Mini Clubman Concept Debut At 2014 Geneva Auto Show


By Henny Hemmes
Senior European Editor
The Auto Channel

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THE HAGUE, The Netherlands- February 25, 2014: Next week Tuesday, the Geneva auto show will open its doors to the media. One of the world premiers will be for the Mini Clubman Concept, which shows much of the upcoming new production model. With four doors and five seats the Clubman is 10.2 inches longer and 6.7 inches wider than the preceding model.

Like the new Mini Cooper, also the Clubman Concept shows a more premium interior with quality materials and improved functionality.

The Clubman Concept is the first Mini that has Airbreathers at the sides. They are not only a design detail, but together with the AirCurtains in the front apron, serve as an aerodynamic feature.

Sporty elements are the double roof spoiler at the rear with an integrated third brake light in between the two wings and the use of two longitudinal sections of plexiglass running across the length of the roof.

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The red show car is equipped with light Sky Blue nubuck leather seats and arm rests, while the door pouches are covered with white nubuck leather. The dashboard is covered with Berry Red and black nappa leather.

Production of the new Mini started in November in Oxford, England. As from the end of June/beginning July, it will also be built in the VDL NedCar plant in Born, The Netherlands. Last week, two board members of the BMW Group visited the Dutch plant and announced that it will build the three-door Mini Hatchback. In 2016, the NedCar plant will also start production of a second model, but BMW did not want to provide more details. It could well be the new Clubman.

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Last October, on exactly the same place where the new Mini’s will come of the production line, the unique Mini ReBorn was unveiled. With production number 983, it is one of the oldest Mini’s in the world and possibly the oldest in The Netherlands. The car has been assembled in 1959 by Molenaars Automobiel Fabrieken in the Dutch city of Amersfoort.
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VDL NedCar found five employees who were earlier laid off to work on the restoration project of the car. In Mai 2013, the team started to disassemble the car and search for the rare parts. Several body parts have been copied by hand and new body parts have been built back to 1959 specs.
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The engine and gearbox have been fully revised with original parts. A welcome source of knowledge was the, where world wide 155 Mini’

The project was followed in more than 45 countries by the media and the Mini Community via facebook.

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