2012 Mini Clubvan hits production this fall, not ‘just a concept’

2013 Mini Clubvan

2013 Mini Clubvan

Except for one example*, Mini has built a production version of every concept vehicle it has ever shown. So when Mini introduced the Clubvan concept at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, it was certain that the Mini Clubvan would see the assembly line, no matter how fervently it was billed “concept only.”

So it should be no surprise that Mini is announcing a production version of the Min Clubvan concept. The only questions left were when and exactly how it would be equipped.

When is easy: it’s in the autumn of 2012 as a 2013 model.

The format is easy. Like the Chevrolet HHR Panel Van was to the Chevy HHR , the production Mini Clubvan will largely similar to the Clubvan concept.  The Clubvan simply blanks off the rear side windows of the Mini Clubman to make it a compact cargo hauler. Deep tinted rear windows in the rear side-hinged twin doors along with the opaque rear windows (protected inside by polycarbonate reinforcement) will keep the cargo area well hidden.

2013 Mini Clubvan

2013 Mini Clubvan

The cargo area eliminates the rear seats and has a flat load floor with six attachment loops to tie down cargo. The side walls are carpeted, and an anthracite roof liner runs the full length of the vehicle.

Access to the cargo area is by the rear doors or the right side rear door, though the latter looks particularly limited and requires that the right front door be opened. The cargo area is separated from the driver and passenger seat by a partition comprised of a lower solid aluminum section and an upper section of stainless steel mesh extending to the roof. The result is 30.3 cubic feet of cargo space that is 44.8 inches long and at its narrowest point just behind the rear doors is 40.1 inches wide. Maximum payload capacity is 816 lbs.

The cargo area has 12-volt sockets for powering electrical equipment.

In the U.S., the Mini Clubvan will be offered only with the 121-horsepower engine, and only in a choice of four colors, Pepper White, Ice Blue, British Racing Green metallic and Midnight Black metallic. The Mini Clubvan will be all black inside, but alternative interiors  will be available, and Mini will offer the usual plethora of options. Clubvan Delta Spoke styling will be sandard, replaceable by 15, 16 or 17-inch alloy wheels.

As cargo hauling goes, the Mini Clubvan will appeal mostly to businesses with high visibility and low capacity needs or to private owners who have hobbies they don’t particularly want to share with the world in general and require the flat floor. Of course, extra passenger are out, and rear quarter visison will be worse than lousy.

But what’s next after the Mini Clubvan? We’ll just have to wait for the next Mini concept reveal to know.

The the Mini Beachcomber concept was reportedly production-bound but unable to overcome safety concerns