MINI Clubman Concept

Concept Cars 26 Feb 2014
MINI Clubman Concept

At the 2014 Geneva Motor Show MINI will unveil the Clubman Concept, exploring a new version of its Clubman model with increased dimensions for greater interior comfort.


Compared to the current Clubman, the Clubman Concept set to debut at the upcoming Geneva Show is 26 centimeters longer and just under 17 centimeters wider.

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Thanks to the increased dimensions, the concept features four full-size doors instead of the original 2+1 door layout.

As with all MINI models and concepts, the main proportions, surface treatment and stance are the typical of the brand, with very short overhangs, linear shoulder and roof lines, oval headlights, and hexagonal grille, the side scuttles, and the surrounding black band.

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All these elements are re-interpreted in a modern, “reduced” way, which confers the MINI Clubman Concept a more sophisticated look.

The exterior also puts the accent on aerodynamic efficiency: all openings and outlets are integrated in the geometry and elegantly shaped.

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The rear end has lost the distinctive “frame” in contrasting color, while maintaining the split rear door, and features redesigned horizontal tail lamps, sleeker door handles and a twin integrated spoiler.

The interior greatly benefits from the increased dimensions and offers seating capacity for five passengers. The spatial effect is underlined by the design layout, with multiple levels and surfaces and floating elements.

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The graphic theme is based on circles and ellipses and is enhancedby an unusual color scheme and choice of materials: these include nubuck leather in a light Sky Blue, patent leather in Berry Red and black soft nappa leather, all combined witg patinised silver elements. where the patina gives them the character of familiar, fondly used items.

Additional details are the decorative strips in blue limed ash grain matched by two expressive fabrics: Tweed Grey and Black Twill.

Adrian van Hooydonk, Head of BMW Group Design, explains: “The MINI Clubman Concept shows how the MINI Clubman could be taken a step further: more interior space, a greater sense of high-end quality and yet still clever, bold and distinctive. In short: more car, more MINI.”

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Head of MINI Design Anders Warming comments: “With the MINI Clubman Concept we are presenting a car with space, flair and style in a segment where the focus is mainly on function and utility. With clever ideas, emotional design and a cool blend of colours and materials, it offers an overall experience which remains unique in this segment to date.”

Below we report two official video footages and the full design details from the official press release.

From the official Press Release:

Exterior Design

Front end

Seen from the front, the circular headlamps, hexagonal radiator grille and roof with add-on look clearly identify the MINI Clubman Concept as belonging to the MINI family. The radiator grille is strikingly elaborated and incorporates the bumper in the front section. The bumper is finished in Black Chrome, adding a touch of exclusive style to this functional element. Elaborate details such as the three-dimensional structure of the chrome ribs inside the front grille further enhance the front section. The high quality standards of the MINI Clubman Concept even extend to the surface modelling. Fine edges add precision and presence to the generous surfaces.

In the lower area of the front-end design there is a continuous air inlet which highlights the breadth of the MINI Clubman Concept, thereby emphasising its solid standing on the road. Meanwhile a finely wrought chrome rib appears to hover inside the air inlet, giving this sporty detail a touch of exclusive appeal. In the outer section of the front apron there are so-called AirCurtains – an aerodynamic feature that gives the wheel arches an aerodynamically optimised closure. These dynamically surround the lower part of the front section like two brackets.

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Side view

Reduced to the essentials, the side view instantly conveys the qualities of the MINI Clubman Concept: a long wheelbase, flatly positioned windows and short overhangs reflect characteristic MINI agility. At the same time, the long roof line and the typical two-box design clearly emphasise the car’s high level of functionality and its generous utility space.

Meanwhile the four doors reflect the extended exterior dimensions and increased functionality. Generous surface expanses elongate the side, while at the same time subtle surface modelling and precise lines make the silhouette appear flat and dynamic.

Three chrome elements give the side section a sense of exclusivity with modern understatement. At the front, the Side Scuttle incorporates the filigree mirror base and turn indicator in an elongated element whose shape is echoed by the two electrical door openers. Integrated flush with the surface, these draw a line back to the rear which is taken up by the rear door handles. Above this, the surrounding shoulder line in chrome offsets the corpus of the car from the greenhouse and roof in hallmark MINI style.

This so-called Waistline Finisher embraces the entire passenger cell, reinforcing the exterior graphics so typical of the brand. The 19″ light alloy rims in bicolour Black Chrome and Chrome finish are the highlight of the side view. A clear cup formation gives the elaborate multi-spoke design a highly dynamic touch. In between, glossy accents are added by non-cupped polished surfaces.

Aerodynamics

The MINI Clubman Concept is the first MINI to be fitted with a so-called AirBreather at the side. The AirBreather echoes the design theme of the AirCurtains in the front apron, cutting dynamically into the surrounding Black Band. The elaborate double roof spoiler at the rear is shown to best advantage from the top view. The third brake light is integrated in between the two wings of the roof spoilers in Formula 1 style. There are also two longitudinal sections of plexiglass which run across the entire length of the roof like rally stripes. In conjunction with the roof spoiler, this means that the distinctive dynamic air typical of MINI is applied to the MINI Clubman Concept from a bird’s-eye perspective, too.

Rear end

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The MINI Clubman Concept is broad and athletic in the rear view. The familiar MINI cascading – a staggering of multiple layers – gives the automobile a very solid standing and a muscular wheel orientation when seen from the rear. The most striking rear elements are the characteristic split doors. The typical continuous door frame is no longer made of sheet metal. The door graphic itself provides the frame surrounding the entire rear section like a discreet bracket. This newly elaborated design gives the whole rear a reduced, modern appearance. The horizontally positioned rear lights have a highly detailed finish. Their shape underscores the car’s broad standing and the dynamic orientation of the rear section. Selected chrome accents such as the “Clubman” inscription, the MINI emblem on the left-hand door and the door handles are specific details which emphasise the high-quality aspiration of the MINI Clubman Concept.

As in the front section, the aerodynamically optimised bumper finishes off the rear to the road.

Interior Design

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Along with the exterior, the interior of the MINI Clubman Concept has also grown to larger dimensions. With four doors and five fully-fledged seats, the MINI Clubman Concept offers plenty of space for the pursuit of an active lifestyle.

The new dimensions are brought to life by means of generous surfaces and more sophisticated spatial effect. The underlying design theme in the interior is the characteristic ellipse. Precise and contoured in its shaping, it comes over as more sophisticated while clearly displaying its origins. Around the ellipses, the interaction between several levels and surfaces adds lightness and a three-dimensional feel to the interior.

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The unusual materials are especially worthy of mention: nubuck leather in a light Sky Blue, patent leather in rich Berry Red and black soft nappa leather ensure an exclusive interior atmosphere which is highly expressive. In between, elements in patinised silver add high-end accentuations. The patina gives them the character of familiar, fondly used items. Decorative strips in blue limed ash grain convey cool, modern elegance. The two highly expressive fabrics Tweed Grey and Black Twill set an attractive counterpoint to the classic value attributes of wood, leather, silver, thereby creating the familiar MINI interior experience. Small details such as the buttons with Union Jack embossment on the seats and central console, contrast stitching, piping or red accentuation surfaces in the sunblinds which only appear when these are folded down all add a touch of surprise to the mature character of the MINI Clubman Concept.

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The instrument panel

The interior element of the MINI Clubman Concept with the most powerful presence is the leather-covered instrument panel. With a surround in blue limed ash grain and a white porcelain finish, the black upper section of the instrument panel has a hovering appearance. Indirect rear lighting of the gap reinforces this impression and gives the area in front of the driver and front passenger an extremely high-end ambience. The linear air vents have patinised, silver-plated surrounds. Between the air vents there is an area in Black Chrome which can be back-lit if required that provides additional information for the driver and front passenger. The suggested “Faded Diamonds” rhombus pattern gives the Black Chrome surface a particularly high-quality structure. The lower section of the instrument panel is finished in Berry Red patent leather, providing an extrovert yet sophisticated contrast to the more discreet design of the upper half.

The door design

The newly interpreted ellipse in the side runs dynamically across the two doors to create a visual link between front and rear. The armrests in blue nubuck leather appear to hover in the doors, while behind them there are practical storage compartments. The decorative surfaces in the doors have indirect backlighting to underscore the inviting, contemporary ambience. The side mirrors and roof liner recede discreetly into the background due to use of high-quality fabric Tweed Grey in salt-and-pepper look, while the quality weave of the fabric Black Twill with classic black-and-white contrast on the floor and mats makes for an elegant finish.

The concept of spatial function in the rear is rounded off with clever storage facilities in the split doors as well as a double load floor. The pouches in the doors are elaborately fitted with nubuck leather in Silk White. They are placed within convenient reach and help make optimum use of space in the luggage compartment. The double load floor provides additional storage capacity.

Controls

The display area in the centre console (160mm x 150mm) adapts according to the content selected or the situation on the road.

Three “intelligent” toggles are assigned the relevant content according to selected content or driving functions. Above and beyond this, the three toggles can also be freely programmed and assigned particular functions according preference.

The haptic quality of the toggles means that the various functions can be operated during travel without looking. Here the MINI Clubman Concept has taken classic operating elements that have been a part of MINI for 55 years and consistently advanced them.

(Source: MINI)

Image Gallery

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  1. 27/2/2014

    If this car keeps getting bigger…maybe the name “MINI” should change too 😀

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