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Welcome to the Clubman

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2008 MINI Clubman Photo: Rick Dole
By Mike Meredith
More room and versatility for fans of the premium small car.
Click image to enlarge
2008 MINI Clubman Photo: Rick Dole
2008 MINI Clubman Photo: Rick Dole
Click image to enlarge
2008 MINI Clubman Photo: Rick Dole
2008 MINI Clubman Photo: Rick Dole
Click image to enlarge
2008 MINI Clubman Photo: Rick Dole
2008 MINI Clubman Photo: Rick Dole
Click image to enlarge
2008 MINI Clubman Photo: Rick Dole
2008 MINI Clubman Photo: Rick Dole

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Following a year of record sales, MINI is surely set to continue that trend with the addition of the larger and more versatile MINI Clubman.

 

Sales for the only premium car in the small car segment in the U.S. were up seven percent for 2007 and the Clubman is expected to add to those figures.

 

It is 9 inches longer than the MINI Cooper with a 3.2 inch longer wheelbase but is still designed to have the same go-kart-like handling and signature MINI styling.

 

The additional length provides 32 cubic feet of cargo space when the rear seats are folded down and three extra inches of rear-seat legroom.

 

The rear hatch is replaced by distinctive split rear doors to add versatility and the rear doors open with the aid of gas struts. On the passenger side, a second rear-hinged door is added to improve access to the rear seat.

 

Powering the Clubman is a 118-horsepower 1.6-liter engine while the Cooper S Clubman has a turbocharged 172-horsepower 1.6-liter engine. Fuel economy with the 6-speed manual transmission is 28/37 city/highway for the Cooper Clubman and 26/34 city/highway for the Cooper S Clubman.

 

The suspension of the Clubman is tuned specifically to give the same driving experience as the other MINI versions. The Clubman also receives the same Electrical Power Assisted Steering that adds to the efficiency by using electric power only when required.

 

Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG Sales and Marketing Stefan Krause told journalists the next model planned is a MINI crossover. No further details were given, but Krause did say that the vehicle will deliver the same driving fun and go-kart-like feeling but with additional functional features.

 

Scheduled to go on sale on February 16th, the Clubman will start with a base price of $20,600 (including destination charge) and $24,100 for the S Clubman.

 

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