Monday, 20 February 2012

The BMW MINI Clubvan: Concept

Stand-out-from-the-crowd style can also be amazingly practical – and practicality surprisingly attractive. The MINI Clubvan Concept brings apparently conflicting profiles together into a single package, paving the way for an innovative vehicle concept without parallel in the premium small car segment. The MINI Clubman-based concept car, scheduled for its world premiere at the Geneva International Motor Show 2012, combines the driving fun for which MINI is renowned with increased load-carrying capability. The MINI experience will therefore find its way into new areas of life, the brand’s distinctive character gaining new popularity among target groups not previously on the MINI radar.

The closed-off load area behind the front seats and the opaque rear side windows of the new concept set it apart most strikingly from the MINI Clubman. The MINI Clubvan Concept uses its broader skill-set to open up new usage possibilities – both business and leisure. Where a business’s customers, product range and operating environment demand a particular style for its vehicles, a premium model can make the perfect delivery solution. For example, a car in the mould of the MINI Clubvan Concept would fit excellently into the fleet of a fashion designer, art gallery owner or event caterer. And its abilities as an all-rounder also tick the right boxes for a photographer with a stack of camera, tripod and lighting equipment to ferry around during the week – and bulky sports and leisure gear to pile on board at the weekend.

The MINI Clubvan Concept pulls off the trick of blending enhanced practicality and a well-judged lifestyle focus with natural ease. This ability is based on the impressive adaptability that goes to the heart of the MINI brand’s heritage. Calls for maximising the load capacity of the classic Mini began as early as 1960, just a year after the car’s birth. And they were soon heeded. With its 10-centimetre-longer wheelbase, separate load compartment and split rear doors, the Morris Mini Van was perfectly equipped for commercial use. It also provided the basis for the fully glazed, four-seat Morris Mini Traveller, one of the precursors of today’s successful MINI Clubman. And so, more than 50 years on, the MINI Clubvan Concept sees history repeating itself – albeit in a slightly different order.

Two seats, five doors, endless usage potential.

Limiting the car to two seats creates the capacity its owners will need on a day-to-day basis, as well as opening up a whole new world of customisation potential. The load compartment of the MINI Clubvan Concept embodies the car’s fresh and rigorous interpretation of the principle used in the classic Mini – of providing the maximum amount of interior space on the smallest possible footprint. The load area reaches from the split rear doors right up to the partition grille behind the two seats. The totally level floor makes full use of the interior’s depth, and that allows the concept car’s load capacity to exceed the maximum achieved by the MINI Clubman.