New Car: 2013 Mini Clubvan

Imagine you’re a Sweet 16 princess, and your flotilla of cupcakes shows up in the back of a Ford Transit, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, or something equally boxy and dumb. The shame! We can hardly blame you for that epic meltdown. Cry no longer: Mini has revealed its production Clubvan (it first bowed as a concept at this year’s Geneva show), and boutique delivery services can bring the goods without embarrassing their clientele.

As the pioneer in the “premium compact delivery van” segment—there’s a niche for you—Mini pitches the Clubvan as offering modest hauling capabilities without compromising enjoyment behind the wheel. Powering the wheeled embodiment of these dichotomous concepts is Mini’s 1.6-liter four-cylinder producing 121 hp and 114 lb-ft of torque. Coupled with a standard six-speed manual (a six-speed auto is optional), the Italian Job-jobber will march from zero to 60 in an estimated 9.8 seconds on its way to a top speed of 124 mph.

The Clubvan’s exterior dimensions are exactly the same as those of the Clubman on which it’s based. The differentiation (other than the single strength of powerplant on offer in the van versus 121-hp Cooper, 181-hp Cooper S, and 208-hp JCW flavors of Clubman) comes aft of the driver’s seats. The rear seats have been replaced with a carpeted load floor, and the Clubvan will swallow slightly more than 30 cubic feet of bite-size cargo. Fragile cargo is locked down via six tie-down hooks, and a partition made of stainless-steel mesh and aluminum makes sure stuff stays where it should during aggressive braking maneuvers. For those who will be hauling goods requiring a charge, the cargo hold is equipped with 12-volt sockets. As befits a delivery vehicle, the rear side windows are polycarbonate-reinforced and covered with a finish color-matched to the exterior. The rear-facing windows are tinted.

Thanks to: Car and Driver


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