MINI’s new Clubman is finally here, and as hinted at by last year’s Clubman concept the second-generation model is both bigger than the one it replaces and much more premium. The move makes sense as there’s now the Hardtop 4 occupying the spot where the former Clubman sat. There’s still a split tailgate but the signature suicide-style single rear door has been replaced by two conventional doors, meaning the new Clubman has six doors in total.
Vehicle length measures in at 168.3 inches, and inside there’s seating for five adults. Compared to the outgoing model, there's an extra 10.9 inches in length (wheelbase is up by 4.0 inches) and 2.9 inches in width. This translates into extra space for passengers as well as storage. The luggage compartment has a volume of 17.5 cubic feet, which can be extended to as much as 47.9 cubic feet by folding down the rear seats.
In the powertrain department, you have the same options as the MINI Hardtop and Hardtop 4. Base Cooper variants get a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine delivering 134 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque (169 lb-ft with overboost function), while the sportier Cooper S variants get a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 189 hp and 206 lb-ft (221 lb-ft with overboost) on tap. Further down the track, a more potent John Cooper Works model packing at least 228 hp and 236 lb-ft will be launched.
The standard transmission is a six-speed manual but buyers can opt for an automatic: a six-speeder in the Cooper and an eight-speed ‘box in the Cooper S. This is the first time that an eight-speed transmission is being offered in a MINI. It allows the Cooper S Clubman to reach 60 mph from rest in about 7.0 seconds and max out around 140 mph. The Cooper Clubman accelerates from 0-60 mph in 8.9 seconds and has a top speed of 127 mph.
Underpinning the new Clubman is the front-wheel-drive UKL platform that the BMW Group is adopting for most of its compact cars found in the BMW and MINI lineups, and while there’s been no mention of an all-wheel-drive system we expect MINI’s familiar All4 all-wheel drive to be available as an option at some point. Electronic power steering is fitted as standard, along with additional chassis technology including multi-link suspension and available adaptive dampers. There’s also MINI’s Driving Modes chassis system that lets you adjust a number of settings from an eco mode to sports.
The new MINI Clubman will go on sale early next year, as a 2016 model. Pricing will be announced following the car’s auto show debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September. To see what else will be at the German show, head to our dedicated hub.