By on December 16, 2019

Mini’s Clubman, a vehicle the B&B won’t stop talking about, could undergo significant changes for its next iteration — not just in terms of style, but perhaps in terms of size. If word out of Britain is anything to go on, the Clubman wagon could morph into something larger and more palatable to American audiences.

It could become a crossover.

If you were under the impression that it already is, you’re thinking of the Countryman, not the Clubman. Don’t be ashamed — Mini is hardly a hot topic in most automotive (or non-automotive) circles. The tepidly-ranged Cooper SE electric vehicle detailed last week likely isn’t going to change that situation, either.

While the largest (and longest) member of the Mini passenger car lineup grew for the current generation, it still possesses too much car DNA to raise many eyebrows in America. The Countryman remains Mini’s best-seller on this side of the pond.

According to Autocar, Mini design boss Oliver Heilmer has hinted at a strategic repositioning for the barn-doored Clubman. Both Clubman and Countryman fall uncomfortably close to each other in regard to dimension and price; clearly, some space is needed between the two, and Heilmer suggested that a switch to a crossover format could be in the cards.

However, that would still leave the two stepping all over each other’s toes. While Heilmer didn’t elaborate on the Clubman’s future, it would make sense for one of the two vehicles to grow significantly in size, with the other keeping its compact proportions. It would make sense for the Countryman, which was always a crossover, to be the big sibling.

Again, there’s no confirmation of this being Mini’s etched-in-stone plan.

In the U.S., sales of the BMW-owned Mini brand are down more than 17 percent through the end of November. Sales of all models are down on a year-to-date basis, even the Countryman (which is down 19 percent). The most stable vehicle in the lineup is the four-door Cooper hatch, which only saw volume shrink 6 percent in 2019.

The Clubman, which sells in smaller numbers than anything but the Cooper convertible, is down 21 percent through November.

[Images: BMW Group]

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26 Comments on “More Bulk Coming to Mini Clubman?...”


  • avatar
    darex

    Word out of BRITAIN? LOL Münich, you mean.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Boo… Mini (and your corporate overlords) you suck!

    On my long family driving vacation this summer I was bombing around the asphalt rivers of Columbus, OH in my TourX when a lone gentleman in a Clubman (brown in color) went passed. We gave each other a knowing nod.

    The Clubman is a wagon that no one openly acknowledges as such.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    Highly overrated vehicle. I had it for 1 hour in my hands for test drive. The bottom line, when I climbed back into my 7 year senior Mazda3 I felt like “thanks god I came out from that car!”

    There is really nothing good about Clubman besides style. Style and clutch/gear shift action were good. Engine, AT (I drove 2), brakes, ride, seats, driveability, steering — components that make a car for me, were either bad or average. But high style.

  • avatar
    Sigivald

    Because of the rule of bloat, in 30 years it’ll be the size of a Suburban.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    “a switch to a crossover format could be in the cards.”–Mini design boss Oliver Heilmer

    Golly, never saw THAT one coming……

  • avatar
    phxmotor

    Bloating the modern Mini is akin to bloating the Boeing 737.
    …and…
    We all know how that turned out.

  • avatar

    The Clubman as it exists makes zero sense, especially since the ‘standard’ mini can be had in 4-door form.

    The original Clubman was a weird aberration and reminded me of something GM would greenlight. Original Clubmans are also the WORST MINIs to buy – even though you can buy them for LESS than a standard MINI; you sat on them for 80-110 days and waited for the one weirdo who wanted the exact color and driveline configuration you had.

  • avatar
    CKNSLS Sierra SLT

    The difference between a TourX and a Clubman. The Clubman will still be sold in the U.S. under some classification. While the TourX is going to never,never land.

  • avatar
    MKizzy

    Mini could try differentiating the next Clubman from the Countryman by making it a couple of inches longer and taller than the current version and marketing it as a dog friendly vehicle.

  • avatar

    So Mini goes the way of Thunderbird – four door luxury monster with unwieldy handling. Congratulations BMW.

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    Yes, Clubman will survive while TourX goes to the land of the Wildcat, Riveria, Centurian, LeSabre, Electra 225, Skylark, Century, Regal, Skyhawk, and Sommerset. If there’s a personal luxury heaven, well you know they’ve got a hell of a band, band, band!

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    If they’re going to make a bigger Clubman, and Mini’s brand is retro, then they should bring back the style of small 1960s British vans: tidy dimensions, tall roof, rounded styling, snub nose, outward-opening rear doors. Make mine electric. And make it available in both panel and passenger versions. Then they’ve got an adorable competitor for the Kia Soul EV for civvies, and an eye-catching replacement for a worn-out first-gen Ford Transit Connect for a florist or dry cleaner. Sign me up.

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