The new 2016 MINI Clubman has officially debuted, gaining two doors and more interior room, but losing a link to the model’s two-door heritage.
The new Clubman is the first of its kind with four doors, departing from the previous model’s two-door wagon design. Originally introduced in 2007, the Clubman is essentially a modern interpretation of the classic Austin Mini Traveller – an extended Mini with rear barn-style doors.
The new 2016 Clubman keeps those unique rear doors and also adds 10.9 inches in length over the MINI Hardtop 4-door. Along with a four-inch increase in wheelbase, it gives the newest MINI 17.5 cubic feet of luggage space behind the rear seats and 47.9 cubic feet of cargo room with the seats down.
Under the hood are the same engines that power the rest of the MINI range. The base Cooper Clubman comes with a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine that makes 134 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque, while the Cooper S Clubman comes with a 2.-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 189 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque.
New for the Clubman is an available eight-speed automatic transmission that can be paired with the four-cylinder engine. Three cylinder models have an available six-speed automatic transmission, while all models come standard with a six-speed manual transmission.
Inside, the Clubman has the same centrally mounted infotainment system in a circular pod as the Hardtop, with the speedometer and tachometer behind the steering wheel. The seats have optional electric adjustment, a first for the Clubman.
Also available on the new Clubman is a host of electronic driver assistants, including camera-based cruise control, collision warning and parking assistance.
The Clubman’s suspension has been calibrated so that the extra length doesn’t detract from the sporting demeanor shared by the MINI line. The car has a strut front suspension and mulit-link rear suspension and is available with dynamic damper control, which can be set for comfort or sport.
While the 2016 MINI Clubman is a departure from two-door “shooting brake” style of old, the added doors and extra length add increased utility and transform the newest MINI into a practical station wagon that still manages to look like a MINI.
Watch as Nathan Adlen puts the 2015 MINI Cooper S 4-door through its paces on the track in this TFLcar video: