For a car as quirky as the Clubman, it’s rather unusual that MINI sold it for no fewer than 16 years. Yes, the six-door contraption was available from 2007 when the R55 generation went on sale until recently when the F54 bowed out with a Final Edition. If you’ve been hoping that the third time’s the charm, there is sadly not going to be another iteration of the small wagon as the Head of MINI believes there is no need for it anymore.
In an interview with Top Gear magazine, Stefanie Wurst explained that with the Aceman small crossover arriving next year to join the new Clubman, that space in the lineup previously occupied by the Clubman is being indirectly filled. She admitted the unusual model hasn’t been exactly a huge commercial success, having been outsold by the Clubman by a 2 to 1 ratio.
MINI’s top brass said she’s actually driving a Clubman these days, but the model is heading toward retirement since the role of a “big car concept” has been assigned to the new Countryman. As for the Aceman, the production version will premiere in April 2024 and is going to be sold exclusively as an EV. Its bigger brother offers buyers the choice between combustion engines and electric powertrains.
As a refresher, MINI is also discontinuing the manual gearbox as all models going forward will be offered strictly with an automatic. Nevertheless, the future is shaping up to be exciting since the Oxford-based marque has confirmed there will be another five-door hatchback and even a convertible. The future is undoubtedly electric, with EVs projected to account for 50% of all sales as early as 2030 before the British brand will pull the plug on ICEs altogether by the end of the decade.
In the meantime, one final wave of gasoline-fueled John Cooper Works performance cars is in the works, as already seen with the new 300-horsepower Countryman JCW. The BMW Group automaker will also give its future electric cars the spicy JCW treatment in the not-too-distant future.
Source: Top Gear