The Mini Clubvan concept has been unveiled at the Geneva motor show, five years after the Mini Clubman went on sale.
The Mini Clubvan concept is an extremely straightforward Clubman derivative. The Clubman’s side windows have been replaced with polycarbonate panels and the load bay has been moderately increased in size.
It is described by BMW as a ‘compact lifestyle van for business and leisure – the first concept of its kind in the premium segment’. The elegantly sign-written exterior was created for BMW by the real Hugh Buckingham of Southport.
The Clubvan is a strict two-seater. The Clubman's rear seats and false boot floor have been removed. In their place is a continuous, deeper load bay with six load attachment points and 12V charging sockets. The rear doors are very darkly tinted. Inside, the only significant addition for the concept is a bespoke aluminium and stainless steel load bay partition to protect the driver.
Even though the Clubman is 240mm longer than the Mini hatch and its wheelbase is 80mm longer, the production version of the Mini van will not be a capacious commercial vehicle. Seats down, the Clubman has a maximum load capacity of 920 litres. Even allowing for the lower load floor, the van’s capacity is not expected to be much above 1200 litres.
Although BMW hasn’t officially said that the Mini van will go into production, it is expected to arrive in showrooms later this year. At around the same time, Mini’s Oxford factory will begin to undergo extensive retooling – the first overhaul since 2000 – in preparation for the introduction of the all-new Mini.
However, it is expected that a number of Mini models based on the current platform will carry on in production until at least 2015, including the Roadster, Coupé, Clubman and Clubvan.