• Mini Clubman debuts in the Philippines

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    D1---Mini-Clubman-20160329Biggest Mini available in Cooper or Cooper S variants

    Autohub Group, which manages the Mini brand in the Philippines, launched on March 10 the all-new Mini Clubman at Green Sun Hotel in Makati City.

    Touted as the largest Mini available, the Clubman is the shooting-brake or estate version of the Mini Five Door. The company said in a statement the Clubman is 271 millimeters longer and 73 millimeters wider than the Five Door, while the wheelbase has been increased by 103 millimeters. As a result, the company said the luggage compartment is 360 liters with the seats up and can be extended to 1,250 liters with the 40:20:40 rear bench folded down.

    Four full doors, barn-door tailgate
    As with the new Mini hatchback, the Clubman features larger headlights and a new hexagonal front grill. The company said the front end also features air curtains that consist of narrow, vertically arranged openings in the outer sections of the lower air inlet to improve aerodynamics. These work by channeling air around the wheel arches, which escape through air breathers in the rear section of the side panels.

    Down the side, the biggest change to the Clubman are the doors. Instead of the three-door arrangement in its predecessor, which included a passenger’s side “Clubdoor” together with a regular door, the new model features four full-size doors for easier entry and exit. In addition, the new car features black plastic cladding around the wheel arches and at the bottom of doors.

    But it’s the rear where the Clubman features the most substantial alterations. The new model still features a barn-door tailgate where two small doors open to the side, but the company said the central bar in the rear glass has been narrowed significantly for better rear visibility. In addition, the company said the new tailgate can be opened hands-free using the standard Comfort Access function, such that if the driver is carrying the car key, he or she just has to wave his or her foot under the rear bumper to make it open automatically.

    Other styling changes include horizontal taillights that extend into the tailgate and additional lights on the rear bumper. Further down is a revised rear apron, which includes a diffuser for the Cooper S model.

    Turbocharged three- and four-cylinder power plants
    Speaking of models, the Clubman is available in either Cooper or performance-oriented Cooper S variants. The former is powered by a turbocharged, 1.5-liter, twin-cam, 12-valve, direct-injection inline-three producing 136 horsepower and 220 Newton-meters of torque (with 230 Nm available during the overboost function), which is mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox. The company said this gets the Cooper Clubman from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour in 9.1 seconds, with a top speed of 205 kph.

    Meanwhile, the Cooper S gets a turbocharged, 2.0-liter, twin-cam, 16-valve inline-four producing 192 horsepower and 280 Nm of torque (with 300 Nm from overboost). This is paired with an eight-speed automatic gearbox with sequential-shift mode and paddle shifters and comes with launch control. The company said the hotter Clubman gets from 0 to 100 kph in 7.1 seconds and has a top speed of 228 kph.

    Glowing interior
    Inside, the Clubman inherits the quirky, circular-themed interior from the rest of the Mini range. But the company said this model gets a wider center console and instrument panel as a result of the car’s added width. Below the air vents is a horizontal decorative strip that also emphasizes width.

    Meanwhile, the center console is fitted with either a 6.5-inch color screen that displays vehicle, infotainment and, for the Cooper S, phone functions. It also has an LED ring surround that responds to the current road situation and to specific operating procedures by through an interactive lighting display. All functions are managed by a controller in the center console, which is also where the electrical parking brake button is placed.

    In addition, the Clubman features the new Mini Yours Interior Styles, which has a door-trim design with indirectly illuminated decorative strips combined with various interior trim finishers. The company said the lighting package with LED interior and ambient lighting can be set to one of 255 colors to suit your mood.

    Driving Assistant, heads-up display
    For safety, the company said the Clubman comes standard with rear Park Distance Control and cruise control with braking function. Options include front Park Distance Control, a rear-view camera and the Parking Assistant, which helps the driver park in spaces parallel to the road.

    Also available is the Driving Assistant, which the company said is a camera-based cruise-control and distance-control function that automatically maintains a set distance from the vehicle ahead. The system also includes a collision- and pedestrian-warning system with initial-brake function that automatically brakes in case of an imminent collision in urban traffic. In critical situations, the driver is initially warned by means of visual and audio signals.

    Another option is the Mini Heads-Up-Display that projects driving-related information onto an extendible display in the upper area of the instrument panel between the windshield and steering wheel. The company said this allows drivers to read important driving information without having to look away from the road.

    The Clubman range starts at P2.7 million for the Cooper and goes up to P3.2 million for the Cooper S.

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