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Mini Clubvan concept reveal at Geneva show


We all thought so when the BMW engineers wheeled out the Mini pie van concept, a Mini wearing Wellies and a Mini coupe with a baseball cap on backwards. But then we noticed those wacky lederhosen-wearing Bavarians weren't laughing. Consequently we have the Mini Clubman, Countryman and Coupe which arrives this month.

Now those boys in their funny leather shorts are making us laugh again with a five-door two-seater Clubvan concept to be released at the Geneva motor show next month. It is designed for small business owners who want a two-seater van with some carrying capacity - but not too much - yet they still want five doors. In short it's the answer to a question no one asked.

BMW Group Australia spokesman Piers Scott agrees.

"I can rule this one out for Australia," he says.

The Clubvan concept is nothing new. Back in 1960, Mini released the Morris Mini Van with an extra 10cm of wheelbase. The new Clubvan is basically a Clubman with front seats only and unbroken side body panels so business owners can signwrite them. Unfortunately, it also has the Clubman's suicide doors on the wrong side of the car that empty their passengers out into the traffic - suicide doors, indeed.

Inside, is a flat floor cargo area which is roped off from the cabin by an aluminium and steel partition grille.

BMW proudly proclaims it is the "first premium model in the small car-based van segment". Sort of like an expensive Twingo.

If it does go into production, undoubtedly it will have Mini characteristics such as go-kart handling, it will turn heads in traffic and will be the must-have car for Gen-Xers. And there will be a host of accessories to personalise the car and probably a range of petrol and diesel engines, and maybe even a JCW.