Here’s the best sneak peak yet at the upcoming MINI Clubman. We recently aquired an official MINI Clubman sketch based off of the production car that will be debuting later this year. But we weren’t going to simply pass it along untouched. Instead we’ve colorized the sketch to correspond with what our sources are telling us will be an optional silver roof and silver boot section (the outter corners around the lights).

We’ve also included a bit of updated Clubman information taken straight from our “MINI’s Future Models Revealed” story that has also just been updated with new details on several upcoming MINIs. Enjoy!

As first reported on MotoringFile, the Clubman will feature around 18 inches added to an R56 chassis (8″ within the wheelbase, 10″ behind it) along with a right side suicide “coach” door. The door will open to allow easier access to the rear seats making the MINI much more small family friendly.

The coach door’s handle will only be exposed when the front right door is open and will be on the right side of the car in all world markets. The Clubman will seat five (yes, three in the rear seats) outside the US market and feature some extra storage features not seen on the coupe. Expect US versions to make due with a two seat configuration similar to what is found in the current coupe.

Unlike the R56, the longer R55 will come standard with a space-saver spare tire on some models. However when the car is equipped with runflats, there’s an additional bit of hidden storage space below the boot (similar to what is found on the current BMW 3 Series wagon).

The boot will see unique, wide-opening rear barn doors with dual wipers and two chrome handles in the center that come together when closed. Like the Traveller concepts, the rear lights will be built on the body rather than the doors. This will allow the doors to be hinged on the edge of the car giving greater access to the boot – similar to what was shown on the Traveller concept a cars in Geneva, Detroit, etc.

Production schedule

* July/August 2007: Clubman pictures and information made available to the press
* August 2007: Clubman enters full pre-production at the Oxford Plant
* Early September 2007: Clubman makes it’s public debut at the Frankfurt Motorshow
* Late Fall (Nov/Dec): Clubman goes on sale in Europe/UK
* February 2008: Clubman goes on sale in US market

For Clubman production, MINI will roughly follow the same timeline it used for the R56 as seen above. That means R55 will enter major production some time in August of 2007. Look for these early cars to be mostly made of press and demonstration cars. Judging from how R56 production was handled, look for customer cars to start to be produced in October and November for a UK and European launch in November of 2007. The US launch will follow in February of 2008.

The European public debut is scheduled for the Frankfurt Motorshow in early September with the North American most likely debut set for Detroit in early 2008. Look for official images and specifications to be released in late July or early August with the first European press drives of production spec cars happening in October.

The R55 should go on-sale in the UK and Europe late in the fall. In the US, expect a February debut similar to that of the R56 – which had a February on-sale date.

When the Clubman hits the production line full-time later this fall, there will be one R55 produced for every four R56s.

The final version of MINI’s new shooting brake will be available in five models;

– 95 bhp Clubman One
– 110bhp/180lb ft of torque Clubman Diesel
– 120 bhp Clubman
– 175 bhp Clubman S
– 220+ bhp JCW Clubman S

Mid-cycle refresh

Expect many of the same improvements found in the mid-cycle refresh of the R56 in the R55 most likely in late 2008 or early 2009..