Every vehicle seems to get bigger with each generation; it’s really news if something is lighter or more compact than its predecessor. Of course not even is MINI immune to this diabetic swelling; you could say it’s because they’re so sweet to drive. The company’s latest Hardtop is a good bit larger than its forebear. But the vehicle I’m standing next to takes the cake, and eats it all in one sitting.
The Clubman Concept is massive, well, it’s not that big but it’s a lot larger than the one that’s on the market right now. It’s more than 10 inches longer and close to 7 inches wider than today’s version of this MINI station wagon. With four doors, it seats five passengers yet supposedly still offers plenty of cargo room; and with that larger footprint it’s almost guaranteed to be more spacious inside.
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Now according to the company’s press release the Countryman Concept hints at what a “higher class” automobile from MINI might look like, but by that I assume they mean a bigger vehicle. In spite of the growth spurt this crossover is still a MINI, with classic design elements inside and out.
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From a thousand yards away through heavy fog it’s easy to see this vehicle’s heritage thanks to its classic proportions. It’s got short overhangs, a relatively long wheelbase and a bulldog-like face. There are also characteristic side scuttles and a hexagonal radiator grille.
Moving inside the overall appearance is probably a bit more sophisticated than what’s in today’s car, with a three-dimensional look to the dashboard. Light blue cow skin and shiny-red patent leather is an interesting combination. Laminated ash wood trim adds a dash of complexity as do special silver accents.
Of course powertrain, pricing and availability information have not been shared at this point in time because remember, this is still Clubman is just “concept.” But it’s a design study that’s so thinly veiled we’re almost certain it will go into production very soon.
GALLERY: MINI Clubman Concept Live Photos
GALLERY: MINI Clubman Concept
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