That the new 2014 MINI Cooper hatchback would be followed by other Mini models was no great secret. Our spy photographers caught a Mini Cooper Clubman prototype in Germany, and parent company BMW previously said it will build 11 models off the UKL platform that underpins the new MINI Cooper. It’s hardly a surprise, then, that Mini has followed the Cooper JCW concept shown in Detroit with this Mini Clubman concept for the 2014 Geneva auto show, showing a second eventual variant of the new Cooper.
Measuring 10.2 inches longer and 6.7 inches wider than a standard 2014 Cooper hatchback, the Mini Clubman concept reprises the outgoing production car’s four-door, five-seat layout. The rear doors are split, van-like, to make it more convenient to open them in cramped urban environments. The metallic gray roof appears to float above the Berry Red bodywork thanks to blacked-out pillars. The Clubman concept is actually bigger than the current largest Mini, the 2014 Countryman, by more than four inches in length and 2.2 inches in width.
Most of the Mini Clubman concept’s design cues closely match those seen on the production 2014 Mini Cooper, starting with the enormous front grille and rounded headlights, and continuing through the black-chrome 19-inch wheels and steeply angled rear windshield. There are, however, some subtle changes for this concept. The car features AirBreather vents behind the front wheels, an aerodynamic drag-reducing element first introduced on the BMW 4 Series. The large roof spoiler has the third brake light integrated into its center. Finally, the roof features two enormous plexiglass panels to allow more light into the interior.
That interior offers a fanciful take on Mini cabin design. High-end materials abound, including Nappa leather, and the dashboard has been reimagined so the upper section appears to “float” thanks to a black trim piece and backlighting. The enormous, round center screen automatically changes its functions based on what the driver is doing, and three toggle switches beneath it can be customized to control any function the driver desires. A wide, rounded center console features a large red toggle switch to start the engine, and a stubby shift lever topped by a large, round knob.
Though it is official a show car, it’s not hard to see how the Mini Clubman concept will emerge from is chrysalis as a production model. Strip out the Nappa leather, plexiglass skylights, and ash-wood dashboard trim, and this concept provides a pretty good preview as to the design of the 2015 Mini Clubman. In the U.S., expect the car to offer the same powertrain choices as the 2014 Mini Cooper. Base models will likely use a 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-three with 134 hp, while the Clubman S employs a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four good for 189 hp. Both six-speed manual and automatic transmissions should be available.