In a configuration tailored specifically for the MINI Clubman, the chassis and suspension guarantee superior handling, safety and sporting dynamics. The front axle is based on the MacPherson spring strut principle and features an anti-roll bar to reduce body sway to an absolute minimum. The central-arm rear axle is unique in this segment, sophisticated kinematics ensuring optimum wheel-to-road contact. Aluminium longitudinal arms help to reduce the car’s overall weight.
As with the Hatch, the suspension on the MINI Cooper S is set up to be firmer and more dynamic than the other models, although an optional Sports Suspension set-up is available to the other models.
The MINI Cooper Clubman and the MINI Cooper D Clubman come as standard on 15-inch alloy rims, while the MINI Cooper S Clubman features 16-inch wheels with runflat tyres, allowing the driver to continue driving even after a complete loss of tyre pressure.
Electric Power-Assisted Steering (EPAS) gives direct feedback to the driver and contributes to the pin-point accuracy of the MINI Clubman. Speed-related power assistance guarantees low steering forces when parking and precise responses at high speeds on the motorway. A further advantage of EPAS is that it weighs far less than a conventional steering system and is geared towards saving energy: the electric motor is only activated when power assistance is required by the driver.
The MINI Clubman features a wide range of safety features. Six airbags are standard consisting of front, side and curtain head airbags for the driver and front passenger. The extra-large curtain airbags (integrated in the roof lining) offer optimum protection from head injuries for the rear passengers.
Active safety is ensured in critical situations by ABS anti-lock brakes, EBD Electronic Brake Force Distribution and CBC Cornering Brake Control as standard on all models. In addition, DSC Dynamic Stability Control is also standard (with on-off control by the driver) together with ASC+T Automatic Stability Control + Traction. Included within DSC is Hill Assist. This feature holds a manual MINI on the brake for a few seconds when setting off on a gradient to prevent it from rolling back.
The new generation of the MINI is the world’s only compact premium car to combine fascinating design with incomparably agile driving characteristics, quality and safety of the highest level, a wide range of customisation options, and truly outstanding efficiency. The new MINI Clubman offers further evidence of this leadership.
Andy Hearn, MINI UK General Manager, said: “MINI dealers are very excited and confident about the imminent arrival of the Clubman and the expansion of the MINI range. Dealers have invested close to £40 million in the last two years in expanding or moving premises, enabling them to present the huge choice of models, options and accessories to customers in the showroom. Demand continues to grow year by year with 2007 sales up nearly 14 per cent, including three record months from March. Residual values remain amongst the best in the industry and the arrival of Clubman will further add to MINI's growth over the coming years.”