MINI Clubman axed after 55 years and 1.1 million sales
The MINI Clubman was as wacky as it was popular but it’s come to the end of the road
The MINI Clubman was first launched in 1969. Then, after a 25-year break and MINI’s switch to BMW ownership, the modern Clubman appeared in 2007. Over 1.1 million Clubman cars have been created in total, with over half of those being built at MINI’s Oxfordshire plant.
Dr. Markus Grüneisl, CEO of MINI’s plants in Oxford and Swindon, said; “With its departure, we look ahead to welcoming members of the new MINI family to our Oxford and Swindon lines, including a new convertible model which we will start to produce at the end of this year”. The upcoming Aceman EV is expected to fill some of the gap left by the Clubman, with the new Countryman also picking up some of the slack.
Back in 1969, the MINI Clubman stood out in the market thanks to its distinctive split-opening rear doors. The doors had been a staple of the Clubman design since it first appeared on the Austin Seven Countryman and Morris Mini Traveller iterations, along with the distinctive wood panelling along the sides and at the rear. The Clubman Estate retained the four-door layout from those cars with two doors for the front occupants and two for the loading bay.
Based on the second-generation BMW MINI, the Clubman returned in 2007 with a retro-inspired exterior and a bodystyle that closely followed the original’s, right down to the split-opening rear doors. A big plus point for practicality for the 2007 model was the addition of a single pillarless door behind the driver’s door to allow easier access to the second row. The successor to this Clubman came in 2015 and featured traditional car doors for both rear passengers.
The demise of the Clubman isn’t a complete surprise as last year we saw a ‘Final Edition’ version of the Clubman in its third generation, with 18-inch alloy wheels, exclusive ‘Final Edition’ badging and exterior colours. It was also limited to 1,969 units - referencing the launch year of the original.
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