Our good friends at Leftlane News have some new and rather revealing photos of the 2008 extended wheelbase MINI Clubman. The photos show a car that is very near production form and with a minimum of camouflage.
The details shown in the photos back what we have been reporting for many months here on MotoringFile. Key elements include:
1) Rear passenger “coach door” appearing only on the right side of the vehicle (in all markets).
2) Roof with two subtle ribs running the length, much like the Frankfurt Concept. These will be used for a roof rack system similar to that seen on BMW wagons and SUVs.
3) Rear “barn doors” with their two rear wiper blades.
4) Rear doors that have a more traditional hinge design (compared to the parallelogram design used in the Concepts). While they will have a traditional hinge, the doors will have cutouts in them to clear the license plate mounting in the rear bumper cover. Sadly from the pictures, it appears there will be a common license plate notch to accept both North American and European size plates.
Expect to see the Clubman debut sometime late this summer with official production to start in August or September for an early fall launch in the UK. The US will get the car around February of 2008 (similar to the R56 launch).
With the Oxford Plant now officially producing Clubman prototypes, we also expect to see quite a few production ready spy photos popping up over the next few months.
[ 2008 Clubman Spied ] Leftlane News