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Mini Cooper Clubman Spied Again in California

The six-door Mini returns.

Our colleagues at Motor Trend spotted the next MINI Cooper Clubman testing in California. We've seen the new Mini Cooper Clubman testing before -- and Mini has even shown a concept -- but this is our closest look yet at the next six-door Mini. Motor Trend editors spotted this car at a gas station in southern California, and were able to get a closer look before the driver fled their cameras.

The MINI Cooper Clubman pictured here closely follows in the design footsteps of the concept and the earlier prototype. The front end retains the Hardtop's rounded nose and oval-shaped headlights, while the rear of the Clubman keeps its split rear doors. Although the standard MINI Cooper Hardtop already has a four-door variant for this generation, the Clubman is still longer and is more of a station wagon design compared to the Hardtop's hatchback proportions.

Expect most other aspects of the new Mini Cooper Clubman to mirror those of the existing Cooper Hardtop. Under the hood, base models will likely use the134-hp, 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-three engine, while S models will get a 2.0-liter turbo-four good for 189 hp. Buyers should be able to choose between six-speed manual and eight-speed automatic transmissions.

In 2014, the current Mini Cooper Clubman racked up only 2,613 sales, down 49.3 percent compared to 2013 sales -- and just a fraction of the 22,843 sales for which the Cooper Hardtop accounted last year. The Mini Countryman and Paceman crossovers, meanwhile, accumulated a combined 24,727 sales.

The Mini Cooper Clubman is likely to debut at a major auto show this year. Next week, Mini will show a slightly more exciting car at the 2015 Detroit auto show, the high-performance Cooper Hardtop John Cooper Works. That hot hatch will pack 228 hp and can rocket to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds.

To see the full set of Mini Cooper Clubman spy photos, read the full story at Motor Trend.