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Th Future of the Paceman & Clubman

For those who don’t read the comments, there was some interesting chatter the other day between frequent MotoringFile commenter and BMW insider Herr26. He gave us some interesting information on some future MINI variants. Specifically, Herr26 mentions the future of the Paceman, the next generation of the Clubman and the as yet unseen Spacebox (aka MINI MAT). Considering Herr’s comments are almost always spot on they’re probably worth repeating here for those who may have missed them.


The MINI (MAT) is the genesis of the Spacebox concept – some have dubbed MINI caveman because of it’s “cavernous” space in the interior (hah-hah) . But if you want to give it it’s final market term it will be called the MINI Traveller – It’s an ingenious concept – a MINI with more passenger flexibility. It is effectively a larger Clubman , with the next Clubman taking on a more sporting “Shooting Brake” style.

The MINI Paceman has developed into a more sportier looking vehicle with rear hinged “activity” doors making the car a full five door. but still keeping that dynamic sloping roof at the rear. The front of the car has changed and is following the next generation of MINI’s with the headlights for example instead of the placement on the front wings or slightly pushed in on the R56. The next generation of MINI illustrates it’s evolutionary traits by having them cut into the front of the car and raked further into the wings to give a really sporty impression.

We definitely like the sound of a sporty, AWD Paceman with even more aggressive lines. Most interesting is the description of the future Clubman. Many have wondered how the Paceman and Clubman can co-exist  without being too redundant. A longer shooting brake style Clubman could have almost a MINI Coupé fastback rear end and (according to Herr and other sources) could be based on the next generation MINI (the F56) and not the R60 Countrymam. This would give the Clubman a sport wagon profile possibly in the vein of the best shooting brakes over the years.

Written By: Nathaniel Salzman

  • minipuma

    I remember the first time I saw a Dodge Magnum, I thought to myself, “I sure wish MINI would make one of those.”

  • Rakey

    Traveller in UK would not work, here it mean gypsy or as you’d call them in the states carnie, and gypo/gypsy is often used as a put down.

  • KLF23

    “The next generation of MINI illustrates it’s evolutionary traits by having them cut into the front of the car and raked further into the wings to give a really sporty impression.”

    This comment worries me as I dislike the current trend for headlights to be streched backwards towards the windscreen. With the advances in lighting technology, you would think that lights would be getting smaller and more integrated/hidden. I doubt it will be as bad as the Peugeot examples I’ve seen where the headlights touch the windscreen, but I would prefer MINI keeps its ‘eyes’ front.

    • minipuma

      Those Peugeot headlamps are awful.

      I agree that the headlights ought to stay on the front… a classic look that suits the MINI well.

  • veggivet

    That AWD Paceman sounds good to me. Love to see some mock ups. 

  • Nick Dawson

    Nathaniel – I would just ike to clarify that Clubman 2 (codename F55) will use the UKL1 platform and not the R60 platform as so often misquoted. As far as we already know from insider information, F55 will be 150mm (approximately six inches) longer than today’s Clubman R55, making it almost as long as the Countryman but it will be lower, with a sporting ‘shooting brake’ style.

    Unlike today’s Clubman, it will have two rear mounted side doors (MINI has learnt the lesson of only providing one in a global market!) and, according to insiders, will retain the rear ‘barn’ doors considered to be an essential feature in this niche market segment, and a near vertical rear end. F55 is being developed alongside the BMW F45 front-drive 1-series GT. 

  • Marrlin

    Six inches longer????  Inch by inch, Mini ceases to be “mini.”  I say buck this trend- go ‘minier.’

  • Rhawth99

    Too bad about the barn doors on the F55 as that is basically the only thing I dislike about our Clubman. They are truly less functional than a hatch. Good news that the F55 will not be based on the R60 platform as far as I am concerned. I know some people are going to have a cow about the Clubman growing 6 inches but as long as the Coupes stay the same size, I don’t think the complaints are valid. I could see that club doors on both sides along with 2-3 more inches of rear legroom would make the Clubman easier to get in and out of (especially for older adults).

    • Chris_94131

      personally, I happen to love my barn doors… come in handy to load and off load cargo.  as for the new features, wouldn’t mind a few extra inches of cargo space and, an extra club door would be great.

  • Woj

    The trend of BMW/Mini to increase the size of their cars is becoming quite contrarian to their initial market push. I had a 08 MCS and now have a 11 MCCS and find that the fun factor has taken a significant hit, albeit the usefulness of the vehicle has increased. Making the vehicles larger will probably result in my going back to a GTI (had 4 of them over the years). It all revolves around the issue of when is larger Mini no longer a Mini…

    • http://BimmerFile.com Gabriel Bridger

      The 2008 and 2011 are identical in size. The R56 is less than an inch longer than the R53 due to pedestrian impact regs.

      • jeff

        i think he’s comparing hatch to clubman.

        but i don’t think you’re losing any significant fun jumping between the two either.  especially for the gain in practicality.  4 people fit just fine for multiple multi-state trips i’ve taken in the clubman.  i think it’s the perfect size.  i’ll be a bit sad if it grows too much.

        i say leave the clubman with it’s current footprint and allow the paceman to be the clubman + 6 inches that MINI thinks they need.

        • Woj

          Yeah, I had an R56 with dealer-installed Works and now have gone to the R55. Actually, I traded-in my 135i to get the R55. My wife had traded my R56 last Dec for her R56. Anyway, I still feel that the motor is working hard to move the R55 around and just can’t see a larger car being fun, unless one can get the SD model  8-)

        • http://BimmerFile.com Gabriel Bridger

          I guess I’m confused. So you’re complaining that MINI made the Clubman? 

  • jbkONE

    I LOVE THE BARNDOORS!  I don’t own one, but have thought hard about getting a Clubman or Coupe.  I think they’re both super cool: the Coupe more sports car, the Clubman more practical long-term but still fun.  Hmmm….  And the barn-doors are part of the reason I love the Clubman.  But I’ve always liked Suburban’s barn doors too.

    Growing 6 inches?  raked roofline?  I’ll have to see this to judge.  And I’m with those who like the headlights on the front.  IMO, the slanted or streaked headlights are not appealing: if you want to look japanese, buy japanese.

  • Aurel

    Wow, I am really liking where both these vehicles are heading style wise. The Clubman sounds really intriguing (and also a surprise that is being kept in the lineup)

  • Aurel

    Wow, I am really liking where both these vehicles are heading style wise. The Clubman sounds really intriguing (and also a surprise that is being kept in the lineup)

  • Nick Dawson

    It’s good that F56 will remain the same size as the current R56, but the really intriguing bit is that, according to some insiders, a year after the launch of the F56 there will be a five-door version (presumably with rear mounted side doors) to cater for those enthusiasts who prefer the size of F56 but who need improved rear access.

  • Mark

    I’ve now previously owned two R53’s & just picked up my 2nd Clubman on a lease.  I like the direction that MINI is taking with a shooting brake design & with the Paceman.  Now if we can just get a performance based AWD system put in a Paceman JCW WRC car to go along with a shooting brake styled Clubman I’ve got my replacements for the two current Clubman.

  • KPH

    I’m OK with the interesting mix that MINI is developing for the near, or not near enough, future actually. As Rhawth99 said, as long as the R/F56 design stays with the same size, spirit, etc, those of us that love the initial model can be happy and let MINI try and make some money.  On the other hand, although the next gen Clubman piques my interest, retaining the barn doors (swing doors in the trucking industry) is a little disappointing. I really welcome the ‘porch roof’ when unloading  groceries on a rainy day. Maybe the new design will be get me past that. Also, a 3 cyl motor in an even larger Clubman? Almost demands the ‘S’ model.  Wait and see I guess. And last, not to be pedantic, but in the last paragraph of your write up Nathan, the title “CountryMAM appears.  A little weary of too many MINI ‘man’s’ ? Might work, the niche market is what they do. Cheers.

  • Harry Dill

    All of these so-called “variants” may be attractive to a “broad spectrum” consumer audience, but to many traditionalists they only serve to underscore the fact that MINI is becoming much less mini and much more maxi while losing sight of its heritage. The former hatchback star has been upstaged by too many understudies! If marketing dictates line expansion, so be it. Just don’t allow the root to die that has nourished generations of MINI motorsport enthusiasts. Let’s see MINI offer an irresistibly sublime, uber-MINI hatch that eclipses the GP … and looks at least as good.

    • Woj

      Couldn’t agree more. All makes are guilty of upsizing over time and making the newer models supposedly more attractive to a larger market, but in doing so, alienating the original customers. I had really hoped for a Rocketman sized vehicle, but alas… 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1031608383 Chris Topher

    when would we see this??

  • Herr26

    My breakdown of the MINI gen 3 can be found here.

    http://f20.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=545220

    • jeff

      any word on if the paceman concept color will make it to production?  i know you’ve mentioned that it’s on the table, but nothing solidly confirming it.

      you would be able to make a quick sale off of me if the clubman or paceman came in that color…

      • Aurel

        Agreed. That color is fantastic. I’d order it as well.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Don-Hopings/1499630442 Don Hopings

    “A longer shooting brake style Clubman could have almost a MINI Coupé fastback rear end and (according to Herr and other sources) could be based on the next generation MINI (the F56) and not the R60 Countrymam. This would give the Clubman a sport wagon profile possibly in the vein of the best shooting brakes over the years.”

    Cool…


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