When Mini unveiled its Clubman-based Clubvan concept at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, we fully expected that the vehicle would make the move from concept to production line - not only because it filled a growing niche for compact commercial delivery vehicles, but also because Mini has a recent history of taking its concept cars into production. True to form, the company has now announced three different Clubvan models that will be hitting showrooms later this year.
An evolution of the Morris Mini Van that was launched in 1960 with a closed-off load compartment, split rear door and wheelbase extended by 10 cm (3.9 inches) compared to the original Mini that had launched just a year before, Mini calls its Clubvan the first premium vehicle in the small car-based van segment.
Intended for both upmarket commercial delivery applications and those whose lifestyle sees them carting around leisure equipment rather than ankle-biters, the Clubvan features the same dimensions as the Mini Clubman, but with the rear seats replaced by a flat loading floor with six recessed attachment loops for securing cargo and 12-volt sockets for powering electrical equipment. Cargo can be accessed through the wide-opening split rear door or via the right-side Clubdoor.
The partition behind the front seats features a solid aluminum lower section and a stainless steel mesh upper section that allows loading right up to the roof. The cargo area measures 115 cm (45.3 in) long and 102 cm (40.2 in) wide at its narrowest point, providing a total of 860 liters (227 US gal) of space and a maximum payload capacity of 500 kg (1,102 lb).
The cargo area’s loading floor and side walls are trimmed with high-quality carpeting, with an anthracite roof liner also running the length of the vehicle. The opaque rear side windows are the same color as the body of the vehicle and reinforced with polycarbonate, while the tinted glass windows in the rear doors keep the load compartment concealed.
The front-wheel drive Clubvan features electric power steering, MacPherson strut front suspension, multi-link rear suspension, Auto Start/Stop, Shift Point Display, Brake Energy Regeneration and on-demand operation of ancillary units to keep fuel consumption down. The three Clubvan models are all powered by four-cylinder engines.
The entry-level Mini One Clubvan sports a 1.6-liter engine with fully variable valve timing that produces a maximum output of 72 kW/98 hp and propels the vehicle from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 11.1 seconds, on the way to a top speed of 185 km/h (115 mph). Its average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle is 5.5 liters per 100 km (51.4 mpg imp), with CO2 emissions of 129 grams per kilometer (4.5 oz per 0.62 miles).
The Mini Cooper Clubvan boasts a bit more pep, with an engine producing 90 kW/122 hp that takes the car from 0 to 100 km/h in 9.8 seconds, on the way to a top speed of 201 km/h (125 mph). However, it retains the same fuel consumption and CO2 emission figures of the One Clubvan.
The Mini Cooper D Clubvan is the third and most fuel-efficient model. Its four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine with common rail direct injection delivers 82 kW/112 hp and can take the vehicle from standstill to 100 km/h in 10.2 seconds, on the way to a top sped of 197 km/h (122.4 mph). Its EU fuel consumption is 3.9 liters per 100 km (72.4 mpg imp), with CO2 emissions of 103 g per kilometer (3.6 oz per 0.62 miles).
All three models come with a six-speed manual transmission as standard, while the Cooper D Clubvan also offers the option of a six-speed automatic transmission.
Mini offers the three models in a choice of four exterior shades: Pepper White, Ice Blue, British Racing Green metallic and Midnight Black metallic. They come standard with 15-inch wheels, which can be replaced with a choice of 15-, 16-, or 17-inch alloys with Mini Clubvan Delta Spoke styling.
The interior sees a black color scheme with Fine White Silver trim strips and black seats with Cosmos fabric upholstery as standard, although black sports leather seats, alternate trim strips and a leather-trimmed instrument panel are among the interior customization options. Other options include xenon headlights, black headlight shells, Adaptive Headlights, Automatic Climate Control, Mini navigation system, Mini Boost CD radio, Mini Visual Boost radio, Park Distance Control, automatically dimming interior and exterior mirrors and a trailer hitch.
Mini will have its Clubvan models in European showrooms this northern autumn. Pricing details are yet to be announced.
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