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.
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