The U.S. version of the 2008 MINI Cooper S Clubman debuted at the 2008 North American International Auto Show in Detroit today. We saw the European Mini Cooper Clubman in Frankfurt in both base Cooper and the sportier "S" model, but here are some live shots of the American offering. Nothing surprising: same five doors, same cute styling. The Clubman will go on sale beginning February 16th, 2008 in both Cooper Clubman and Cooper S Clubman models. Base price for the MINI Cooper Clubman will be just $20,600, with the MINI Cooper S Clubman starting at $24,100.
The slightly stretched MINI with its right-hand suicide door and funky barn-door cargo ports out back has been getting pretty good reviews. We'll try to get our hands on one for the garage to confirm those feelings ourselves. While the concept of a "big" MINI is sacrilege to some, we tend to like the idea of actually being able to use that back seat and still have a little room for some baggage as well. Our one gripe? The naming. MINI Cooper Clubman and MINI Cooper S Clubman are a mouthful. We'll stick with the more natural sounding MINI Clubman and MINI Clubman S in casual conversation. You can read the MINI's press release after the jump, and don't forget to check out the gallery by clicking above or below.
NEW MINI CLUBMAN FEATURED AT NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW IN DETROIT
New Member of MINI Family Offers Flexibility, Fun and Performance
Woodcliff Lake, NJ - January 13, 2008... The 2008 MINI Clubman, an all-new addition to the MINI model line, is featured at the 2008 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, MI. With a little more room in the back and an innovative door configuration, the eagerly anticipated MINI Clubman defies convention in its concept and style. This all new addition to the MINI family will go on sale in the US February 16th, 2008 as both a Cooper and a Cooper S model. The MINI Cooper Clubman will be offered with a MSRP of $20,600, while the MINI Cooper S Clubman will come with a MSRP of $24,100. Both prices include a $650 Destination charge.
The MINI Clubman paves the way into a totally-new market segment, offering new opportunities for the MINI brand and showcasing, yet again, MINI's leadership in the premium small car segment. With its hallmark design elements, the MINI Clubman is clearly a MINI from every angle. Yet it is the MINI Clubman's unique rear-end design and new proportions that distinguish it from other members of the MINI family and make it unlike anything else on the road today.
Compelling Design and Five Doors in a Brand-New Configuration.
MINI is well known for its combination of successful attributes - a truly unique design; agile driving characteristics; premium quality; a high level of safety; a wide range of customization options, and outstanding efficiency. Now the all-new MINI Clubman offers another compelling attribute - an additional 9.45 inches in body length and wheelbase extended by 3.15 inches that helps create more space in the rear legroom area. What makes the MINI Clubman truly unique is its innovative five door configuration 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 split-rear doors in the back.
The MINI Clubman extends an open welcome to rear-seat passengers with the "Clubdoor", a rather ingenious door configuration on the right side of the vehicle. The Clubdoor swings open in the opposing direction relative to the main passenger door to dramatically increase the access to the rear seating area. Behind the front seats, the new MINI Clubman offers remarkable rear seating comfort and flexible use of space. Rear seat passengers now enjoy 3.15 inches more legroom compared to the MINI hardtop. Without an exterior handle, the Clubdoor is integrated unobtrusively into the body design of the MINI Clubman and for safety, can only be opened with the adjoining front door open. The MINI Clubman comes to the US in a four passenger configuration.
The split-rear doors at the back of the MINI Clubman are another unique design element of the MINI Clubman and open up to offer easy and convenient access for larger parcels and equipment such as sports gear. In addition to increased functionality, the split-rear doors represent a modern interpretation of an authentic detail seen on MINI's classic forerunners. The rear doors are further highlighted with the C-pillars painted in a contrasting silver or black finish. Inside, the generous luggage compartment may be further extended with a flexible rear seat configuration, offering very easy and convenient loading options thanks to the two rear doors.
The MINI Clubman is the modern successor to the legendary classics Morris Mini Traveller, Austin Mini Countryman, and Mini Clubman Estate. However, the MINI Clubman retains all the functionality, handling and performance characteristics that one expects in a thoroughly modern MINI.
Enhanced Function With MINI Performance and Driving Characteristics.
MINI has developed the new MINI Clubman specifically for the active and passionate individualist wishing to consciously stand out. The MINI Clubman retains its sporting character, while offering new and flexible options in interior use and practical value. Despite its slightly longer proportions the MINI Clubman retains MINI's typical "wheels at the four corners" stance and the car's driving characteristics still offer the legendary go-kart feeling unique to MINI.
The MINI Clubman will be available in the U.S. with two different engines:
* Powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder with twin-scroll turbocharger, direct gasoline injection and maximum output of 175 hp at an engine speed of 5,500 rpm, the MINI Cooper S Clubman offers the highest level of performance.
* The MINI Cooper Clubman, benefiting from its 1.6-liter four-cylinder developing 120 hp at 6,600 rpm and featuring fully variable valve management, offers impressive performance and economy.
More Than 40 Color Combinations for the Individualist
Motoring in a MINI is more than just getting from A to B - it is an expression of ones' lifestyle - a genuine attitude towards life. In particular, it is the focus on the enjoyment and experience of driving combined with an appreciation of powerful, trendsetting design. The MINI Clubman offers the enthusiast even greater options in personalizing his or her style, with more than 40 combinations of the exterior paintwork alone. Add to that the full compliment of options and features and the possible combinations a MINI Clubman can be configured becomes almost limitless.
MINI in the US
MINI is an independent brand of the BMW Group. In the United States, MINI USA operates as a business unit of BMW of North America, LLC which has been present in the United States since 1975. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, an industrial design firm in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group's global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all Z4 models and X5 Sports Activity Vehicles. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 338 BMW passenger car centers, 335 BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 142 BMW motorcycle retailers, 82 MINI passenger car dealers, and 30 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group's sales headquarters for North, Central and South America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.