Well, this certainly brings quite literal meaning to the word 'minivan'. According to Auto Motor und Sport, sources within BMW have reportedly confirmed that a new Mini-branded panel van – possibly dubbed Mini Cargo – will debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

Creating the Mini Cargo sounds like a simple enough process. Auto Motor und Sport reports that the work-ready hauler will be based on the Clubman, with the rear bench seat removed in favor of a long load floor. The rear side windows will be ditched for sheetmetal (like most panel vans), though it's unclear whether or not the rear windows will be left intact.

We're curious to see what other alterations will be made to the Clubman in its transition to a proper panel van. Will the passenger-side rear-hinged door be left alone, or will it be removed? Will the rear suspension be strengthened to accommodate for heavy hauling? Assuming that plans for a Mini Cargo are indeed underway, we'll have to wait until March to find out.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 28 Comments
      amac
      • 3 Years Ago
      The panel van would be ideal for small businesses. It actually makes more sense than the butt ugly Clubman, or the laughable Countryman, or that totally pointless coupe. The orignal Mini is great, but the other spinoffs are just plain stupid. I still can't get past the sheer ugliness of the Clubman pictured above. All those silver coloured accents on the back end... what a mess.
        rocketmoose
        • 3 Years Ago
        @amac
        I think the Mini Clubman looks like a sort of hearse of midgets.
      rstonnerdd
      • 3 Years Ago
      And this makes more sense than the Ford Transit Connect how?
      jesscott
      • 3 Years Ago
      When are they going to drop the word "Mini" from their names? Because, ya know, they aren't anymore.
        untitledfolder
        • 3 Years Ago
        @jesscott
        Except they are, as in there Cooper S is one of the smallest production vehicles and the Countryman is the smallest CUV... They have consistently the smallest vehicles available?
      rocketmoose
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ridiculous.
        Dwight Bynum Jr.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @rocketmoose
        So, it was perfectly fine for them to produce 50+ years ago, but now it's "ridiculous," huh? Perhaps you should know your Mini history before you type next time.
          Synthono
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Dwight Bynum Jr.
          James Cartier: Trades aren't the only people who need to transport cargo. Small businesses that do deliveries could definitely use a fashionable delivery vehicle, something like a flower shop or some catering companies. It would also make sense as a vehicle for someone who travels around doing presentations, the rear filled with banners and whatnot. The Transit Connect makes more sense for trades, correct, but some businesses need an attention grabbing "lifestyle" billboard, and a Mini Cargo would fit that bill nicely.
          rocketmoose
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Dwight Bynum Jr.
          No, it doesn't match with the brand that BMW has cultivated. Please remember that Minis are now German, with French diesel engines. (And yes, I know they're assembled in Oxford. It does not make it English, in the same way that Volkswagen having plants in Mexico doesn't make it a Mexican brand.)
          James Cartier
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Dwight Bynum Jr.
          Perhaps you should realize that the new Mini is a different animal than the original. The '59 was an economy car for the masses. The new Mini is an overpriced status symbol made by BMW. Having a cargo version of a luxury compact car doesn't make sense. The interior ergonomics are still garbage (what tradesman wants to deal with that?), the cost-to-repair will still be higher, the initial cost to purchase will likely be far greater than the Transit Connect (which is more practical in every way) and tradesmen don't place such a ridiculously high importance on the fashion factor. "Perhaps you should use your brain before you type next time."
          James Cartier
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Dwight Bynum Jr.
          Seriously? Small business owners don't want to pay a several-thousand dollar premium for the handling and branding aspect of a Mini. They're looking at the bottom line. I can see a flower shop buying a Mini cargo, but for any serious business where practicality and value matter most (read - every small business extant) the premium is not worth paying. Their vehicles are workhorses, not status symbols. The Mini costs more to maintain than a Transit Connect and likely has worse reliability. I realize the Mini One (or whatever it's called) is cheaper in Europe, but it still doesn't approach the value that any of the other alternatives provide. Unless the business is doing extremely well and can afford to pay more initially and in the long run to "look trendy", they won't choose this car. Anyways my main reason for my first comment was the guy's allusion that the New Mini and the original Mini are similar cars and therefore there's a case for a New Mini Cargo because there was an old one. They're nothing alike, save for the brand and styling. The original was a fashion accessory by accident - the new one is a fashion accessory by design. It's produced as a high-end alternative, which the older one never was. The '59 was bare-bones transport for all. Anyone can see this.
          Justin Campanale
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Dwight Bynum Jr.
          You do realize that this will be a Europe specific model if produced? In Europe, the Mini is not a premium car, simply a sportier alternative to the Polo, Grande Punto, 207, C3 etc etc? So they could easily make a super small panel van out of it that doesn't cost too much?
          Dan S
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Dwight Bynum Jr.
          Anyone who produces a round-nosed Mini and calls it a Clubman is a philistine.
          Synthono
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Dwight Bynum Jr.
          As I was saying, depends on the business, and the style premium IS worth it for some businesses. That's why I mentioned flower shops and fashionable catering companies, businesses where the cool factor is an important part of advertising and generating business. It could also be useful for television stations, anybody in recruitment, and stuff like that. Yeah, the local security installer is going to stick with their Transit Connect, the Mini Cargo is useless to them, and the local plumbing and heating folk aren't going to trade in their assorted vans and pickups. There are plenty of small businesses and tradespeople who are going to find it doesn't fit their business or needs, I can agree on that. But, for the businesses I mentioned, the Mini Cargo fits their needs much more closely than the Transit Connect, because they need something with that fashion element to get attention. A panel version of a fashion object is useful to draw eyes, generate attention and also carry the cargo you need to do the job. It's not for everyone, but to say it isn't for anyone is flat out wrong.
          digitalwatch
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Dwight Bynum Jr.
          I'm not so sure that a Ford Transit Connect would even be cheaper. It would be harder on gas, probably more expensive to insure and the base price of a transit connect in Canada is actually almost 6 grand more than a base Mini and about the same as a base Cooper S. I imagine a stripped out cargo version of a Mini would be even cheaper. I work for a news paper and we have a company car that we share in the office, it's one of those HHR panel vans. It sucks, it's hard on gas, an absolute piece of garbage to drive and it's way bigger than we need. If there was an option for a Mini Cargo van, we would be really interested.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @rocketmoose
        [blocked]
      ShutoSteve
      • 3 Years Ago
      For God's sakes Autoblog, I've tried to tell you countless times that Lamborghini is bringing an SUV concept to Geneva. Now when are you going to report on that?
        torqued
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ShutoSteve
        Breaking News! ShutoSteve says Lamborghini's bringing an SUV concept to Geneva! Happy?
      Dwight Bynum Jr.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Sounds like a great idea to me! I fail to see a problem here, but I'm certain many of you will cry "blasphemy" and feel there's been some bastardization of the Mini brand. Funny thing is, this variant actually dates back to 1960! -> http://www.simoncars.co.uk/mini/minicv.html
      Stinkyboy
      • 3 Years Ago
      if it's not packing 600 hp and a stick........
        Scarboy6693
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Stinkyboy
        So? A car doesn't need to have a bunch of horsepower to be fun. A lot of "low power" cars are fun to drive, like Mini, Fiat 500, Mazda 3, GTI, etc. And honestly, what's the point of 600 HP if you're not racing or going to a track? You'll never be able to use the car how its supposed to be anyways. Cars like these are better, they have enough power to get around town while still being fun to drive. Also you get good fuel economy (like the Cooper S 27/35).
          torqued
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Scarboy6693
          I think you might have missed some sarcasm, Scarboy.
      aatbloke1967
      • 3 Years Ago
      I welcome the return of the Mini commercial van, which was simply a stripped out Traveller with fixed steel window panels. While they're at it, the should bring back the Mini pick up too. The van would do well with small businesses and join a busy segment in Europe. As with all commercial vans, as long as the window side panels are steel and the rear seats are removed, it will qualify for reclaimable input VAT for VAT-registered businesses.
      Alan Brand
      • 3 Years Ago
      Cargo? Pants!
      TahsinZ
      • 3 Years Ago
      Where I live, a lot of local businesses use Chevy HHR panel vans. With that vehicle now discontinued, there may be an opening for MINI to bring this vehicle into the US market. MINI Cargoman anyone?
      Krishan Mistry
      • 3 Years Ago
      As long as it's still small outside, big inside, fun, relatively light and frugal, I think it will do just fine.
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