The MINI Clubman concept has landed in Geneva. And while we’ve seen plenty of photos and heard all about the details we haven’t really given you a good look at the car until now.
The Exterior – what’s Concept and What’s Production?
If you’ve been following MF for the past year, nothing here should be a surprise. The size of the car (4223 mm, or 5″ longer than the Countryman) is key, as are the four forward-opening doors we’ve been telling you about. The front is taken directly from the F56 (with some concept bits added on for good measure) and the rear is 100% production with the exception of the latch.
One detail that is particularly interesting is the similarity of this concept to the design sketches we saw just before the F56 was released last year. If we had to guess (and make some slightly informed assumptions) we’d say that this might be an early look at the LCI (the “life-cycle refresh” or “impulse” in BMW-speak) for the F5X cars due out in 3-4 years. One key aspect of the design that gives this away is the attention to detail of the ducting around the front wheels. These create the air curtain (again BMW-speak) that improves airflow around the wheels to decrease drag. The amount of engineering that goes into something like this indicates that these are a feature we’ll see headed to production at some point.
What about the color? Our sources tell us that the unique color for the F55 won’t be the burgundy you see here, but a new dark blue called Lapisluxury Blue which looks very similar to the revised Rocketman concept blue from a few years back.
The Interior: What’s Concept and What’s Production?
The Clubman will carry over some of the F56 interior design but will tweak the overall look and functionality of the dash and center console. What we see here gives us some clues as to how that will eventually play out.
What about the rear and the legroom? We won’t have specific details, of course, until we see it in person but our sources have called it better than the R60 Countryman in every way.
We expect the F55 four door hatch to debut later this summer followed by the convertible in the spring of 2015. That would mean the Clubman concept you see above should hit dealers in production form in the latter half of 2015 as a 2016 model.
Check back for more on the F54 Clubman as we’ll have hands-on impressions and plenty more details in the coming days and months.