The Mini brand first introduced the Clubman station wagon in 2007, the model was positioned as a Mini Cooper variant, however, compared with the three-door hatchback, the “shed” is 240 mm longer and its wheelbase is 80 mm longer. The current second generation Clubman appeared in 2015. Now the company is thinking about changing the generation of the car: it is expected that this Mini will become a crossover.
This is reported by the British Autocar with reference to the chief brand designer Oliver Heilmer. Apparently, this decision was caused by a drop in brand sales in the US market: in January-November 2019, Mini sold a total of 33 855 cars, which is 17.2% less than a year earlier. Presumably, this is due to the fact that the American brand line has only one crossover – Countryman, while local customers consider it too small for the price dealers are asking for it. By the way, its indicators also decreased, and even more noticeably: in the first 11 months of this year, the cross sold 13 346 cars (-18.6%). At the same time, the Clubman station wagon with a result of only 3242 pcs. immediately lost 21.1% over the same period.
Now the length of the six-door station wagon is 4275 mm, which is 38 mm less compared to the related crossover (they have one wheelbase – 2667 mm), width – 1801 mm (20 mm less), height – 1440 mm (117 mm less) . At the same time, the minimum price of Clubman Cooper S in the USA is $ 30,900 (which is equivalent to 1.93 million rubles at the current rate), and the cost of Countryman Cooper S starts at $ 31,900 (1.99 million rubles).
It is still unknown whether Clubman will make such a crossover that will become noticeably larger in size than (in order to separate them into different segments). Or the Clubman station wagon will be turned into a compact SUV, while the current Countryman cross will have to grow significantly in size.
Oliver Heilmer has not yet confirmed information about the future new crossover of the brand, which, according to the head of the Mini, Bernd Kerber, will be larger than Countryman and will probably receive the revived name Traveler (the brand produced the Morris Mini Traveler wagon in 1960-1969: it was created on the base of a conventional hatchback, but had a wheelbase extended by 102 mm and a length of 245 mm). Earlier it was reported that the new cross will receive the UKL2 platform developed by BMW, while there will be versions with internal combustion engines, as well as completely electric. Perhaps the “rosette” SUV will share the “stuffing” with the next-generation BMW i3.
But other words of the brand leader – regarding the dimensions of the three-door Cooper – the chief designer of Mini supported. In any case, he confirmed that this issue is being discussed. The fact is that with each change of generation the hatchback grew in size, so now it has gone quite far from its original compact size. So, in the “first” hatch, the distance between the axles was 2,470 mm, in the “third” – 2,495 mm; length increased from 3,630 to 3,821 mm. A new generation that promises to become smaller is likely to appear in a few years.
Recall that in the summer of this year, Mini introduced its first mass electric car. It was created based on the Mini Electric concept, which the British showed in 2017. From the show car of the product model, only the rims and a yellow strip with a badge in the form of a plug on the plug installed instead of the radiator grill got.