Mini is a bit of a misnomer when you look at certain models from their stable. Sure, you still get the regular Hatch which is (relatively) compact. But then they have whoppers like the Countryman and the decidedly strange Paceman.
The Clubman is a little easier to understand, with its wagon-esque virtues, decent rear load section and handy fridge-like doors. Mini took the wraps off the latest iteration this week. Interestingly, they claim to have derived inspiration from the shooting brake body format for this new model.
Compared to the outgoing model, the new Clubman is 27 centimetres longer, 9 centimetres wider and has had an extra 10 centimetres added to its wheelbase. The luggage compartment volume is rated at 360 litres, which extends to 1250 litres with the seats folded down.
Inside, things are pretty much as you’d find them in the current Mini Hatch. That signature circular display still dominates the fascia and houses the Mini’s digital interface. There is a vast array of upholstery colour choices and trim items. You can even specify an Excitement Package, which throws in LED interior ambient lighting, plus a projection of the Mini logo from the side mirrors – like a Range Rover.
It’s obligatory that Mini talks about that “go-kart” feel with the release of any new model. And they’re still adamant that this handles with the nimbleness we have come to expect. Although they also claim that the Clubman has the highest level of ride comfort ever experienced in a Mini…
Our market is likely to receive two engine choices. First up is the 1.5-litre, three-cylinder turbocharged petrol mill that debuted with the launch of the Hatch last year. It produces 100kW and 220Nm of torque.
Next up is the S model, powered by a 2-litre, four-cylinder mill with 141kW and 280Nm of torque – or 300Nm thanks to an overboost function. The new Mini Clubman will go on sale in South Africa early in 2016.