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Clubman-Based MINI Cargo Bound For Geneva Motor Show: Report

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2011 MINI Cooper Clubman Hampton SD

2011 MINI Cooper Clubman Hampton SD

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MINI looks set to expand into the lucrative commercial vehicle segment with a new cargo hauler based on its long-wheelbase Clubman model.

MINI is reportedly looking to preempt the arrival of the Fiat 500 ‘Giardinetta’ wagon by launching its new Clubman variant at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show in March.

Unlike its Fiat rival, the Clubman variant will be aimed at businesses and accordingly will be fitted with the usual fixtures found on commercial vehicles.

According to an article posted by Auto Motor und Sport, which was first picked up by World Car Fans, the new Clubman variant will be called the MINI Cargo. It will essentially be a Clubman with the rear seats removed, replaced instead by a flat loading floor, as well as blacked out rear windows.

Designed to go head-to-head with other compact commercial vehicles, such as the popular Ford Transit Connect and Fiat Doblo (another commercial vehicle heading to the U.S.), the new MINI Cargo will be aimed at small scale delivery services such as those required by florists or pizza business.

We wouldn’t be surprised if an all-electric version is also launched further down the track to lure small businesses looking to curb ever-increasing gas bills.

For our ongoing coverage of the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, click here for our dedicated show page.
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Comments (2)
  1. It's hard to imagine a Mini as any type of commercial vehicle, but if they can pull it off, more power to them.
    Regarding this statment:
    "We wouldn’t be surprised if an all-electric version is also launched further down the track to lure small businesses looking to curb ever-increasing gas bills."
    This doesn't seem feasible for a delivery company that would likely need to drive more miles in 8-10 hours than existing battery technology would allow. Maybe, if/when an exchangeable battery cell is introduced, then an all electric vehicle would be feasible for commercial vehicles. Unless of course there is an existing, long range battery pack out there that I'm not aware of..
     
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  2. For most businesses you're probably correct, though there is a demand for electric commercial vehicles, particularly in Europe, which is why we've seen automakers like Ford and Mercedes-Benz roll out production and prototype versions in the past 12 months.

    http://www.motorauthority.com/news/1042479_2010-chicago-auto-show-2011-ford-transit-connect-electric-taxi-live-photos

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vito_E-Cell
     
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