Mini's coming Clubvan is a puzzler
|Rick Kranz is product editor for Automotive News.|
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DETROIT -- The Mini brand has done a successful job of slicing and dicing to create a model line.
Starting with a three-door hatchback back in 2002, the brand has added a convertible, two-passenger roadster, four-door crossover and other models.
But tooling up this new model? I don't get it.
Next up is a panel van based on the existing Clubman, called the Clubvan. The concept debuts next month at the Geneva motor show, and reports say a production version will be unveiled this year. Way, way back in its history, Mini offered a panel van.
The Clubvan has four doors and a flat load compartment in place of a rear seat. The windows are covered. A fence-like partition is positioned behind the front seat so cargo won't go flying when the driver slams on the brakes.
Judging from the photos, the Clubvan doesn't have a heck of a lot of cargo space.
So who might buy it? Mini says the concept is aimed at premium small businesses that want to make a statement.
With the limited amount of cargo space, what might the Clubvan deliver?
A wheel of cheese?
Spider Man's suit?
Boxes of Cuban cigars (where legal, of course).
Kind of limited, I'd say -- too small to be a meaningful delivery truck.
The only thing missing in Mini's product line is a stretched limo and a dump truck.
Maybe that's next year's surprise.