additional bit of hidden storage space below the boot (similar to what is found on the current BMW 3 Series wagon).

The boot will see unique, wide-opening rear barn doors with dual wipers and two chrome handles in the center that come together when closed. Like the Traveller concepts, the rear lights will be built on the body rather than the doors. This will allow the doors to be hinged on the edge of the car giving greater access to the boot – similar to what was shown on the Traveller concept a cars in Geneva, Detroit, etc.

Production schedule

  • July/August 2007: Clubman pictures and information made available to the press
  • August 2007: Clubman enters full pre-production at the Oxford Plant
  • Early September 2007: Clubman makes it’s public debut at the Frankfurt Motorshow
  • Late Fall (Nov/Dec): Clubman goes on sale in Europe/UK
  • February 2008: Clubman goes on sale in US market

For Clubman production, MINI will roughly follow the same timeline it used for the R56 as seen above. That means R55 will enter major production some time in August of 2007. Look for these early cars to be mostly made of press and demonstration cars. Judging from how R56 production was handled, look for customer cars to start to be produced in October and November for a UK and European launch in November of 2007. The US launch will follow in February of 2008.

The European public debut is scheduled for the Frankfurt Motorshow in early September with the North American most likely debut set for Detroit in early 2008. Look for official images and specifications to be released in late July or early August with the first European press drives of production spec cars happening in October.

The R55 should go on-sale in the UK and Europe late in the fall. In the US, expect a February debut similar to that of the R56 – which had a February on-sale date.

When the Clubman hits the production line full-time later this fall, there will be one R55 produced for every four R56s.

The final version of MINI’s new shooting brake will be available in five models;

  • 95 bhp Clubman One
  • 110bhp/180lb ft of torque Clubman Diesel
  • 120 bhp Clubman
  • 175 bhp Clubman S
  • 220+ bhp JCW Clubman S

Mid-cycle refresh

Expect many of the same improvements found in the mid-cycle refresh of the R56 in the R55 most likely in late 2008 or early 2009..

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Written By: Gabe

  • MultiplePersonalities

    Is the last one “Hot Chocolate”?

    Looking really good. Rear legroom should be massive in comparison to the 2 door coupe.

    Seriously thinking about upgrading the order to a Clubman S.

  • Matt

    I’m getting more and more excited about having a Clubman S. Might have to talk to my MA about getting on the list for one of these bad boys.

  • http://www.fireballed.com Fireball Tim!

    I could a lot of toys in the back of that one. That’s it,… I’m on the list…

  • http://www.motoringfile.com/ Gabe

    Is the last one “Hot Chocolate”?

    Yes. And don’t forget to click for large versions.

  • http://www.OutMotoring.com Aaron Cornaby

    …has it been confirmed if there will be a Clubman and a Clubman S and will they both debut at the same time/model year?

  • MultiplePersonalities

    Gabe, if I click on the Hot Chocolate sketch it does not expand. I can only do the original drawing, plus the 2 blue colored sketches.

  • MultiplePersonalities

    Fireballed Tim, I see you fitting a V12 out in the back, or a jet engine.

    Am I wrong?

  • http://www.motoringfile.com/ Gabe

    Gabe, if I click on the Hot Chocolate sketch it does not expand. I can only do the original drawing, plus the 2 blue colored sketches.

    Seems to expand fine here. It goes from 468px to 600px.

    …has it been confirmed if there will be a Clubman and a Clubman S and will they both debut at the same time/model year?

    Most likely.

  • MultiplePersonalities

    I also like the idea of the silver roof/boot area. It should brake up the contrast nicely. Wonder how would that look on a Hot Chocolate Clubby?

  • MultiplePersonalities

    Gabe, its weird. I can’t do it here. I am using Winblows XP and IE7. The only sketches I can see expanded are the original, lighting blue and Laser Blue. If I want to expand the bottom 3 sketches, it will “pick” all 3 and throw me back to the first ones on top.

  • MultiplePersonalities

    Looking at the sketches, I can help but think how much nicer the R55 looks over the R56. But in real life I wonder if…

    1) Ride height would be the same as a stock R56?

    2) Wheel wheels will be less pronounced (Read: thick) as in the R56?

    To my eyes, the squared off back really brings back proportions into the new design.

  • http://www.northamericanmotoring.com Dave
    if I click on the Hot Chocolate sketch it does not expand. I can only do the original drawing, plus the 2 blue colored sketches.

    I was seeing the same thing with IE6, but it should be fixed now.

  • MultiplePersonalities

    Nicely done, thank you.

  • Aurel
    Looking at the sketches, I can help but think how much nicer the R55 looks over the R56. But in real life I wonder if… 1) Ride height would be the same as a stock R56? 2) Wheel wheels will be less pronounced (Read: thick) as in the R56? To my eyes, the squared off back really brings back proportions into the new design.

    Agreed … the proportions seem to be much better. I am really digging this now. Now if they only changed the dreaded new dash area a bit as well.

  • http://inomis.com iNomis

    Will all contrasting roofs be silver? Will all the rear end corners match the roof? I assume the rear doors body colored from your wording?

  • Vanwall

    Not a fan of the contrasting rear colors, or the brown. Wifey will decide, as it’s her turn this behicle. Not sure if three in the back would be comfortable unless two are small units, but it would be nice as an option. The new rear belt-line goes much better here, and the barn doors are such a nice touch – very useful, and a hat-tip to the original. Bet we see more barn doors on the copycat cars that can’t have an original styling cue in their designer’s heads.

  • Teresa

    Still not linking hot chocolate but I really like the boot contrast.

    OK dumb question but…. by right door do you mean U.S. passenger side door?

  • MultiplePersonalities

    I like the idea of Hot Chocolate, but I am still on the fence until I get to see it in “person”.

    Here is my preliminary spec:

    Clubman S 6-speed auto with paddle shifters (Sorry, the wife will be the main driver of this vehicle) Hi-FI stereo MFSW Front and rear fogs Convenience package Leatherette 17″ wheels or Sport Package.

    Can’t wait!

  • Billy
    OK dumb question but…. by right door do you mean U.S. passenger side door?

    Yes. The ‘club’ door as it is labelled by BMW will be on the RIGHT HAND SIDE, reguardless of drive hand. Fantastic for all left hand drive customers but of course not so good else where, as your passengers will get out of the car onto the road. In my opinion, having seen the finished car at work on numerous occasions, the suicide door spoils the smooth lines of the car and is also pretty pointless, as both front seats still fold forward. But hey, all I have to do is build them!

  • MultiplePersonalities

    Billy, how’s the rear legroom?

    So even if you have the rear suicide door, you still have to fold the front seats to gain access??

  • http://www.motoringfile.com/ Gabe

    …has it been confirmed if there will be a Clubman and a Clubman S and will they both debut at the same time/model year?

    Not officially but look for that to happen a la the R56.

  • Jake

    I like it! Not sure about the silver butt, though. Will have to see it and the colours in person to decide. Saw a couple of the new new ones at Victoria Mini. Two Coop “S’s”. One blue and one yellow. They both looked great! I think a Clubman S in yellow with black roof and hood stripes would look great on the clubman. Unfortunately, mine also would need to be a slushbox (heavy communting traffic and a wife that does not like manual throws). The space in the back will be perfect for my little tyke.

  • http://www.northamericanmotoring.com Dave
    how’s the rear legroom?

    Much better.

    The clubman grows by a total of about 18 inches. Figure that the 8″ of growth in the wheelbase goes mostly to additional rear seat legroom (as in you won’t amputate your rear seat passenger’s feet if you slide the front seats back like happens now in the cooper).

    Then figure that the additional 10″ of length to the rear of the car goes to additional boot space, so the boot is now much more functional too.

    So even if you have the rear suicide door, you still have to fold the front seats to gain access??

    Yes.

  • Billy
    Billy, how’s the rear legroom?

    It’s better. Not by a whole lot it has to be said but it will sit 4 adults comfortably, whereas in the ’56 it’s a bit of a squeeze. The boot/trunk space is far more impressive, especially if you go for the Run Flat Tyre option, as you get a hidden storage compartment, about 5 inches deep under the existing boot floor! IT’s a nice touch trust me

  • Tim

    To me, it all comes down to price. If they can get an S version for around 30 grand (Canadian), I’d have to consider it. Right now, I can get a different [ahem] wagon with 4 real doors for about 25 large. Sure, the Mazda 3 won’t handle as well, but it’ll hold more. If I’m settling down, I’m not sure I’d go for this since I already have a small, sporty, not very practical MINI coupe.

  • MultiplePersonalities

    Dave & Billy thanks for your responses.

  • MultiplePersonalities

    Billy have you had the chance to ride/drive the Clubman? I gather that the longer wheelbase improves ride quality over the R56. Does it not?

  • Greg W

    We are told that New Zealand version will only seat two in rear seats. So USA is not the only market that doesn’t take the rear 3-seat version. Will someone start designing a retrofit kit? Or is that in violation of governmental safety rules?

  • Greg W

    Will anyone start offering “woodie kits” like those available for PT Cruiser?

  • MultiplePersonalities

    Greg, yes vendor Minspeed (Formerly My MINI) here in Pompano Beach, FL will offer custom “woddie”kits for the Clubman next year:

    http://www.myminiparts.com/home.htm

    Contact Pete Foglia for further details.

  • Billy

    The ride quality seems on par with the R56, although in my opinion, the handling has been compromised. It seems the extra length has has blunted performance slightly, but it is still unmistakeably Mini. It’s still happy to be pointed towards the apex of a corner and will happily claw it’s way round with smoke coming off the front tyres….not that we do that on the test track boss! ;)

  • Ketan

    Now I am torn between the 07 R56 and the Clubman. I could use the extra space but how will it handle? Will it be close to the characteristic of the R56? The extra weight will mean a slower mini but I could actually take few of my friends out in my car. Ahhh this is too much. I can’t seem to decide.

  • Wayne D.

    Cruel to use a non-metallic BRG in that colorization!

    I do think this car screams out for a non-metallic light blue. (like Daphne Blue)

    http://www.curtisnovak.com/restorations/FenderColors/DaphneBlue.shtml

  • JP

    Instead of 1:4 MINI should be planning 1:2. The coolness factor of the Clubman is going to be high for a couple of years. The 2008 convertible will languish.

  • http://www.northamericanmotoring.com Dave

    RE: Daphne Blue

    That looks very similar to an early MINI R50 color that never went into full production called Cool Blue (top row in the middle)

  • http://www.worldtraveltips.net/ James

    I am suddenly dispondant – I am hoping against hope that Canada is not part of the US market (and, sigh, I know it is) – I love the car, love the legroom, but I am looking for three seats in the rear, as two just doesn’t help me.

    How confirmed is the rear two seat situation for the US/Canada market?

  • http://miniac.blogspot.com Chrissy

    Thanks Gabe for posting all of this information about the Clubman! It’s exciting to see the sketches and the time-line as it approaches! I am fairly happy with the design but I have a few comments…..

    Thank-you James for mentioning that. I work at a dealership in Canada and the biggest complaint about the current MINIs is the lack of doors! Small families are trying to squish into MINIs and it’s not working that well. So I tell them about the Clubman that’s coming out soon and they are excited about that, however there have been many more negative comments such as “what happens when the one parent is driving and has to open the door for the kids sitting in the back? You have to walk around to the other side, open the front passenger door, (flip the seat?), AND open the side “club” door = lots of hassle.”

    Another comment I’ve been hearing: the 3 seats in the back would definitely be a selling feature. I’m worried that Canada will be included with the “US market” and we’ll only get 2 rear seats. That will definitely hurt sales as well since many of the clients I’ve spoken with are looking forward to more seating as well.

    The “club” door, eh?… It’s better than nothing, I suppose, but my dad’s first Silverado truck had that and it was definitely a pain to live with. The next year’s model of the truck came with a proper side rear door and we traded in for that model. Since they’re extending the car anyways AND disrupting the lines of the car, you might as well add a proper rear side door…..

  • http://www.lucianobove.blogspot.com luciano

    I think it is going to be a very well accepted car…it looks like that also Fiat is planning to produce a 500 Giardinetta a retro’ styled of the original one. It is going to be interesting to see how markets will reacts.. http://www.lucianobove.blogspot.com

  • http://www.blokspeed.net Eelke
    # 95 bhp Clubman One # 110bhp/180lb ft of torque Clubman Diesel # 120 bhp Clubman # 175 bhp Clubman S

    Does this mean the Clubmans will not get the designation “Cooper”? That’s a big surprise, and a bit of a shame. A BMW 3 series estate is also called BMW 3 Touring and not just BMW Touring, right? Also, it’s inconsistent, as it implies that with the coupe, “Cooper” designates the body style, while it only says something about the engine and trim level.

    Actually, I would expect the designations to be: Mini One Clubman Mini Cooper Clubman Mini Cooper S Clubman

  • Jon

    Think the Clubman is going to be a hit. Still on the fence about it myself though. I spend plenty of time on the track and don’t think a longer wheelbase and more weight yet is what I am looking for. Having said that I have no doubts that they will much slower than the current R56 in stock and will see some very quick aftermarket builds.

    One thing for sure the taper of the side windows is really noticable on it, which is one of the things I am still getting used to on the R56.

  • MultiplePersonalities

    Chrissy, I agree with you. A rear door is better than none.

  • Paulsminis

    I have a couple of inputs:

    1. The Orignal Mini Wagons were never called “Cooper”. John Cooper himself actually produced a very few woodies that had the S engine and he put the “Cooper” label on those. The normal wagons were, Austin Mini Countryman, Morris Mini Traveller, and then with the “clubman front” they were known as Mini Clubman Estate.

    2. My 68 Morris Mini Traveller actually handles much better than my 67 Austin Cooper S — the extra 4 inches in the wheelbase pays off in much more predictable handling — it warns you that it is getting loose in the rear and could spin — but the sedan warns you in this manner — “Enjoy the spin!”

    We are really going to have to wait until we get our hands on the production cars to know what these new ones will drive like.

    Paul

  • Jon

    No doubt Paulsminis about the increased wheelbase length will be more stable. Having said that though for this increase in stability you make a trade by caring more weight and giving the car more distance to shift the weight off of the drive wheels. Simple equation in my mind, start with an engine, next and weight to it and every time out of the box the lighter car will get around the track first

    From my experience I would take the quicker turning, lighter, and more compact wheelbase anytime I am on the track. Generally I have no doubts that the Clubman will have lots of fans, just the fact of making the rear seats viable to sit in should guarantee its success.

  • http://www.blokspeed.net Eelke
    The Orignal Mini Wagons were never called “Cooper”.

    If that is a reply to my worry that the Cooper name would not appear on the Clubman, I would like to respond that that’s absolutely true, but then there were never performance versions of those either, so there was no need to put the name Cooper on them. In fact your comment about John Cooper putting in an S engine and putting a Cooper badge on it himself is actually a great illustration of what I mean; a performance variant of a Mini should be named “Cooper”, no matter what the body style is.

  • Aussom

    Hoping that the Australian market (if/when?) will have the 3 rear seat version so I can fit the family in. Recently went for a test drive in the R56 and lamented the change in the rear side trim arm rests (not as good as the original R50/R53). Presumably the R55 may not have rear trim side arm rests to make room for 3 seats?

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MINI Model Cheat Sheet

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R50: One & MC Hatch
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R55: Clubman
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R57: Convertible
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R61: MINI Crossover Coupe
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F54: Clubman
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F57: Convertible
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