MINI is to reveal a new van concept – the Clubvan – at the Geneva International Motor Show 2012.
Update: The MINI Clubvan will go into production, according to Autocar. Production should start later this year.
More than fifty years ago, the first Morris Mini Van rolled off BMC’s Birmingham and Oxford production lines. Today, MINIs are still being made at Cowley and BMW is set to add a new variant to the mix – the MINI Clubvan.
Currently only a concept, the MINI Clubvan is based on the MINI Clubman, the current estate car version of the MINI.
Although I am not too keen on the standard MINI, I am a big fan of the Clubman shape, which lends itself superbly to becoming a small van and to other customisation options, as BMW points out in its press release…
Premium Van Would Be Promotional Gem
BMW says that the MINI Clubvan would be “a compact van for business and leisure, and the first premium model in the small car-based van segment.” That’s certainly true – although it says something about my powers of foresight when less a month after I questioned the future of car-derived small vans, the sexiest car-derived van of all time arrives on the scene.
There is no doubt that a van like this would create an excellent promotional effect for certain types of business – whether used as a delivery or work vehicle or simply as a promotional tool.
The Clubvan might also be the ultimate company car for a van hire company owner.
To criticise the Clubvan for not being as practical as a Citroen Berlingo would be to miss the point. Despite that, the Clubvan is more practical than you might think, offering a flat load area from behind the front seats to the rear doors, with an integral bulkhead and attachment loops for strapping loads down.
The Clubvan also retains the Clubman’s rear-opening rear side doors and van-style rear doors, providing good rear and side access to the load compartment.
The sides of the van provide a surprisingly large expanse of flat space for signwriting and graphics and the rear windows are dark-tinted for security and style.
Will The Clubvan Go Into Production?
At this stage the Clubvan is just a concept, but I have a strong feeling that it will go into production: it is just too practical and desirable not too.
Besides, can you imagine jut how much fun a Cooper model would be?
Scroll down for more pictures, or visit www.mini.co.uk for more information.