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MF Exclusive: Photos & Details on the 2015 MINI Convertible, 2015 Five Door Hatch & 2016 Clubman

F57_F54_F55_MOTORINGFILE

Behold, our first view of the 2015 F57 MINI convertible, 2015 F55 Five door hatch and the upcoming 2016 F54 Clubman. The photo, taken this week at the Nurburgring where the trio were undergoing suspension evaluation, shows us just how much larger the new Clubman will be next to the standard MINI and the new five door hatch. Also noticeable is the different design of the Clubman S front bumper as compared to the other two cars (both Cooper S models). And those changes are just the start. Lets take a closer look at each car, the changes we’ll see and exactly when we’ll see each in showrooms.

F55_Motoringfile

The 2015 MINI Five Door Hatch

The long awaited five door hatch is based on the F56 through and through. And yes that means the front end will be carried over 100% unchanged. While both the wheelbase and overall length is longer, both cars should be identical in almost every other dimension. This will provide the F55 with similar performance while offering much greater flexibility. The general size is meant to go head to head with such cars as the five door VW Polo and five door Ford Fiesta in Europe. In the US where the market is a bit more complicated, MINI sees it lining up against everything from similar sized four doors to bringing in customers who have out-grown their current R50/53 or R56.

Inside we’ve been told to expect rear legroom to increase about 5 cm as compared to the F56. Unlike the F56, the F55 will offer a three person bench seat (like the Countryman and Clubman in some markets) likely as standard in Europe. It’s unclear if the US will get this option due to rear seat size requirements (insert fat American joke here).

As you can see in the photo above, the rear will be slightly raked as the extra 5 cm of legroom will push the boot out slightly. In total the F55 will likely be at least 5 cm longer than the F56 hatch. On the roof the R55 will feature a more subtle version of the Clubman’s “dune-line” roof profile to further distinguish it from the F56.

In many ways this is the spiritual successor to the current R55 Clubman more than the F54 Clubman will ever be.

Engines

The F55 will carry over the same range of engines as seen on the F56. That means in the US we’ll see Cooper and Cooper S models while Europe and much of the rest of the world will get the full range o diesels and the entry level MINI One. While we ultimately we expect MINI to offer a diesel in the US, it’s unclear if the F55 will be one of the cars to get it.

Production Schedule

We should get a sneak peek of the F55 in early June with a full debut sometime in July. Expect sales to begin early this fall with the car hitting US showrooms in late fall.

F57_motoringfile

The 2015 MINI Convertible

The 2015 MINI Convertible looks to be exactly what we expect – a roof identical to the previous generation added to the F56’s mix of new engines, tech and of course entirely new design inside and out. However MINI has done much more here than simply cut the roof off. As with all the previous convertibles expect a host of structural reinforcements to reduce body flex.

Also as expected the convertible will carry over the F56 front and rear design we saw introduced in late 2014. Look for MINI to revise this with the planned late-2016 LCI (mid-cycle refresh) in time for the 2017 model year.

Engines

Unsurprisingly F57 will launch with the same engine range seen on the F56. There was some hope we’d see the introduction of the new 9 speed automatic in conjunction with the F57 but it’s unclear if that will happen then or with the full LCI (mid-cycle refresh) of the full range in late-2016.

Production Schedule

Look for the Convertible to debut sometime late this fall or early winter. With the F55 taking center stage in the fall and the JCW hatch being shown in Detroit this January, it’ll either debut in LA or perhaps even as late as Geneva in late February. Either way expect F57 to hit showrooms next spring.

F54_motoringfile

The 2016 MINI Clubman

The highly anticipated Clubman doesn’t look so big or that different here next to the five door hatch. Yet it will pack substantially more features and a host of design changes and refinements. At the core of this is a widened and lengthened version of BMW’s UKL chassis that underpins all MINIs and front wheel drive BMWs. This extra width and length will make the Clubman the largest MINI to date and pack in a ton of utility in the process.

While the entire car is wider (noticeably so), the nose from the bumper up looks to be very similar to that of the F56. Perhaps the biggest news here is that we see a deviation from both the concept’s bumper design. What this looks like to is is a reinterpretation of the current F56 design made less jarring. It also would appear to follow the concept by adopting BMW’s air curtain and air breather system.

F54_motoringfile_detail

Contrary to what we first thought, the height of the car is clearly not that far afield of the standard F56 or the F55 five door.

According to sources, the rear will feature a large MINI logo as the door handles for the boot. The handle will split when opened creating a trick looking logo that will be hard to miss.

Inside the new Clubman things get really interesting. The extra width has allowed MINI designers to take a fresh look at the interior add a few features not found in the F56. To start with the dashboard is completely different than the F56 and features four square air vents rather than square and round combination currently used. The middle console houses different HVAC controls and a toggle design that is recessed more than the F56.

There’s also a real center console that allows for heating and cooling vents to fit between the front seats and aim at the rear passengers. And speaking of those passengers, the extra width allows for a true three person bench seat – decidedly wider than the current Countryman or the upcoming F55 five door hatch.

With the Clubman, MINI will also introduce an option all digital instrument package that replaces the analog dials in front of the driver. While it’s unclear what MINI will offer in the way of features, you can imagine that the options are limitless.

Engines

While the F54 will launch with the now expected three and four cylinder engines seen on the F56, there will be a new variation thrown into the mix. As we exclusively reported earlier this year, MINI will debut an all wheel drive plugin hybrid Clubman that should offer incredible efficiency ratings.

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.

For a full report (and details on the hybrid’s push to pass system) be sure to check out our exclusive courage on the new hybrid Clubman.

Production Schedule

With MINI debuting the Convertible in late fall or early winter, we’d expect the Clubman to be shown in early spring sometime either at Geneva, New York or even Shanghai. Production should begin in early June 2015 with the F54 hitting showrooms in Europe that same month and in the US sometime in July.

Written By: Gabe

  • Evan

    I’m still really liking the new Clubman. It’s essentially a MINI Touring.

    Where will the Clubman be built? Holland? I’m assuming they’ll build the F55 and F57 in Oxford since they are closest to the F56.

    Keep the news coming!

    • http://bridger.us/ Gabriel Bridger

      The F56 and perhaps F57 will be built in Holland later this year. Ultimately all MINI production should be between Oxford and Holland with the next gen Countryman moving from Austria. Not sure on te F54 yet but I know the F55 will be built in Oxford.

      • BimmerFile_Michael

        And Mexico :)

      • Allknowing

        F54 is Oxford bound. F57 Holland only. Rest is correct.

        • http://bridger.us/ Gabriel Bridger

          That was the original info we had. Glad to hear that.

        • Bob Hayhurst

          Ha!! Welcome to the fray… :)

  • minicooperracer

    Did you notice the JCW just to the right of the pic? Just a sliver but cannot wait to see the JCW 5door….

    • http://bridger.us/ Gabriel Bridger

      Its a R56 GP that the test drivers were using as a high performance benchmark. Good sign.

  • Dusty

    Apparently MINI still has not heard. The new F56 S front end is UGLY, HOMELY. The MINI Vision Concept front end is COOL. The new Clubman concept was debuted with the Vision Concept front end, though appears to be losing it’s coolness fast. No matter, I’m not buying another MINI anyhow.

    • Speck

      Tell us how you really feel

    • walk0080

      I agree – F56 S ugly front-end but MINI doesn’t care so long as it sells. Maybe the JCW will look better. Not that it matters, I expect my next 2-door to be something like an M2… but I hope to never sell my R56 JCW if possible.

    • Jason

      Apparently that doesn’t stop you from spewing vitriol all over MINI articles though.

      • Kev50027

        Because they own one and are a stakeholder in the company maybe? Everyone is entitled to their opinion.

      • F56Hideous

        The F56 Police are out in force making sure nobody says anything bad about them.

        • Jason

          Just tired of unnecessary hate being thrown around on every. single. article.

          We get it, you don’t like the F56. We don’t need to be reminded of it every single time one is ever mentioned.

  • Nick Dawson

    There are three things in this world that are certain

    1. Death
    2. Taxation
    3. F55 will be MINI’s best selling model
  • Herr26

    The MINI Clubman Concept is around 95% the production car. There are a lot of features that can be made out in the spy photographs such as the Concepts air breather integrated into the front wheel arch and the PACEMAN like rear light units. There is subtle changes at the front end to accommodate the extra width but overall it is identifiable with the F56.

    MINI in Munich have just signed off some of the MINI YOURS options for the new Clubman and if you want to you will be able to make your Clubman extra special, ivory White leather , special wood and a good balance of chrome detailing.

    On the German Car Zone I have included some Clubman with the doors open pictures and a more accurate rendering. Feel free to use.

    • b-

      Link?

      • Link Assist ™
        • Nick Dawson

          Thank you for the link. Love the ‘L’Automobile’ spy shot of the F55 ‘S’ in BRG, with white roof. Looks so much better balanced, to my eyes, than F56.

          F54 would be nice to upgrade to, in due course, after the HP9 gearbox comes on stream, but in the meantime, I shall be more than happy with an F55.

        • Allknowing

          No HP9 gearbox for foreseeable future. But a DCT…

        • Nick Dawson

          How long is foreseeable?

          We already know that BMW is next in-line for the HP9 gearbox, to use in the third gen FWD 1-Series and second gen FWD 2-Series.

        • Allknowing

          2017 (2018my) if MINI have it. Or a 7spd DCT. Basically LCI

        • Nick Dawson

          I would seriously question that BMW will use a seven-speed DCT in any of its cars, including MINIs. Volkswagen has confirmed that it is developing a ten-speed DSG, and Hyundia/Kia are doing likewise. BMW would be grossly uncompetitive if it went with a 7-spd DCT. Rumour has it that Countryman 2 will be the first MINI recipient of the HP9.

        • http://bridger.us/ Gabriel Bridger

          Agreed. I heard it was considered at one point for the UKL launch but they wanted to wait for the HP9

        • Allknowing

          I hope your right. But so far there has been no agreement that any Oxford based MINIs will get the HP9.

  • Herr26

    The Hybrid clubman will share the same drive train as the BMW 223e Active Tourer BMW 323e and BMW X1 23e xDrive and eventually a MINI countryman.

    • scd

      What is the thinking behind the 23e designation (versus 25e or 25i eDrive etc…)? Is the 6-cylinder plug-in hybrid going to be the 40e ?

      • Herr26

        Yes the imminent X5 eDrive model will be designated the X5 xDrive40e. And it is essentially the production version of the Concept X5 eDrive.

        BMWe is to BMWi on what BMW M Performance is to BMW M. A sub-brand within a sub-brand addressing customer demands for concepts that stretch out with the core BMWi Sub-Brand in other words electrification of existing BMW concepts.

        The pinnacle of BMWs eDrive models is still to come in the guise of the next generation 7er. A preview concept will launch but is very much what will be coming to the production car , including Active aero and Carbon fibre wheel rims on top of other weight saving features already on the standard 7er.

        Of course the MINI brand will receive CFRP sooner rather than later but limited to a Performance model only with some exterior panels and drivetrain features to be of CFRP to identify Performance and lightweight.

        Rolls-Royce have now signed off the next Phantom’s architecture with an aluminium chassis with CFRP load bearing section. The frame structure architecture is Fabricated from CFRP.

    • Allknowing

      F54 Clubman Hybrid?? This will not be launched until at least LCI. F60 Countryman will be available with Hybrid. Herr26 I think your loosing your touch.

      • Herr26

        Apologies sometimes I do not know my Countryman from my Clubman.

        • Allknowing

          What department do you work in then? Roughly. To see CAD drawings of the ‘finished’ models, and be able to view the early cars, you must work at the FIZ, or you have friends who do. If you do work for BMW you probably don’t deal with the MINI side of things much. The F codes can be a bit confusing at times.

        • Herr26

          I am at the FIZ but work within a variety of sites including the off sites that are more creative outposts for marketing etc to get away from the car world – this is how i3 and i8 were conceived.

          I get to see some aspects of the design stages where I can give an informed opinion but do not follow through on the stages of design so I can give a statement of what I had seen at that moment whether here it is final or still in competition.

          Recently I seen the new small MINI inherited by the Rocketman concept in which an announcement will happen later this year but it looks like 3dr and 5dr will be offered. Due to the current MINI maturing and being no longer a teenager.

          After taking i3 and i8 to production reality the department I am in are now heading up the VFL project which composes of the next 7er , X7 and the proposal for the 9er as illustrated by Vision Future Luxury – they are really serious about a 9er. That car is all about using a different narrative than say the upcoming extended S-Klasse. We could have made a 7er XLi but Mercedes are doing that with the S-Klasse therefore repeating the same mistake with the Maybach. We are responsible for the communicating of the lightweight factors and the use of composites into the marketing message.

        • Allknowing

          That sounds like a nice area to work in. I visit the FIZ every few months, easy to get lost there. The new 7 series is really nice. I’m involved with bringing the new components and systems to MINI in Oxford.

  • Kev50027

    Ouch. I love reading this site but sometimes it can be difficult because of grammatical errors. Reading your post before publishing might help, Gabe. Thanks for the info though, keep up the good work.

    • http://bridger.us/ Gabriel Bridger

      Instead of randomly mentioning things in comments try using the contact form. This post was proofed by two people so if something got missed it would be great to have specifics.

  • Bubbleboy76

    Is the glass roof different on F55 versus F56? Looks more “panoramic”, does it not?


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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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