Get used to it. Chances are this won’t be the last time you hear the name.
Several sources are now telling us that MINI is very close to finalizing use of the Clubman moniker with the 2008 long wheel base MINI. While there are some copyright issues to deal with, we’re told they are tame in comparison to the ones that “Traveller” would entail.
For those know a thing or two about MINI history, Clubman might not seem like an appropriate name at first for an extended wheelbase MINI (aka the R55). However Rover did produce a Clubman Estate which does give the name some historical relevance. Originally the Mini Clubman was intended to replace the up-market Riley and Wolseley versions. The Clubman versions offered better crash safety, more equipment, and engine access, but were decidedly more expensive. Ironically the flatfront Clubmans were discontinued in 1980 in favor of the Austin Metro while the classic round Mini shape continued on until the year 2000.
For those curious about all those great recommendations MotoringFile readers gave MINI on potential names, we’ve been promised that they were indeed read by quite a few folks at MINI. Whether or not anything from the comments were actually considered we don’t know. Nevertheless the suggestions are a great read and a good example of the general creativeness of MINI owners. You can check out that story and the comments (all 183) here.
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[ The Mini Clubman History ] Unofficial Austin Rover Resource