After years of seeing various Mini models stickered and modified by every type of business from Red Bull to real estate agents, Mini has decided to launch an official commercial vehicle. If the Ford Transit Connect is just too much vehicle, but the smart fortwo too teenie or weenie, perhaps the Mini Clubvan, based on the Clubman wagon, will be the right fit for small jobs and small packages. Then again, with the rear seats removed and the entire rear of the ‘van opened up for cargo through its barn doors, it could likely deliver mini-fridges and junior-sized furniture in addition to regular parcels. It also retains its convenient side “Clubdoor” for quick access from a different angle.
I wouldn’t entirely trust that all trims (you can forget about the diesel…) and features will be available for the Canadian market, and only UK prices have been announced, starting in the neighbourhood of CDN$20,000, with an array of typical Mini luxury features available as add-ons.
Full press release from Mini follows.
London, England – Making its global premiere at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the world’s first premium compact delivery van has five doors, but only two seats. That means outstanding levels of practicality and storage, making it the perfect new member of the team for any business with an eye for style.
Key to the Clubvan’s appeal is its spacious load bay. It extends from the wide-opening double doors at the back of the vehicle to a sturdy internal bulkhead immediately behind the driver and passenger seats. That’s made from a solid aluminum lower section with a steel mesh upper, and stowed cargo can also be accessed through the two rear doors or via the Clubdoor on the driver’s side.
The blocked-out rear side windows are body-coloured and feature interior polycarbonate reinforcement. Combined with tinted glass in the rear doors, it means the load compartment is both secure and concealed from prying eyes.
Inside, the cargo area stretches back 115 cm and, even at its narrowest point just behind the rear doors, is 102 cm wide. With the bulkhead to protect the driver and/or passenger, it can be loaded right to the roof which measures 84 cm at its highest point. That means 860 L of space and a maximum payload capacity of 500 kg.
The load floor is completely flat for ease-of-use, and both it and the side walls are trimmed in high-quality upholstery. Above, an anthracite roof liner runs the full length of the vehicle. Six heavy duty attachment loops are recessed into the floor at the sides to help prevent cargo from moving around in transit, while multiple 12-volt sockets can be used to power electrical equipment.
In common with all MINIs, the Clubvan will offer owners outstanding driving dynamics. Featuring powertrain and chassis technology from the Clubman, it comes with powerful and efficient four-cylinder engines. Three versions will be available; the 98 hp MINI One Clubvan, the 122 hp MINI Cooper Clubvan and the 112 hp MINI Cooper D Clubvan. All come with MINI’s familiar front-wheel-drive set-up, Electric Power Steering, MacPherson strut front suspension, multi-link rear suspension and powerful brakes. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, but an optional six-speed automatic transmission is also available.
Standard features include Auto Start/Stop, Shift Point Display, Brake Energy Regeneration and on-demand operation of ancillary units. These will help business users keep a tight rein on fuel consumption and offers exceptionally low running costs. For example, the MINI Cooper D Clubvan offers official combined fuel economy of 72.4 mpg, meanwhile CO2 emissions of just 103 g/km put the vehicle into an exceptionally low tax bracket.
Built in Britain at Plant Oxford, the Clubvan is true to the now-familiar MINI design language and features the same classic lines that have become the hallmark of the brand. Based on the Clubman platform, its exterior dimensions are identical to those of its sibling. It’s 3,961 mm long, 1,683 mm wide and 1,426 mm high, with a wheelbase of 2,547 mm. The Clubvan is the seventh unique member of the MINI family, selling alongside the Clubman, Hatch, Convertible, Countryman, Coupe and Roadster.
It is the first commercial vehicle to be offered since the MINI brand was relaunched under BMW’s ownership in 2001. Because of that classification business users can claim back their certain taxes.
The newcomer’s heritage can be traced back to 1960, when the original Mini—launched a year earlier—was joined in showrooms by the Morris Mini Van. With an extra 10 cm in the wheelbase, closed-off load compartment and split rear door, it offered exactly the sort of workhorse capability that urban commercial users of the time required.
The new Clubvan is bringing that tradition of MINI practicality right up to date, while adding the brand’s modern values of outstanding driving performance, high standard specification and exceptional style. The Clubvan comes with much higher specification than any comparable van in the segment with items such as satellite radio, air-conditioning, electric windows, anti-theft alarm and side and head airbags included as standard.
The MINI Clubvan is available in four exterior colours—Pepper White, Ice Blue, British Racing Green metallic and Midnight Black metallic. The roof, rear side window area, C-pillars and exterior mirror caps are body-coloured on all versions. The standard 15-inch Delta-spoke alloy wheels, which are exclusive to the MINI Clubvan, can be replaced by alternative 15-, 16- or 17-inch alloy wheel designs.
Inside, black seats with Cosmos fabric upholstery, a black interior colour scheme and Fine White Silver trim strips are standard. The specification has been carefully considered to be in keeping with the functional and practical character of the vehicle. However, the interior can be customised to suit individual requirements. Options include black sports seats, which are available in Ray Cloth/Leather, Punch Leather or Lounge Leather.
Like every other MINI, the Clubvan can be personalized from the brand’s extensive range of optional extras. These enhance comfort, convenience, driving enjoyment, safety and practicality. Expected to prove popular are xenon headlights, black headlight shells, adaptive headlights, automatic climate control, park distance control, automatically dimming interior and exterior mirrors and a trailer hitch. The optional MINI navigation system, as well as MINI Connected, with the Google send to car service will keep the Clubvan heading in the right direction on its delivery runs.
The MINI Clubvan brings a new blend of sophistication and style to the business sector. Its blend of practicality and premium features means commercial customers could include caterers, event planners, small retail businesses or photographers. However, it will also appeal to some drivers with outdoor-based adventure hobbies such as cycling or mountaineering, where high-value equipment needs to be kept secure.