As expected, the MINI Clubvan has successfully made the journey from concept to production, and the newborn is virtually identical with the Geneva concept. Making its debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the world’s first “premium compact delivery van” is the seventh unique member of the MINI family, selling alongside the Clubman, Hatch, Convertible, Countryman, Coupe and Roadster.
Pitched at small businesses with an eye for style, the Clubvan is the first commercial vehicle to be offered since the MINI brand was relaunched under BMW’s ownership in 2001. The new car’s heritage can be traced back to 1960, when the original Mini – launched a year earlier – was joined in showrooms by the Morris Mini Van. With an extra 10 cm in the wheelbase, closed-off load compartment and split rear door, it offered workhorse capabilities in a compact body.
This one is no longer that small, but relatively compact compared to supermini based van rivals such as the Opel Astravan and Peugeot 207 Van. Based on the Clubman platform, its exterior dimensions are identical to those of its sibling – 3,961 mm long, 1,683 mm wide and 1,426 mm high, with a wheelbase of 2,547 mm.
The load bay extends from the wide-opening double doors at the back of the vehicle to an internal bulkhead immediately behind the driver and passenger seats. That’s made from a solid aluminium lower section with a steel mesh upper, and stowed cargo can also be accessed through the two rear doors or via the Clubdoor on the driver’s side.
The cargo area stretches back 1,150 mm and, even at its narrowest point just behind the rear doors, is 1,020 mm wide. With the bulkhead to protect the driver and/or passenger, it can be loaded right to the roof which measures 840 mm at its highest point. That translates to 860 litres of space and a maximum payload capacity of 500 kg.
The blocked-out rear side windows are body-coloured and feature interior polycarbonate reinforcement. Combined with tinted glass in the rear doors, it means the load compartment is both secure and concealed from prying eyes.
The load floor is completely flat for ease-of-use, and both it and the side walls are trimmed in high-quality upholstery. Above, an anthracite roof liner runs the full length of the vehicle. Six heavy duty attachment loops are recessed into the floor at the sides to help prevent cargo from moving around in transit, while multiple 12-volt sockets can be used to power electrical equipment.
Three engines will be available; the 98 hp MINI One Clubvan, the 122 hp MINI Cooper Clubvan and the 112 hp MINI Cooper D Clubvan. All come with the familiar front-wheel-drive set-up, Electric Power Steering, MacPherson strut front suspension and multi-link rear suspension. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, but an optional six-speed auto can be ordered.
Also standard are “MINIMALISM” features including Auto Start/Stop, Shift Point Display, Brake Energy Regeneration and on-demand operation of ancillary units. These will help business users keep a tight rein on fuel consumption and offers low running costs.