New models - Mini - Clubman
Mini Clubman pricing revealed
Starting price of $34,900 remains for reborn Mini Clubman
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23 Oct 2015
MINI has maintained the $34,900 plus on-roads opening price for its all-new Clubman hatch that the BMW-owned brand hopes will be a more mainstream offering than the model it replaces.
In Australia the new-generation Clubman will be offered in entry level Cooper guise from $34,900 and spicy Cooper S for $42,900, which represents a $1000 saving over the outgoing version.
The pricing and specification for the local range was revealed at Melbourne's Motorclassica where Mini and its parent company BMW have a stand, and the model arrives in Mini garages next month.
Speaking with GoAuto at the classic car show, Mini Australia national manager Kai Bruesewitz said the shift in positioning of the Clubman to an Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz A-Class rival will ensure higher sales than the superseded model.
“We are hoping to sell substantially more than the outgoing Clubman, which was around 250-300 units (per year) so we are hoping for more,” he said. “And we think with the increased versatility and practicality of that car, there should be a market.
“It won't compete from a volume perspective with the (three-door) hatch but it will come out of the niche as it was in the past so we are hoping it will be one of our top-selling models.”
The Clubman made its official debut at this year's Frankfurt motor show with the British brand saying at the time the new version offers more practicality and will therefore appeal to a wider customer base.
It maintains the quirky split barn doors at the rear for easy access to the cargo area, but it has done away with the rear half 'Clubdoor' in favour of four traditional doors.
Like the three- and 5-door hatch, the Clubman is based on BMW Group's UKL front-wheel drive platform and in Cooper guise will be powered by the 100kW three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine matched with a standard six-speed automatic transmission as standard.
The Cooper S gets the 141kW 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine paired with an eight-speed auto.
Standard gear on the Cooper includes cloth upholstery, a reversing camera, rear parking sensors, front and rear fog-lights, the Mini Visual Boost infotainment system with a 6.5-inch screen, 'extended Bluetooth functionality, interior LED lights, auto air-conditioning with airvents in the second row, a forward collision warning, a storage compartment package and 16-inch alloy wheels.
Stepping up to the $8000 dearer Cooper S adds 17-inch alloys, cloth/leather upholstery, a John Cooper Works leather steering wheel, Mini navigation system, auto-opening tailgate, dual chrome finish exhaust and the Mini Performance control system that reduces understeer and increases traction.
Mr Bruesewitz said he did not believe that Clubman sales would cannibalise those of the Countryman crossover, adding that the models appealed to different buyers.
“It is a different concept. That's more a car that is probably competing with the other compact cars like A3, A-Class. We are looking at those cars as the benchmarks. And the Countryman is a Mini-sized SUV, but still a proper SUV, so I don’t think the target groups are necessarily overlapping.”
The British-built hatch is 270mm longer at 4253mm, 90mm wider at 1800mm and has a 100mm longer wheelbase than before at 2670mm, making it the biggest Mini ever built.
Mr Bruesewitz said the shift to a larger model has concerned some customers, suggesting that it is diluting the brand, but added that the Mini name did not have to reflect a model's size.
“We get mixed feedback. Some think it is not a Mini anymore. I think let's not stick dogmatically to that name Mini, that’s out brand name, but that doesn’t mean that our cars have to be mini from a size perspective. We have new safety requirements like pedestrian protection and that is also reflected in the size here.”
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