BMW is reviving a classic name for the new variant of the Mini announced in Europe this week.
But the vehicle using the Clubman name is a very different one from the original, bluff-nosed version of the 1970s. For a start, it’s got five doors.
The new Clubman, at least in appearance, has more in common with the old Mini Traveller van/station wagon than the two-door 1970s sedan.
Its key feature is what BMW calls the Clubdoor.
Open the driver’s door, (on left drive cars) then open the rear-hinged Clubdoor, to enter a rear cabin which offers greater legroom and headroom for rear occupants.
The roofline extends beyond the rear doors to form an integral spoiler.
The rear styling is defined by the vertically split doors complete with chrome handles and equipped with a wiper apiece to ensure rearward visibility.
The wide-opening doors ensure easy rear loading.
Standard luggage capacity of 260 litres increases to 960 litres of space with the rear seat backrest folded. When folded and teamed with an optional folding floor section, it provides a long, flat load bed.
As an option there is also a safety net separating the luggage area from the passenger compartment.
The upper section of the C pillar cover is swathed in a shield of contrasting trim, and there are vertically stacked taillights.
BMW says the new Clubman offers an “up-to-date interpretation of traditional shooting brake concepts – a sporty two-door car with a practical luggage area.”
It says the car is a successor to three classics, the Morris Mini Traveller, the Austin Mini Countryman, and the Mini Clubman Estate.
The new Clubman goes on sale in Germany on November 10, exactly 51 weeks after the introduction of the new R56 Mini.
It will be powered by the same engines offered in the R56 Mini Hardtop.
Equipped with a twin-scroll turbocharger and direct petrol injection producing a maximum output of 128kW at 5500rpm, and 240Nm of torque between 1600 and 5000rpm (260Nm with overboost), the Cooper S Clubman is the most powerful.
The Cooper Clubman’s naturally aspirated engine produces 88kW at 6000rpm and peak torque of 160Nm at 4250rpm.
Each model has a standard six-speed manual gearbox. A six-speed automatic with manual mode is an option.
The Clubman is 240mm longer than the Mini hatchback and has an 80mm longer wheelbase.
Mini Clubmans will be available in more than 40 exterior colour combinations.
Clubman customers can choose their own interior design, combining four interior colours and five Colour Line variants.
Seats are available in cloth upholstery, a cloth/leather combination, full leather or the premium Leather Lounge, complete with contrasting piping and fluted panels. Cloth/leather and full leather come in a wide variety of colours.
Interior trim options include English Oak or glistening Piano Black paint.