As with the old Clubman, the rear eschews the conventional tailgate of other modern Mini models for a pair of barn-style doors featuring a prominent chrome opening mechanism. The vertically stacked tail lamps of other Mini models are also replaced by horizontal units, providing the new car with added visual width.
At 4253mm in length, the new Clubman is a significant 293mm longer than its predecessor. Width and height are also increased by 115mm and 16mm at 1800mm and 1441mm respectively. To put the wholesale increase in exterior dimensions into perspective, the latest Mini is 158mm longer, 10mm wider and 119mm lower than the largest of the existing Mini models, the Countryman.
Despite the adoption of hot-formed, high-strength steel within its body structure, the larger dimensions bring an increase of 155kg in kerb weight to 1300kg for the Cooper Clubman derivative.
Inside, the Clubman receives a new-look cabin with its own uniquely styled dashboard, an electronic handbrake and new controls, including the BMW-style rotary controller between the front seats, as featured on the latest Mini.
The design is more cohesive than that of other Mini models, while retaining traditional elements such as the large centrally mounted round binnacle. It is also a lot roomier than that of the old Clubman, with wholesale increases in accommodation as well as improved stowage.
The more functional nature of the new Mini is also reflected in the size of its boot. It has grown by 100 litres to a nominal 360 litres – 150 litres more than the hatchback and 10 litres more than the Countryman. A 60:40 split fold rear seat comes as standard. When the rear seats are folded away, the Clubman provides 1250 litres of luggage space.
The initial engine range for the new front-wheel drive Clubman includes two turbocharged direct injection petrol and a single turbocharged common-rail diesel, a line-up that mirrors that of the third-generation hatchback upon launch last year.
All engines come mated to a standard six-speed manual gearbox, with either a six- or new eight-speed automatic gearbox with steering wheel mounted shift paddles available as an option. All feature automatic stop/start and brake energy recuperation as standard, with the eight-speed automatic adding a coasting function that idles the engine on a trailing throttle at speeds between 19mph and 62mph for added fuel savings.
Opening proceedings is a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine with 134bhp in the Cooper Clubman. In standard manual guise it boasts an official 0-62mph time of 9.1sec, a 127mph top speed, combined average consumption of 55.4mpg (claimed) and average CO2 emissions of 118g/km.
The performance leader of new line-up is the Cooper S Clubman, which receives a 2.0-litre four-cylinder producing 189bhp. It is claimed to reach 62mph in 7.2sec, a top speed of 142mph while returning 45.6mpg and 144g/km on the combined consumption cycle.
The 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel serves up 148bhp in the Cooper D Clubman, which has a 0-62mph time of 8.6sec, 132mph top speed, 68.9mpg combined consumption and average CO2 emissions of 109g/km.
Further engines are planned, including a 168bhp version of the turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel in an upcoming Cooper SD Clubman model and a 228bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit in a future Cooper S Clubman John Cooper Works range-topper.