• Jun 22nd 2007 at 5:01PM
  • 10
In the timeline of most new car introductions, automotive journalists usually see a new model undisguised well before the public. It's a nice perk. But an even earlier look is often given to a company's public relations staff. Which is what Mini was doing with its Clubman model in Zandvoort, Netherlands. And guess who showed up uninvited? A camera-wielding automotive journalist, that's who.
Chris Schotanus got a sneak peek into Mini's Zandvoort PR party and got the best shots yet of the Clubman in the wild. Many of the photos at World Car Fans are obviously shot from either a hilltop or building overlooking the racetrack where a fleet of Clubmans are out and about, but Schotanus was able to get some good closeup shots of the cars as well. Strangely, the cars are completely undisguised except for the rear, which is covered in the typical black camo. Despite the coverup, the double-doored hatch is obvious, so we wonder what Mini is still keeping secret.

Some of the extended Minis could be Clubman S models indicated by the cars' nose scoop above the grille, but the only rear shots available from the event show only single exhausts. That could mean either the S won't have two outlets, or the photographer only caught non-S models from the rear.

All questions should be answered at it's official launch in July. Its public debut is planned for the Frankfurt show in September.

[Source: World Car Fans]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      The previous generation Mini was kind of a passing fad for me, but the Clubman is quirky enough to pique my interest once again, if it doesn't end up costing too much over the Cooper.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Strange they are only putting the suicide door on the passenger side...
      • 8 Years Ago
      I stand corrected, there is one pictured with two exhaust outlets. Mystery solved.

      • 8 Years Ago
      Did anyone else notice that every one of these have barn-door style trunks and not hatches? Notice the seem running vertically down the rear of each and the two seperate wipers. Neat.
        • 8 Years Ago
        yeah thats old news, sorry!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Given the whole mini deal, it's great marketing, it's fans, et-al, i'm thinking bmw isn't having any problems with these slips... and most likely is turning a blind eye.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The one with 2 outlets is the only one with a S on the side logo (grill by the front wheel). This one is a S while there other are not I presume.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I like what I see here. I have a small family (1 3-year-old) and something like this would be a fun and usable little car. The rear-hinged half door actually makes it easier to get the car seat and kid into the back than the small opening of a regular door on a car of this size.

      A few things about the photos... I wonder if the tailgate doors are made of polymer, thus the flat black treatment in these pre-production cars? That would likely save some weight. Also, the black strip along the sides of the top and above the doors is interesting. At first, it appears that the roof itself is higher than on the regular Mini and this hides that a bit on these prototypes. So you have a longer and taller mini with (hopefully) a bit more rear leg room in addition to the bigger cargo hold. I think it would be a fun little commuter.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The first pic I clicked on in the article had a picture of the rear with TWO exhaust pipes sticking out.

      • 8 Years Ago
      I'd think it would have been better for a four door mini cooper than a clubman version. the clubman version looks a bit out of proportion.
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