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MINI execs have admitted that the design of the suicide-hinged door on the passenger side of the new Clubman may cause consumers both here, and especially abroad, to shy away from the more practical MINI. According to Autocar, the "Clubdoor's" position on the right-hand side could possibly detract from its functionality, as most British buyers will be getting in and out on the road, versus next to the sidewalk.

A MINI spokesman explained that the placement of the door on the right was dictated by the fuel-tank filler neck's place on the driver's side, and as such, it would have been too expensive to re-engineer the fuel door's location. The MINI mouthpiece went on to say that the automaker realizes this could be a bone of contention with buyers, but "we don't commit to making a car that doesn't bring us a profit." Since MINI projects that the Clubman will comprise approximately 25-percent of the automaker's sales in 2009, we hope that they're right.

[Source: Autocar]

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