MINI Clubvan shock

4 Jul, 2012 4:14pm Luke Madden

Our reader wrote to MINI in 2009 to suggest it build a new Clubvan

Could this be Britain’s youngest car designer? His friends may be struggling to believe him, but it looks like this schoolboy could be the brains behind the all-new MINI Clubvan!

Car enthusiast Alexander Goldsmith, of Lewes, E Sussex, contacted us after spotting official pictures of the newcomer on last week, explaining he’d come up with the original idea for the van variant of the Clubman three years ago.

He told us he’d written to MINI back in 2009 to suggest it produce the car – and he even named it the Clubvan!

Better still, Alexander, now 15, had the letter to prove it, and MINI’s enthusiastic response. In it, the General Manager’s PA said it had passed his suggestions on to its Product Department “who read your letter with great interest”.

But she added: “I am not too sure whether we would produce a Clubvan seeing as we already have the Clubman. It requires an awful lot of money to put a car into production.”

However, much to Alexander’s delight, it went on to do exactly that. And while he was struggling to get friends at school to believe him, he was proud of his part in creating this MINI: “It’s amazing that even a 12-year-old can get a huge corporate business to produce a car,” he said.

When Auto Express called MINI, its spokesman said: “The new MINI Clubvan has been in the pipeline for several years and it was inspired by the classic Mini van. However it’s terrific to see such perceptive design foresight from kids such as Alex. Talented young people like him will help ensure a healthy future for the UK automotive design and manufacturing industry.”

The MINI Clubvan is based on a Clubman and goes on sale this autumn priced £11,175.