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Mini seems very keen to pack all the technology it can into the newest addition to its range -- the Mini Cooper Clubman
Mini seems very keen to pack all the technology it can into the newest addition to its range -- the Mini Cooper Clubman. Almost but not quite a Mini wagon, the Clubman seats five in relative comfort, with a backwards-opening barn door behind the passenger door opening out to give your friends some sense of dignity as they climb into the back seats. The Clubman also features run-flat tyres, smart regenerative braking, and a clever fuel-saving system that automatically stops the engine when you're sitting at the lights in neutral with the clutch out, firing it back to life in an instant the minute you put the clutch down. Twin rear doors, each with its own windscreen wiper, finally give the Mini a decent carrying capacity, but the extra space doesn't get in the way of the model's famous go-kart style handling. Safety-wise, the cabin is packed with airbags from all directions, ABS, Electronic Brake Distribution, Cornering Brake Control, Stability Control and a hill assist system that stops the Clubman from rolling backwards on hill starts. A technophile's delight, the car even provides a real-time analysis of what gear you should be in for maximum fuel efficiency. Dear Mini designers, it appears you've left out the kitchen sink&
The new MINI Clubman will go on sale in the UK on Saturday 10 November 2007. Based on a concept first shown at Frankfurt Motor Show in 2005, the new car is a modern interpretation of its famous Mini predecessors taking into account all the demands and technologies of the 21st century.
Available from launch in three engine variants: Cooper D, Cooper and Cooper S, the new model offers flexible use of space, easier access through innovative door concepts, more space for rear passengers and high levels of safety and customisation options, all without compromising the MINI's well-known handling dynamics.
The new car takes inspiration and styling cues from the Morris Mini Traveller, Austin Mini Countryman and the Mini Clubman Estate, which enjoyed widespread success in the 1960s. Combining enhanced functionality and versatility, the new MINI Clubman nevertheless stays true to the MINI design language with the retention of short body overhangs, wide track, a long wheelbase and the high shoulder line rising towards the rear.
The new MINI Clubman is 24cm longer than the Hatch, signifying 8cm more legroom for rear passengers and the opportunity for MINI to enter the market with five seats. Boot capacity has increased to 260 litres with the seats in place and up to 930 litres with the rear seats down. Access to this extra space has been made easier via the split rear doors and innovative Clubdoor on the right-hand side.
Modern high-performance engines, designed specifically for the 2nd generation MINI, feature new improvements to optimize fuel economy and emission management. Auto Start-Stop, Brake Energy Regeneration and a Gearshift Point Indicator are standard on all variants and helps the MINI Cooper D Clubman to achieve a low emissions figure of 109 g/km C02.
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The Clubman is the next body style in the MINI range to join the successful Hatch and Convertible models, which have sold over one million models since 2001. All three derivatives will be built at Plant Oxford, where £100 million has been invested in the past two years to increase production up to 240,000 by 2008. This is more than double the planned production capacity prior to the first car coming off the line in spring 2001.
As with the Hatch models, the petrol engines will be assembled at Plant Hams Hall in the Midlands and the body panels and sub-assemblies are from Plant Swindon. This 'MINI production triangle' employs approximately 6,800 production associates in the UK.
On-the-road-prices: MINI Cooper UK£14,235 MINI Cooper D UK£15,400 MINI Cooper S UK£17,210
Many important details have made it into the production version of the