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    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    April 23, 2012
    At the Geneva Motor Show in March, Mini showed off a cargo van concept based on their Clubman called the Clubvan. The Clubvan drops the back seats and windows, and in their place comes in a flat load floor, steel grill to separate cargo and the front seats, and other items you expect in a cargo van.
    Car & Driver has learned that the Clubvan will go into production and come to the U.S. later this year as a 2013 model. The production model will come with a stainless-steel grille separating the passenger and cargo area, an aluminum cargo rail in the rear hold, six tie-down hooks, a cloth-trimmed load floor with a matching roof liner, and an integrated power socket in the cargo area.
    Mini says the Clubvan will offer increased load capacity compared with the Clubman, but didn’t give out a number.
    As for engines, Mini isn’t saying if the Clubman’s 121 HP naturally aspirated four, or if the Clubman S’s 181 HP turbocharged engine will be available.
    Source: Car & Driver

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    March 14, 2012
    Back in August, we reported that Mini approved the Paceman concept shown at Detroit Auto Show. Now, we have learned a new name will be appearing.
    Car & Driver reports the new car will wear the Countryman Coupe nameplate when it comes out next year. The reason is due to the design of the Countryman Coupe being about 95% the same as the regular Countryman.
    Source: Car & Driver

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    February 18, 2012
    One automaker you wouldn't quite expect to go into the commerical vehicle market is Mini. And yet their showing at next month's Geneva Motor Show will just be that.
    Called the Clubvan concept, the car is a Clubman minus the rear seats. Mini puts in its place a flat, carpeted load floor, which stretches from the split rear doors to an aluminum bulkhead just behind the front seats. The regular windows are taken out and replaced with polycarbonate panels. And yes, the third door on the passenger side is still there.
    So why is Mini doing this? Mini says the Clubvan "combines the driving fun for that Mini is renowned with increased load-carrying capability," and that, "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."
    Press Release is on Page 2

    MORE SPACE FOR STYLE: THE MINI CLUBVAN CONCEPT.


    Compact lifestyle van for business and leisure
    First concept of its kind in the premium segment
    World premiere at the Geneva International Motor Show 2012

    Woodcliff Lake, NJ – February 18, 2012 – Stand-out-from-the-crowd style can also be amazingly practical – and practicality can be surprisingly attractive. The MINI Clubvan Concept paves 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 platform used as its base. 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 or operating environment demand a particular style for its vehicles, this 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 catering service. 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 maximizing 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-centimeter-longer wheelbase (3.94 inches), 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 customization 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.
    Six attachment loops recessed into the load compartment floor use elasticized straps to hold items of varying lengths, heights and widths in place – without the risk of them sliding around. The partition grille, which is fixed securely to the car body, ensures that items stowed in the load compartment are kept safely away from the front seats. The lower section of the partition is made from solid aluminum, while the upper section consists of a silver-colored stainless steel honeycomb grating. The side walls and floor of the load compartment are trimmed in high-quality anthracite-colored cloth. The anthracite roof liner, meanwhile, extends along the full length of the interior. This uniform color scheme emphasizes the pure-bred, practicality-oriented character of the MINI Clubvan Concept.
    Like the MINI Clubman, the MINI Clubvan Concept is a five-door car with a twist. Two front doors for the driver and front passenger, two side-hinged doors at the rear and the rear-hinged Clubdoor on the right-hand side create comfortable access to the interior. The Clubdoor gives owners the option of loading or unloading smaller items from the side of the car as well as the rear.
    The generous levels of space on board the concept car can be exploited in a variety of ways. Commercial users will be particularly pleased to discover the scope for configuring the load compartment to personal requirements. For example, tools and goods can be stored neatly and securely in made-to-measure drawers or shelving units. 12-volt plug sockets in the rear area of the load compartment provide additional practicality.
    Exterior design: shields from prying eyes, cuts a distinctive figure.
    Impressive practicality and the brand's time-honored style lend the MINI Clubvan Concept its unmistakable character. Sharing the exterior dimensions of the MINI Clubman and boasting cleverly increased storage capacity, the concept car is the first premium model in the small-car-based van segment. The exterior appearance of the MINI Clubvan Concept marks it out immediately as a MINI – and therefore as a premium product. The function-led design modifications have no impact on the car's proportions and hallmark MINI design language, but they do give customers the opportunity to combine the demands of commercial use with an appreciation of individual style. The MINI Clubvan Concept comes with British Racing Green exterior paintwork, which extends to the roof, C-pillars and exterior mirror caps. As is usual for vehicles charged with transportation tasks, the rear side windows of the MINI Clubvan Concept are opaque. Polycarbonate sections – their outer surfaces painted in the car's body color – and heavily tinted glass for the rear doors make it difficult to see into the load compartment.
    The unbroken paintwork along the car's flanks offers extensive scope for individualization, which the MINI Clubvan Concept highlights to eye-catching effect. The sealed side windows bear the logo of a sign design company based in the MINI's native Great Britain. The hand-applied graphics lend the vehicle a personal look. Indeed, the ultra-versatile MINI carries both its cargo and the company's promotional message with a uniquely stylish verve. The MINI Clubvan Concept presented in Geneva lends this form of customization a piquant authenticity – on two fronts. The British company that has literally left its stamp on the MINI Clubvan Concept creates similar vehicle graphics for its customers. And the MINI Clubvan Concept showcases how these might look when applied to a MINI van.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    February 16, 2012
    Last year, we reported on Mini growing their lineup to ten vehicles within the next few years. Mini currently has six vehicles on sale; the hardtop, convertible, Clubman, Countryman, coupe, and now arriving Roadster. A seventh model, a production version of the Paceman concept will be shown sometime in 2013.
    Now, Automotive News has learned about three new Minis that could reach the goal of ten. First up is a Mini station wagon (think a longer version of the Clubman). The wagon will use BMW’s new FWD platform and premiere alongside the new second-generation MINI Cooper hardtop in 2014. Next up is the Mini van; that will use the Countryman’s platform and come out sometime after the wagon.
    Finally, there is talk about a Mini sedan. The sedan is being considered for the Chinese market. This is causing a commotion at Mini HQ.
    "The Mini sedan is now being hotly debated," a source said.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    January 27, 2012
    Mini Boss Kay Segler has revealed some interesting information to Car & Driver this week. First, Segler talked about Mini’s John Cooper Works possibly becoming something like BMW’s M performance brand. This idea comes with good and bad news - if it was implemented, that would mean JCW models would be positioned as stand-alone models, which means more power to differentiate them.
    Unfortunately, Selger said that AWD was currently too expensive to implement in Minis unless the brand sees a large sales volume increase. Executives and engineers know they’re almost hitting the wall on how much power can be sent to the front wheels with the JCW models. The question of how power will be added is up in the air at the moment.
    Segler also talked about diesels. He said that the most common request American customers is diesel engines.
    “We’re delighted to hear it. We are looking into this not for the short term, but for the medium term,” Segler said.
    In other words, expect a diesel option after the third generation Mini is launched.
    Source: Car & Driver

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    January 24, 2012
    The Mini Rocketman, a concept shown at last year's Geneva Motor Show, showed what a smaller Mini could look like. Over the past couple of months, rumors have swirling about Mini developing a production model of the Rocketman. However, a new report from Car says the project has been shown the door.
    The reason as to why is due to exorbitant costs to develop a production model to meet regulations; specifically, handling, stability and crash standards.
    Sources say the smaller Mini could have gone into production in 2016. But for now, the smallest Mini you will be able to buy is the Cooper.
    Source: Car Magazine

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