MINI Clubman to Feature BMW’s Air Curtain Technology

Last year MINI showed us the thinly vieled Clubman concept that gave us an excellent view of the 2016 model. The new Clubman will be the largest MINI to date and feature a full six doors (four full doors plus two barn doors). It will also have a number of features not seen on MINIs to date including a patented BMW aero technology called “Air Curtain.” Together with the “Air Breather” the system reduces drag on the bodyshell in a very simple, but extremely effective way.


Two narrowing channels guide the airstream through the front apron and past the wheels. This reduces the air turbulence in the wheel housings, which decreases fuel consumption and in turn CO2 emissions. A further benefit of the Air Curtain is that it contributes to improved cooling of important vehicle components.

The second part of the system is the “Air Breather” which helps to reduce the drag associated with the wheel housings and wheels (which generates approx. 30% of the vehicle’s entire aerodynamic drag). The Air Breather is an air outlet behind the front wheel that lowers turbulence in the wheel housings and breaks down the air swirls that form there. It channels the air current on the front wheels and thus not only reduces the air flowing into the rear section of the wheel housings – but also the adverse effect of negative pressure on the side walls. As a consequence, the aerodynamic drag is lowered while fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are also effectively reduced.

The 2016 MINI Clubman will begin production this summer with an internet debut happening in June. The public debut should take place at the Frankfurt Motorshow this September with sales in Europe beginning around the same time. North American sales should start shortly afterwards.


In the US the Clubman will be available in Cooper and Cooper S variants at launch with additional models will be added the following years:

  • Cooper/Cooper S Start of Production: July 2015 (EOL June 2022)
  • Cooper/Cooper S ALL WHEEL DRIVE Start of Production: March 2016 (EOL June 2022)

We also expect MINI to release a US diesel variant with an engine designation of B47C20O0. That’s the same designation used for the Euro-spec Cooper SD. The 2.0-litre four-cylinder produces a healthy 266lb ft. (maximum torque is available from just 1500rpm) and 170 hp. On the UK cycle the Cooper SD gets an astonishing 70.6mpg. Expect something in the 40-50 mpg range from the EPA. Unfortunately, all wheel drive might not be available with the diesel engine.

As far as we know a plug-in hybrid version of the new Clubman is still in the cards, but stay tuned as we gather more information on the topic. There’s a chance it may be Countryman only.

For more on the Clubman (and the rumored 300 hp AWD JCW version) check out the MotoringFile Clubman section.


Top photo courtesy of

  • John McLauchlan

    Good catch. It was very noticeable on the Concept, however this is the first time we’ve seen it this clearly on a pre-production test car.

    Fingers crossed for an AWD JCW Clubman in fall of 2016.

  • Jason

    Could not be happier that it made its way to the production car. One of my favorite features of the concept.

  • b-
    • The bumper above is the MCS version. That front end may be similar to the Cooper.

      • Creed Cate

        MCS bumper with MC hood, strange…

        • The Cooper will be a more classic look I’m sure. So it’s just a guess that the concept may be closer to the Cooper since ts a simpler look as compared to the MCS above.

      • hemisedan

        That front end looks really nice, and keeps the MINI look.

        • ulrichd

          I wonder if that front end bolts on the F56.

        • It’s based on the larger version of the UKL platform therefore it’s wider.

  • Anything in the rumor mill about a JCW Clubman, or is this likely to be more of a “lounge model”?

    • John McLauchlan

      MINI has put the JCW badge on every body style since 2001. I’d be very surprised if they didn’t put one on the new F54 Clubman too. The have a motor capable of producing a reliable 320hp, so it only seems fitting to put that to use on the upcoming AWD JCW Clubman and Countryman JCW with All4.

      Just speculating, but consider it an educated guess 😉

      • Nick Dawson

        The Golf R has been such a gargantuan global success since its European launch last spring, that VAG is now considering an ‘R’ version across the entire VW range, to include even the Tiguan! MINI must do likewise to be competitive.

  • chris94602

    I wanted to hate it since I’m about to pay off my clubby….

  • other Jason

    Has MINI green lighted a Cooper Clubman AWD?

    • According to our sources yes. But nothing is concrete that we’ve seen.

  • Nick Dawson

    And, it would appear, F60 Countryman

    • I’d guess that once this is on one car, it will be on all. Efficiency will demand it.

  • planeguy96

    Just as long as there are not any fake scoops I will be happy

    • Jason

      Don’t get your hopes up, they’ve been there ever since the R56 debuted in 2007.

      • planeguy96

        Indeed, and it’s not a coincidence that i am still in a r53. The clubman is the best chance mini has to get the looks right.

  • Nick Dawson

    I have attached the latest spyshots of an F54 Clubman S, undergoing final winter testing before production starts this summer.