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Mini 'Clubvan' Revealed, Dog Owners Rejoice

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On: Mon, Feb 20, 2012 at 3:30PM | By: Chris Salamone


Mini 'Clubvan' Revealed, Dog Owners Rejoice

Rumors have been cycling for a while now, but these are the first official images of the Mini Clubvan concept which is set to debut at Geneva’s Auto Show in March. While panel vans continue to be popular in Europe, the stateside trend has remained somewhat lukewarm since Chevrolet introduced the HHR Panel and Ford unveiled the Ford Transit Connect. But perhaps Mini’s Clubvan concept will be fun or functional enough to convince US buyers to become panel van friendly. Perhaps the Clubvan will entice buyers not previously interested in the Mini brand or panel vans in general.

Enter the 39% of United States households which own at least one dog.

To be fair, we aren’t sure the Clubvan will ever reach US soil or even final production elsewhere. But if the vehicle ever enters the land of the free, you can bet your lucky socks that pet owners will be the primary buying demographic.

Sure, the Clubvan would make an excellent small business hauler. The vehicle, finally, incorporates a completely flat load space in a traditional Clubman format and does away with all the flash and bang we’ve come to expect in modern Mini interiors. Despite these advantages, the Clubvan (as shown) will have trouble competing with vehicles like the Transit Connect for small business applications because of its limited load space and floor-to-ceiling fabric – rather than commerce-friendly plastic.

So we’re left with a potentially quick handling, two-seater featuring an anthracite-colored cloth loading bay which includes six attachment loops and a fixed partition grille. Mini seems to have prepared for a mixed response by offering a few business-type uses: “For example, a car in the mould of the MINI Clubvan Concept would fit excellently into the fleet of a fashion designer, art gallery owner or catering service. And its abilities as an all-rounder also tick the right boxes for a photographer with a stack of camera, tripod and lighting equipment to ferry around during the week – and bulky sports and leisure gear to pile on board at the weekend.”

Don’t get the wrong idea. The Clubvan looks like an incredibly useful version of an already fun car to drive. But don’t expect to see the Cake Boss trading in his commercial van keys. This is a vehicle which looks like a great fit for Fido and friends – who desperately need a carpeted flat floor to cling to. If Mini brings the Clubvan to the US, the company will certainly draw a new audience of previously uninterested patrons, albeit hairier and more prone to collect flees.


Photo Gallery (click a thumbnail to enlarge)


Comments

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Sami18 | 12:11PM (Tue, Feb 21, 2012)

I think Mini did a great job designing the Clubvan but i am not sure who it is really going to appeal to. Most dog owners aren't going to buy a car just to haul their dogs around in and even if it ever hits U.S soil alot of people might not know what to think about it.


reply

Stephy21 | 12:26PM (Tue, Feb 21, 2012)

What was Mini thinking, why in the world would they want to make a commercial vehicle so small.



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