Today the last MINI Clubman was produced at the Oxford Plant in the UK. It’s a significant milestone as the final production run of the MINI Clubman concludes 55 years since its inaugural debut in 1969. And it’s a sad day for the fans of the modern Clubman – a car we’ve often praised as the best MINI made today.
Due to moderate sales and a world that can’t get enough of small crossovers, there simply wasn’t room in MIIN’s product mix for the wagon-like Clubman. Beloved for its mix of utility and performance, the Clubman has become a cult favorite for the brand. Despite the passion of from owners, there wasn’t enough to save it as MINI plans to down on crossovers with its next generation of cars.
Distinguished by its unique styling and iconic rear split doors, the MINI Clubman has maintained global recognition but never quite achieved the sales success hoped for. In fact outside of the Japanese market, it never achieved sustained sales volumes that MINI had targeted.
With the Clubman ending production at Oxford, the plant now has additional space for other product lines including the forthcoming F67 MINI Cooper Convertible.
We are incredibly proud to have built the MINI Clubman at Plants Oxford and Swindon over the last 18 years for customers all over the world. With its departure, we look ahead to welcoming members of the new MINI family to our Oxford and Swindon lines, including a new convertible model which we will start to produce at the end of this year.”Dr. Markus Grüneisl, CEO of Plants Oxford and Swindon
Having produced over 1.1 million MINI Clubman models, with half originating from MINI Plant Oxford and exported to more than 50 countries, the Clubman has left an indelible mark on roads globally, with Midnight Black emerging as the preferred exterior color in the UK.
As we bid farewell to the Clubman, we reflect on its iconic history, tracing its lineage back to the classic Mini Clubman of the early 1960s. Introduced as part of the British Motor Corporation’s initiative to streamline the Mini portfolio, the Clubman’s distinct design, longer chassis, and barn-style rear doors set the stage for its enduring legacy.
The rebirth of the MINI Clubman in 2007 after a 25-year hiatus marked a significant moment in its evolution. Retaining signature styling elements, such as the split rear doors, engineers at MINI Plant Oxford faced challenges in integrating modern features, including the unique Clubdoor for easy rear passenger access.
In 2013, inspired by the Morris Mini Van, MINI introduced the innovative Clubvan, the world’s first premium compact delivery van, catering to businesses with its spacious cargo area and flat floor.
The original Clubman was a bit divisive. With the third door on the wrong side for right-hand drive markets, it was looked at as the “other” MINI even but the brand’s own marketing. While we loved the concept, it never really jelled for us as it felt too close to the R56 and didn’t find the sweet spot that the F54 ultimately did in terms of utility and performance.
The third generation in 2015 brought further refinement, featuring four full-sized doors, a capacious boot with up to 1,250 liters of capacity, and the introduction of an 8-speed Steptronic transmission. The Clubman ALL-4, MINI’s first all-wheel-drive model, debuted in 2016. Then with the Clubman’s LCI came the 306 hp Clubman JCW. With a conservative 0-60 time of 4.6 seconds and a top speed limited to 155 mph, it will likely be the fastest ICE power MINI of all time.
The culmination of the Clubman’s journey came in 2023 with the launch of The Final Edition, a tribute limited to 1,969 units, commemorating the year of the original Clubman’s launch. This model featured distinctive design elements, including a Shimmer Copper radiator grille and side scuttles.
Having tested and driven every MINI made since 2001 we don’t shy away from picking favorites. And the F54 MINI Clubman (especially in JCW guise) is at the very top. So much so that we’ve ordered one of the last ones to roll off the assembly line. And since it’s been a few years since we had a Clubman JCW as our daily, we are revisiting it in a three part series. The first was taking a Cooper Final Edition on a road trip through the Austrian Alps and a record snow storm. The second was testing a Clubman JCW on the mountain roads of South Carolina. The third and final test will happen shortly after we take delivery of our very own Clubman JCW.
So the Clubman isn’t gone from these pages and certainly not from the MINI community. It’s only going to be a bit more rare.