Mini is doing what others fear – cutting down disappointing models – and taking the brand more upscale. And they’re also not so mini anymore, with the Clubman signaling a dimensional expansion as well.
Mini has delivered its latest creation, the new generation Clubman as a new five-passenger, four-door model that touches the compact class, also promising a more upscale interior and previously unseen features such as remote power operation for the two vertically split doors that form the tailgate. “The Clubman will be Mini’s flagship,” comments Mini vice president David Duncan. “It’s larger and more premium.” The switch will become obvious once the British brand, owned by Germany’s BMW AG, the largest premium automaker in the world, would be offered throughout showrooms in Europe and the US. It’s at least a foot longer than the current Clubman and the new model comes with a host of new features and premium materials that are designed to appeal to affluent customers.
For years, Mini has revolutionized the car market, both on the European continent and in the US as it proved pricey subcompact models can sell well if they deliver looks, handling and spectacular fuel efficiency. “A lot of times, people don’t shop Mini because they think the cars are too small. With four full-size doors and two split rear doors, the Clubman can carry a family every day,” adds the executive, saying which is the No.1 deterrent to shoppers interested in the Mini brand. The drive to appeal to new buyers will continue with the brand focusing on the core hatchback model, for the first time also offered in a normal five-door version, the Clubman and Countryman SUV, ditching the Mini Cabrio and Coupe models.