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RIP The R55 MINI Clubman

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Right on schedule MINI will be killing off the Clubman model at the end of the 2014 model year after a seven year model run. If the rumors we’re hearing our true, the last month of production will be June of this year giving prospective buyers just a few more months to plan our their purchase. But what of the future of the Clubman? Read on for the details.

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Over the past seven years if you asked us what MINI we’d buy with our own money, more times than not the answer would be a Clubman. Where the Countryman can feel too ponderous and the standard hatch a little too space constrained for active lifestyles (or small families), the Clubman always appealed to us as achieving the golden ratio of utility and performance.

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So what happens next? Luckily the Clubman will live with MINI tweaking some the formula. Since MINI will be releasing a four door version of the standard hatch (debuting this summer) we’ll see the Clubman grow slightly.

Where the F55 four door hatch will be about being as small as possible with four doors, the Clubman stretches things out with an eye on increased utility. As you can see above 2015 Clubman will be lengthened and widened to Countryman proportions. This will allow for 2+3 style seating with easy access via two forward hinged rear doors. Exterior and interior details will be very similar to the soon to be released F56 albeit tweaked and stretch.

Engines will mostly be carried over with one major exception. We expect MINI to debut it’s new plug-in hybrid system with the 2015 Clubman. Perhaps not at launch but according to rumors, sometime in the 2015 calendar year.

When will the Clubman go on-sale? It’ll have to make room of the R55 four door so that means we’ll likely see it sometime in the 2nd quarter of 2015.

Written By: Gabe

  • rhawth99

    I’m looking forward to both the F55 and the new Clubman. We have owned two Clubmans and enjoyed them both (would rather have a hatch instead of the rearward blocking twin posts).

    Been playing with the configurator and disappointed that you can’t get bluetooth without the Nav.

    • http://bridger.us/ Gabriel Bridger

      Bluetooth is standard. Streaming Bluetooth is not.

  • b-

    This is a very sad day! I think that the Clubman was a sweet spot in the MINI family, it had more utility than the hatch, still has the long coupe doors and really made the larger front end of the R5X cars work well. I fell in love with it the moment I saw it for the first time. The replacement will not be the same with the short sedan doors, the window frames and the clubdoor.

    Gabe, can you guess as to when the R57 and R58 will be discontinued? I would really like one of the last roadsters before they are gone forever.

    • http://bridger.us/ Gabriel Bridger

      We’ll be doing a report soon as we get a bit more info. But in each case you have some time.

      • b-

        Thanks!

  • Eddie

    Ah, the Clubman… absolutely the best MINI for Real Life(tm). The true MINI handling and size for the life of most adults that are parents too. My child sits in a lovely recaro seat, enters and exits perfectly thanks to the club door, the boot has the size it needs to be… I am so enjoying my S w/ JCW Tuning that MINI will have to do a lot to convince me into the new Clubman, but then again, if the Clubman did not exist in the new line-up, they would likely lose me (Countryman, no thanks, I’ll take an X1 if I had to then).

  • johnmacintosh

    So is this the end of the current iteration of the Clubman or is it the end of the Clubman altogether? The headline seems to imply the latter

    • http://www.nathanielsalzman.com/ Nathaniel Salzman

      End of the R55 — the current Clubman. The F54 will bear the Clubman name, and be more like the size of the Countryman.

      • Don Hopings

        Disincentive…

  • dr

    I have heard motoringfile refer to “countryman proportions” a few times….Can you clarify or confirm that the F54 will be based on an F56 platform (i.e. stretched but not lifted) Or should we expect something countryman based, with a high cg and wheel well gaps Like say an allroad -vs- avant?

    • http://www.nathanielsalzman.com/ Nathaniel Salzman

      Everything F-gen is on the same platform, however like today the Countryman will be a slightly larger overall size than the F56. The next Clubman will be a variation on the Countryman-sized MINI, as opposed to today where it is a variation on the Hardtop Hatch.

      • dr

        So how does this fit with the next countryman release. It sounds as if the clubman will be more of a countryman debut than a F56 variant….on a side note, if it is essentially countryman in dna can we expect MINI to clean up the facia for the clubman?….fingers crossed

  • Sal

    I am a proud and happy clubman owner but i just put an order in for a new hatch as the storage area is only 1 cubic foot smaller and seems to actually have as much space with the seats down. My rear seat saw limited use and was handy but it was the hauling space and the handling of the hatch that made the difference coming from an 2007. I will miss my double doors and all the amazed looks when the rear door magically popped open. Alas,I will probably not be interested in a Countryman sized vehicle. Hail Clubman!

  • Captain

    Will the new Club be built in the UK or across the channel somewhere..?

  • Hoover

    The next Clubman will most likely be my next MINI. I’ve always wanted a proper wagon. I’m not crazy about the rear doors, but I’ve heard that owners really grow to love them. Looks like the perfect solution for those needing an increase in utility without the height of the Countryman or Paceman.

    • LTLMCPE

      Regarding height there is external height of the vehicle and then there is usable interior space. With the seats folded the current Clubman has to me much better usable space. Flat bottom and a good rectangular size space. If you haul things like dog crates or furniture the flat bottom and consistent shape really help out. Crossing fingers this is same in the F54.

    • Don Hopings

      If people complain about the Clubman rear doors, it means that they should be focusing on what is OUTSIDE of the doors and not the doors themselves.

  • http://www.lilcoopr.com lilcoopr

    RIP indeed, Clubbie. Sad to hear because, since hindsight is 20/20, out of the 4 MINIs I’ve owned in 8 years (06 R53 Cooper S, 09 JCW Clubman, 12 Cooper S Coupe, 13 Cooper S Cabrio), my 2009 JCW Clubman is the one I would re-buy and deem the ultimate MINI. That and a roadster would be the ultimate MINI garage (my current cabrio has me craving topless motoring). The Clubman was phenomenal in the winter, great utility (I’m a Realtor and my clients were happy in the back seat), MINI-like proportions but with the PERFECT amount of cargo space, and OH those adorable barn doors with their own wipers!!

    You say the new Clubman will be closer in size to the Countryman, does that mean it will replace the Countryman or is the Countryman growing again? The thought makes me uneasy because the current Countryman is a sweetspot of utility and a larger profile yet still being compact compared to other brands in its class.

    • http://www.nathanielsalzman.com/ Nathaniel Salzman

      The Countryman will get more of a utility focus to better differentiate the two.

  • Kurtster

    This makes me want to keep my wife’s 2008 Hot Chocolate Clubman running forever.

  • Nick Dawson

    Let’s make one thing absolutely clear. When production of the R55 Clubman ends this summer, it’s direct replacement on the production line will be the F55. They even share the same number! F55 is what R55 was originally intended to be, a slightly longer more practical MINI, with increased rear legroom and luggage capacity, and easier access for rear passengers. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work. This time, BMW appears to have got the formula right, and it expects F55 to be its best selling MINI.

    I owned two R55’s and thought they were very charming, but I shall not mourn it’s passing, and neither will BMW. In a nutshell, it was not a commercial success and made little or no money for the company. It was expensive to engineer and expensive to make, and not enough people actually went out and bought one! Most of the board members were opposed to R55, and much of its development was carried out in secret ‘after hours’. There is no doubt, however, that the Clubby’s single ‘suicide’ door was its ‘Achilles Heal’.

    BMW has learnt from the R60 Countryman, that the world likes bigger MINIs. R60 has been a HUGE success, and is currently the most profitable MINI. A real little cash cow! But not everyone likes it. Many would have preferred the CM to be less corpulent and have proper MINI-like handling. Enter F54, which BMW expects to appeal to existing Countryman owners and new customers alike. The CM’s replacement F60, however, will share its platform with the next gen BMW X1, to satisfy those customers who would prefer a proper MINI SUV.

    • http://bridger.us/ Gabriel Bridger

      Couldn’t agree more. The F55 will take the Clubman formula of small outside, big inside to its logical conclusion. It will be what many on MF have been waiting for – a true four door MINI.

  • Jerry

    Ahhh fear not people–they’re still out there, just not in brand-new-fresh-off-the-lot condition. My next MINI is definitely going to be the JCW clubman, 2014 or earlier.

  • Cori

    Well it’s too bad Mini didn’t promote the clubman better,I bought my 09 JCW Clubman new and still to this day people stop and want to chat me up as they were’nt even aware that the clubman exhisted,ok by me though it’ll make the exhisting clubmans more unique and collectable in the future.

  • Barbra

    And is it true that the new Clubman won’t be available for purchase until Spring 2015….I read somewhere that they would be on the lot Fall of this year….??

    • http://bridger.us/ Gabriel Bridger

      The four door hatch will be available this fall. The Clubman next summer.


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MINI Model Cheat Sheet

1st Gen MINI
R50: One & MC Hatch
R52: All 1st Gen MINI Convt.
R53: MCS Hatch
2nd Gen MINI
R55: Clubman
R56: Hatch
R57: Convertible
R58: Coupe
R59: Roadster
R60: MINI Crossover
R61: MINI Crossover Coupe
3rd Gen MINI
F54: Clubman
F55: Five Door Hatch
F56: Hatch
F57: Convertible
F60: MINI Crossover
F58: Traveller

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