2007 Tokyo Motor Show: MINI Introduces Clubman to Asia - VIDEO ENHANCED
SEE ALSO: MINI Buyers Guide
TOKYO - October 25, 2007: MINI, the world-famous premium manufacturer, celebrated a very special debut in Asia yesterday at the 40th Tokyo Motor Show, with the new MINI Clubman to be admired for the first time in the capital city of Japan from 26 October – 11 November 2007 at the Makuhari Fairgrounds.
Approximately one year after the launch of the new model generation, MINI is enlarging its model range by an equally innovative and irresistible car concept scheduled for introduction in the Japanese market in February 2008.
The MINI Clubman, through its truly surprising design, stands out clearly from conventional concepts and categories. Unmistakably a MINI from every angle, the five-seater MINI Clubman, through its unique rear end and exceptional proportions, captures maximum awareness right from the start.
Clearly MINI, irresistibly innovative.
The unique character of the MINI Clubman is obvious at first sight. The roofline of the car extends across all three pillars, merging smoothly into the striking rear section where the innovative, two-piece split-door with its two halves opening to either side sets not only an optical highlight through its frame in contrasting colour.
The generous luggage compartment may be further extended in flexible configuration, offering very easy and convenient loading options thanks to the two rear doors.
A further important point is that the MINI Clubman is entering the market as a five-seater, the passengers at the rear enjoying 80 millimetres or 3.15┤┤ more legroom than in the “regular” MINI. Access to the rear “lounge” is facilitated by an additional door, the Clubdoor hinged at the back on the right-hand side of the car.
Through its diversity alone, the MINI Clubman provides an up-to-date interpretation of traditional shooting brake concepts incorporating the smooth flow of the rear section and the steep rear end to highlight both the car’s sportiness and function.
All this makes the MINI Clubman the modern successor to three legendary classics, the Morris Mini Traveller, the Austin Mini Countryman, and the Mini Clubman Estate, thrilling customers side-by-side with the original Mini, the grandfather of all compact cars, back in the 1960s.
Debut with three engine variants
The MINI Clubman will be entering the market with three engine variants: Powered by a 1.6-litre four-cylinder with twin-scroll turbocharger, direct gasoline injection and maximum output of 128 kW/175 hp at an engine speed of 5,500 rpm, the MINI Cooper S Clubman will immediately move right up to the top of the new model series. The MINI Cooper Clubman, in turn, benefiting from its 88 kW/120 hp 1.6-litre four-cylinder developing 88 kW/120 hp at 6,600 rpm and featuring fully variable valve management, offers superior driving pleasure and convincing economy at all times.
The MINI Cooper D Clubman stands out as a particularly efficient performer, offering fascinating traction and pulling force as well as extremely low fuel consumption and exemplary emission management.
Accordingly, the MINI Cooper D Clubman also offers average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle of 4.1 litres/100 kilometres (equal to 68.9 mpg imp) and CO2 emissions reduced to just 109 grams per kilometre – record figures unmatched by the competition even throughout the broader segment.
All power units represent the most advanced state-of-the-art in engine technology based on the outstanding competence in development of the BMW Group. And naturally all of these power units benefit from all the improvements introduced in the 2008 model year for further reduction of fuel consumption and emissions, including Brake Energy Regeneration, the Auto Start Stop function, and a gearshift point indicator.
Extroverted design and five doors in brand-new configuration.
The new generation of the MINI is the only small premium car in the world to combine the fascinating flair of unique design with incomparably agile driving characteristics, quality and safety of the highest standard, a wide range of options in customising the car, and exemplary efficiency.
And now the MINI Clubman adds further significant facets to this diversity, offering 24 centimetres or 9.45┤┤ more body length and its wheelbase extended by 8 centimetres or 3.15┤┤ in the interest of extra space at the rear.
One of the absolute highlights in this context is the innovative door concept of the MINI Clubman, making this unique car a very special five-door model, with the conventional driver’s and front passenger’s door supplemented by an additional rear-hinged door on the right-hand side of the car and the two wings of the split-door at the rear. Indeed, this two-piece rear door offers a highly interesting re-interpretation of an authentic detail already boasted on the MINI’s classic forerunners.
Featuring an additional door on the right-hand side opening against the direction of travel and allowing very comfortable and convenient access to the rear seats, the MINI Clubman also extends a warm welcome to the rear-seat passengers right from the start when entering the car. For reasons of safety, the rear door at the side can be opened only when the front door is open – again a particular feature which adds to the special looks of the car, since the Clubdoor, as it is called, does not require a door handle outside and thus blends harmoniously and almost invisibly with the body of the MINI Clubman.
Hinging right at the outside, the rear doors of the MINI Clubman – the so-called split-door – open up to the left and right, offering comfortable and convenient access for all your shopping or bulky goods and equipment such as sports gear. To load smaller objects, in turn, it is quite sufficient to open just the right-hand side of the split-door.
Although the MINI Clubman comes with either four or five seats as an option, offering the passengers at the rear exceptionally generous legroom, the luggage compartment, measuring 260 litres or 9.1 cubic, is most spacious even without the rear-seat backrest tilted down.
Folding down either in part or completely from one side to the other, the rear-seat backrest, together with the completely flat luggage compartment floor available as an option and the generous height provided within the luggage compartment, gives the MINI Clubman additional variability and freedom for the driver and passengers.
A slight elevation, the so-called Dune Line, extends back on both sides from the A- to the C-pillars along the entire length of the roof, giving the roofline an exciting look of tension and power and raising the level of the car’s flanks by approximately two centimetres. The highest point is above the B-pillar, helping to give the new MINI Clubman very well balanced and flowing proportions also from the side.
On all model variants the roof flows into a discreet air spoiler at the rear end of the car, combining design and sophisticated aerodynamics to provide a particularly aesthetic and appealing touch.
Modern interpretation of a classic concept
In its split-door configuration, the MINI Clubman brings back memories of its famous predecessors: the Austin Mini Countryman, the Morris Mini Traveller, and the Mini Clubman Estate sold very successfully between 1960 and 1982.
Particularly the first two of these classic models were indeed the source of inspiration for the MINI Clubman, which nevertheless in all its details offers state-of-the-art technologies and features for the 21st century.
The MINI Clubman is reminiscent of its classic forerunners also in terms of design. But where once a wooden frame and open hinges characterised the rear end as optional features, the surfaces of the doors now merge perfectly with the C-pillars for supreme streamlining and a harmonious rear end. Enhanced by the colour scheme, the C-pillars take up the flair of the classic rear-end construction, the C-pillars on the MINI Clubman being accentuated together with the bumper by a contrasting paint scheme, interacting to give the car a truly striking graphic look at the rear. The colour of this rear door surround is the same in each case as the colour of the roof, which comes in standard on the MINI Clubman in either Black non-metallic or Pure Silver metallic.
As an option the MINI Clubman is also available with the roof finished in body colour, in which case only the C-pillars including the upper section of the bumpers are finished in contrasting Silver or Black paintwork, thus maintaining the striking look of the rear door frame on all versions of the MINI Clubman.
Enhanced function, driving characteristics typical of MINI
MINI has developed this new variant for the active and truly passionate individualist wishing to consciously stand out from the mediocrity so common on our roads today. Precisely this is why this sporting and charismatic car offers new and flexible options in interior use and practical value. But at the same time, despite its longer wheelbase and the body overhang extended to the rear, the MINI Clubman retains the “stance-on-the-wheels” concept so typical of the MINI with its short overhangs. The car’s driving characteristics, in turn, are truly fascinating and full of agility, offering that legendary go-kart feeling inseparably linked to the MINI brand ever since the early days of the MINI.
In a configuration tailored specifically to the MINI Clubman, the chassis and suspension developed for the new MINI generation guarantees superior handling safe and sporting at all times. On the front axle McPherson spring struts ensure excellent wheel guidance, keeping the steering smooth and responsive wherever you go, unaffected by the power of the engine both on winding roads and when accelerating or applying the brakes.
The central-arm rear axle, in turn, benefits from the full competence of the BMW Group in state-of-the-art development. This is indeed a structure quite unique in the MINI segment, offering optimum road contact at all times thanks to its elaborate, sophisticated kinematics.
Aluminium longitudinal arms help to optimise the car’s weight, while anti-roll bars additionally promote the safe handling of the MINI Clubman.
Reflecting the extra power of the car and its enhanced performance, the suspension set-up on the MINI Cooper S Clubman is even more sporting and dynamic than the sports-oriented suspension of the MINI Cooper Clubman and MINI Cooper D Clubman, all model variants maintaining their substantial safety reserves even when driven to the absolute limit.
The new MINI Cooper Clubman and the new MINI Cooper D Clubman come as standard on 15-inch wheels, while the MINI Cooper S Clubman features 16-inch rims with runflat tyres allowing the driver to continue even after a complete loss of tyre pressure.
EPAS Electrical Power Assisted Steering gives the driver exact feedback on road conditions and the current driving situation, the steering remaining sporting and direct at all times, with power assistance geared to road speed.
A further advantage of Electrical Power Assisted Steering is its weight far lighter than a conventional steering system, as well as the steering function geared to current demands in order to save energy: The electrical servo motor is activated only when power assistance is required or desired by the driver.
The sports-oriented suspension of the MINI Clubman is supported by a highly efficient and powerful brake system featuring highlights such as anti-lock control (ABS), Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), Cornering Brake Control (CBC) and Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) including hill start-off assistance all coming as standard. The Brake Assistant on the new MINI recognises emergency application of the brakes and immediately builds up maximum brake pressure whenever required to keep stopping distances as short as possible.
The power units: maximum efficiency in three power stages
The MINI Clubman stands out from the start not only through its unique concept and extroverted design, but also through exceptionally attractive power units. Indeed, the three high-tech engines developed specifically for the new generation of the MINI guarantee unique driving pleasure combined with remarkable efficiency at all times. And all the power units featured in the MINI Clubman naturally come as standard with all new technologies introduced in the 2008 model year for maximum reduction of fuel consumption.
These intelligent technologies serving to maximise the engine’s efficiency allow an appropriate reduction of fuel consumption and, at the same time, a further increase in driving pleasure. A very good example in this context is Brake Energy Regeneration, energy management ensuring that the output coming from the engine is converted primarily into drive power, with electricity being generated for the on-board network only when the car is rolling freely in overrun or during application of the brakes. To achieve this effect, the alterČnator is automatically disengaged from the engine while under power, that is when accelerating and pulling the car. Accordingly, the power the alternator would consume and take away from the car in the conventional mode now remains fully available for even faster and more dynamic acceleration.
An adequate supply of electric energy to the on-board system is nevertheless ensured at all times, since the alternator is activated again as soon as the MINI returns to overrun or the driver applies the brakes.
The new Auto Start Stop function on all manual gearbox versions of the MINI Clubman serves to effectively shorten idle speed phases while the engine is running: Whenever the car comes to a stop at a road junction, for example, Auto Start Stop automatically switches off the engine as soon as the driver shifts to neutral and takes his foot off the clutch pedal. Then, to re-start the engine, all the driver has to do is press down the clutch pedal again, the engine starting automatically without the slightest delay.
Auto Start Stop serves to optimise fuel efficiency above all in city traffic, helping to reduce fuel consumption accordingly.
The gearshift point indicator in the MINI Clubman provides additional support in the
process of reducing fuel consumption and emissions:
Benefiting from this function likewise featured as standard, the driver of a manual gearbox MINI Clubman is able to constantly focus on the most efficient style of motoring, the electronic engine “brain” permanently analysing engine speed, driving conditions and the position of the gas pedal, and calculating the most efficient style of motoring for the respective gear selected by the driver. As soon as a shift in gears would appear appropriate under such driving conditions, an arrow symbol appears in the Cockpit Display beneath the rev counter, with the ideal gear being shown as a number.
Shifting gears is without doubt a thrilling experience in the top model of the new series, the MINI Cooper S Clubman. Boasting a 1.6-litre four-cylinder power unit developing maximum output of 128 kW/175 hp at 5,500 rpm with the help of a twin-scroll turbocharger and direct gasoline injection, the MINI Cooper S Clubman offers maximum torque of 240 Newton-metres or 177 lb-ft all the way from 1,600 to 5,000 rpm, with a further brief increase to an even more significant 260 Newton-metres or 192 lb-ft by means of the Overboost function.
On the road, this accelerates the MINI Cooper S Clubman to 100 km/h in just 7.6 seconds and gives the car a top speed of 224 km/h or 139 mph.
The MINI Cooper S Clubman offers not only impressive performance, but also an exceptionally good balance of driving pleasure and economy, with average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle of just 6.3 litres/100 kilometres, equal to 44.8 mpg imp. And at the same time the MINI Cooper S Clubman has a CO2 emission rating of 150 grams per kilometre.
The balance of performance and fuel economy is equally impressive on the MINI Cooper Clubman, its four-cylinder normal-aspiration power unit likewise displacing 1.6 litres featuring fully variable valve management developed on the basis of the BMW Group’s VALVETRONIC system.
Maximum output of this innovative, high-tech engine is 88 kW/120 hp at 6,000 rpm, with maximum torque of 160 Nm or 118 lb-ft at 4,250 rpm.
With this kind of power, the MINI Cooper Clubman accelerates to 100 km/h in 9.8 seconds and has a top speed of 201 km/h or 125 mph. And with average fuel consumption in the EU cycle of 5.5 litres/100 kilometres, equal to 51.4 mpg imp, and a CO2 emission rating of 132 grams per kilometre, the car sets the standard among all gasoline engine models in its class.
The 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel in the MINI Cooper D Clubman, finally, offers outstanding efficiency all round, at the same time providing maximum output of 80 kW/110 hp at an engine speed of 4,000 rpm.
The technical highlights of this new diesel engine exceptionally light thanks to its new aluminium structure include innovative direct injection based on the common-rail principle as well as a turbocharger with variable turbine geometry for optimum power and performance in all speed ranges.
An Overboost function in the MINI Cooper D Clubman also ensures a particularly powerful and dynamic response to the accelerator, providing exactly the same effect as on the particularly sporting and dynamic MINI Cooper S Clubman: Overboost briefly increases maximum torque from 240 to 260 Newton-metres (177–192 lb/ft) between 1,750 and 2,000 rpm.
The new MINI Cooper D Clubman accelerates to 100 km/h in 10.4 seconds and has a top speed of 193 km/h or 120 mph. At the same time it combines this dynamic character with exemplary fuel economy, average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle amounting to just 4.1 litres per kilometre or 68.9 mpg imp. And last but not least, the CO2 emission rating is extremely low at just 109 grams per kilometre.
Engine power is once again conveyed to the front wheels in that typical MINI style. In addition, the MINI Cooper S Clubman, MINI Cooper Clubman, and MINI Cooper D Clubman are all equipped as standard with a six-speed manual gearbox, six-speed automatic transmission coming as an option on each of these three model variants.
Unique, characteristic design with striking MINI features
The three versions of the MINI Clubman are identical in their design and body structure to the MINI Cooper, MINI Cooper D and MINI Cooper S up to the B-pillar, all the classic design icons of the MINI being highlighted appropriately also on the MINI Clubman. At the front end of the car these include the characteristic, large round headlights, round positioning lights, and the hexagon radiator grille. Further distinctive features are the diagonal engine lid joint and the side direction indicators so typical of the MINI.
A chrome band extending round the entire car at shoulder level is to be admired also on the MINI Clubman, resting directly on the doors at the rear end of the car. Measuring the same in width and hardly any higher than the “regular” MINI Hatch, the MINI Clubman with its low-slung overall look and compact proportions creates the same nimble and dynamic impression as all other models in the MINI family.
The rear light clusters are kept as small a possible, reflecting the smallest dimensions eligible for worldwide homologation. In all, the design of the rear end, through the interaction of the car’s graphics and elements such as the rear lights and door handles, conveys an elegant and clear impression.
The individual model variants are highlighted at the rear through the designations “Cooper”, “Cooper D” and, respectively, “Cooper S”. The name “Clubman”, in turn, is to be found on the right-hand entry trim strip beneath the Clubdoor.
More than 40 colour combinations for driving pleasure in beauty
Driving a MINI is more than just getting from A to B – it is an expression of lifestyle, of a genuine attitude in life. In particular, the focus is on driving pleasure and the joy of powerful, trendsetting design.
Now the MINI Clubman offers the enthusiast even greater options in customising his car and personal style, with more than 40 combinations of the exterior paintwork alone. This overwhelming freedom of expression is further enhanced by a wide range of accessories and a great selection of options and special equipment geared specifically to the MINI Clubman.
Hot Chocolate, a particularly extroverted metallic colour, is reserved exclusively to the MINI Clubman.
In all, the MINI Clubman is available in no less than 12 body colours – the three non-metallic colours Chili Red, Pepper White and Mellow Yellow, as well as the additional metallic colours Astro Black, Sparkling Silver, British Racing Green, Pure Silver, Lightning Blue, Nightfire Red, Dark Silver, and Laser Blue over and above Hot Chocolate.
Everybody is an artist – freedom in interior design
The purchaser of a MINI Clubman is also able to choose his or her very own, individual interior design, combining four interior colours and five Colour Line variants with one another as he wishes.
The seats are available not only in their regular upholstery, but also – on all models – in a combination of cloth and leather as well as all-leather upholstery in all kinds of variants and colour schemes.
A wide range of trim options helps to underline the premium character of the MINI Clubman, for example through optional English Oak or in glistening Black Piano paint. This wide range of individual choice is finally rounded off by two standard trim options as well as Fluid Silver and Brushed Alloy as further optional selections.
The MINI Clubman is unique – and precisely this makes the car a typical MINI in every respect, consciously interpreting traditional shooting brake concepts in a modern design language. At the same time the MINI Clubman intentionally bears out similarities to the classic Mini, just as it comes with a new range of engines boasting brand-new features.
Like the new generation of the MINI as such, the MINI Clubman is also the result of a modern re-interpretation of the car taking all the demands of the 21st century into account and in the process offering new possibilities and opportunities.
Given its wide range of qualities, the MINI Clubman paves the way into a brand-new segment in the market, while the MINI premium brand, introducing this avant-garde innovation, once again underlines its leadership in the small car segment in terms of vehicle concepts, technical and design features.