Exclusive: An Early Look at MINI’s 2016 Hybrid Clubman
Sources have been telling us for more than a year to expect something special in the drivetrain of the next generation MINI Clubman. More recently, we’ve had a high-level sources confirm that the Clubman will indeed see all-wheel drive in at least one configuration. What we didn’t realize was that both sources were actually saying the same thing. When MINI releases the 2016 Clubman next year, we believe they will also introduce the brand’s first hybrid model along with the rest of the normal range of petrol and diesel engines. But this isn’t just a typical hybrid system that we’ve seen on cars like the Prius for more than a decade. It’s something decidedly more interesting for people who care about performance as well as efficiency.
Sources familiar with MINI’s plans have indicated that the hybrid system will be identical to what BMW first revealed in the Active Tourer hybrid concept back in 2012. Given the detail that BMW released at the time, it was clear it would see production in some BMW Group vehicle. We now believe that BMW will debut this system in both the 2 Series Active Tourer and the MINI Clubman around the same time next year.
Enter The MINI Clubman All-Wheel Drive Plugin Hybrid
At the heart of the new Hybrid Clubman will be the 1.5L three cylinder lifted from the F56 Cooper and powering the front wheels. Integrated into that will be a plug-in hybrid system (likely derived from the BMW i8) powering the rear wheels only. The beauty of that arrangement is the torque (which is abundant in electric motors) won’t overwhelm the front tires and instead will provide additional power in the most effective way – to the rear. Not only will power and torque be better distributed, but it will also allow for better weight distribution across the entire car.
The synchronous electric motor will likely have an electric-only range of around 15-20 miles. Obviously this would be ideal for urban environments.
The system that BMW has shown in concept form (and has been testing for years in R55 Clubman mules) has an output of “over” 140 kW/190 bhp. Doing the math backwards (and assuming MINI won’t detune the 134 hp Cooper 1.5L engine) we can expect the electric engine will have around 60 hp by itself.
Given these numbers (and adding the extra weight of the system) we’d expect 0-60 times in the low 7s. More importantly BMW has said it expects the system to achieve a fuel consumption of less than 2.5 litres per 100 kilometers (94 mpg, 113 mpg imp), with a CO2 emissions level of less than 60 g/km. Granted those figures will be altered for the US based on the EPA’s own measurement but they will still be similarly astounding in production form.
According to BMW’s published report on the concept power plant, the electric engine has been developed in-house at BMW. With a fully charged battery, the electric only range should be over 30 kilometers giving the Clubman Plug-In Hybrid the ability to be in 100% electric mode for the majority of day-to-day trips that don’t involve high speeds. What’s more interesting, BMW has created a boost function that could be thought of as DRS or a “Push to Pass” system. It gives the petrol engine a sudden boost of power for what BMW calls “highly dynamic acceleration maneuvers” – BMW’s words, not ours. With this system the power is made available “spontaneously and without delay”. The best part? The maximum torque of 200 N-m is available from standing.
The hybrid system’s lithium-ion battery can be charged at any 220 volt household power socket. Time for a full charge hasn’t been published yet nor has time to charge from higher voltage sockets.
Regenerative power can be drawn from both axles of the BMW Concept Active Tourer and fed back into the lithium-ion battery so as to enhance the efficiency of the plug-in hybrid. While the electric motor automatically recuperates maximum energy at the rear axle during deceleration, a high-volt generator connected to the combustion engine additionally charges the battery whenever needed. Naturally we expect that same tech to make it to production.
Hybrid Drive with Intelligent Energy Management
As part of the BMW Group’s typical Efficient Dynamics strategy, the hybrid system will use data provided by the navigation system, calculating in advance the most suitable sections of the route and driving situations in which to apply electric drive or charge the battery. This optimized charging strategy saves up to 10% of energy so as to extend the amount of travel time during which the vehicle runs on electrical power alone.
Additionally the default ECO PRO mode aims to maximize range in all-electric mode, something that is achieved by minimising the energy consumption of the ancillary units. To this end, ECO PRO mode will reduce the output of the air conditioning and other electrically operated comfort-enhancing functions when appropriate. If MINI uses the functionality that is found on BMW’s electric i3, ECO PRO could also provide driving tips, and the Bonus Range Display shows how many additional miles can be added to the car’s range by keeping to the fuel-economy-maximising ECO PRO mode on. Additionally MINI will likely use the i3’s Proactive Driving Assistant that works with the Nav to anticipate local conditions and send the driver tips to prepare for the situation ahead. In that car ECO PRO Route also plays its part in minimising fuel consumption by setting out the most efficient route based on volume of traffic, personal driving style and local conditions.
When and How Much?
The MINI Clubman Hybrid will likely debut around the same time as the Clubman itself, in the second half of 2015. It’s unclear what MINI will name the system and what the model will be called. However it’s clear that the Clubman Hybrid will sit atop the model range in price given its combination of extra tech, performance and extreme efficiency.
As always, stay tuned to MotoringFile for more on MINI’s first hybrid. It’s not too early to get excited.
(Photos showing the a hybrid system accompanying this article are actually those of the BMW i8 which has a similar drivetrain albeit mid-engined powering the rear wheels.)
Written By: Gabe
Sort by MINI model
- BMW Introduces 360-degree Collision Avoidance & Fully-Automated Parking
- Woofcast #533: Thank you Japan
- MINI Undecided on Producing the Rear Wheel Drive Superleggera Roadster
- BMW Group’s DriveNow Launches in London
- EVO Reviews the F55 Cooper S (Video)
- Woofcast #532: The Alfa Romeocast
- US Customs Destroys a Gorgeous Classic Mini to Protect US Citizens
- MINI’s 3 Cylinder Wins Wards Engine of the Year Award
- MINI Extends Dakar Rally Commitment until 2017
- MINI Superleggera Patent Drawings Surface
MotoringFile on Instagram
- Video Profile: 1970’s BMW Designer Paul Braq
- Options of the Future – What to Expect on 2016 & 2017 BMWs
- BMW Introduces 360-degree Collision Avoidance and Fully-Automated Parking
- Former BMW Factory Driver Hand Heading to Ford
- The Best Car Review Ever Written is About the BMW 2002
- BMW Group’s DriveNow Launches in London
- The 2 Series Coupe Gets the MINI 3 Cylinder Among Other Upgrades
- 2015 BMW 6 Series and M6 Mega Gallery
- World Premier: the Refreshed 2015 BMW 6 Series & M6
- Worldwide BMW Sales for November Hit Record High
- The 2StrokeBuzz 2014/2015 Cold Weather Challenge
- Honda Recalls 10,000 Grom and Forza Models For Fuel Pump Issue
- Report Predicts Bright Future for Electric Maxi-Scooters, 3-wheelers
- Video: MotoGeo Rides the Vespa 946
- Opinion: If I were Scomadi
- Ride the Brickyard at Amerivespa 2015
- Comparison: Vespa Primavera 125 vs. Peugeot Django 125
- Video: Scomadi Turns to Crowdfunding to Accelerate 300cc Model Production
- Video: Vespa Assembly Segment from How It’s Made
- Video: One Vespa Leads To Another
MINI Model Cheat Sheet
R50: One & MC Hatch
R52: All 1st Gen MINI Convt.
R53: MCS Hatch
2nd Gen MINI
R60: MINI Crossover
R61: MINI Crossover Coupe
3rd Gen MINI
F55: Five Door Hatch
F60: MINI Crossover
Advertise with MotoringFile
MotoringFile Buyers GuidesR50 ('02-'06 MC) Buyers Guide
R53 ('02-'06 MCS) Buyers Guide
'12 JCW Coupe
'11 Fiat 500 Sport
'11 Tesla Roaster 2.5 '11 Countryman Comparo
'11 Cooper S Hatch
'11 Countryman MCS (FWD)
'11 Countryman MC (auto)
'10 Mayfair MCS (auto)
'11 Countryman MCS (ALL4)
'10 MINI E
'10 Tesla Roadster Sport
'09 Cooper S Convertible
'09 JCW Hatch
'09 JCW Clubman
JCW Stage I vs JCW Stage II
'08 Clubman S (Auto)
1st Drive: '08 MINI Clubman
'08 Smart Fourtwo
Comparison: '08 BMW 135i
'06 R53 MCS vs '07 R56 MCS
'07 R56 JCW (Stage 1)
'07 MINI Cooper S Long Term
'07 BMW Z4 M Coupe
'07 MINI Cooper & Cooper S
Audio: '07 MC/MCS at the Track
'06 JCW GP Long term
Reader Review: JCW GP
'06 JCW Cooper S Long Term
Comparison: '06 Lotus Elise
Comparison: '06 Mazda MX5
Comparison: '06 UK Focus ST
Comparison: '06 Civic Si
Comparison: '04 TVR T350
Comparison: '06 Nissan 350z
Comparison: '06 VW GTI w/DSG
Podcast: Cooper S Auto
Podcast: BMW 325i
Podcast: JCW MC Soundkit
'04 JCW MINI Cooper Tuning Kit
'05 MCS: One Month Review
'05 MCS Auto
'05 JCW S 1st Drive
'05 MINI Cooper
'05 MCS Conv. Long Term
'05 MINI Cooper S
'05 MCS Cabrio 1st Drive
'04 JCW MCS First Drive
'04 MC w/JCW Tuning Kit
BMW M3 SMG Vs. MCS
'04 MINI Cooper CVT
'02 MCS 3 year Review
Autocrossing the MINI Range