Mini Goes Commercial With New Concept

mini-dubvan-concept Is there room in the market for a compact, upscale cargo vehicle? Mini parent BMW is trying to find out with the Clubvan concept set to debut at the Geneva International Motor Show next month. The concept expands on Mini’s Clubman compact wagon, a stretched version of the traditional Mini Cooper two-door hatch.

Like the production Clubman, it has a third rear-hinged door on the passenger side and barn-door-style cargo doors. Instead of seating five, however, the concept seats two in front, with a flat load floor in back for cargo. The passenger and cargo areas are divided by a fixed aluminum and stainless-steel panel, and the rear window is tinted to seclude the cargo. To keep items from sliding, Mini added six recessed anchors with elastic straps to the cargo area. A 12-volt outlet was also added for power tools.

Mini is aiming at upscale businesses with the new concept, and says the Clubvan can be customized with made-to-order drawers, shelves and bins inside and business logos and custom design themes outside. In a statement, the automaker says it’s aiming at "premium small businesses who want to combine sharp driving dynamics with low cost of ownership, while also making a style statement with their company van."

Mini didn't mention production plans for the Clubvan, but this isn't the first time the brand attempted to attract commercial-van shoppers. The Clubvan concept echoes Mini's Morris Mini Van from the '60s.

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