you know the joke about MINI? if it ain’t small, it ain’t a MINI. nah. we just made that lame joke up. however big a MINI goes, it is still pretty small, but the MINI Clubman Concept that’s heading to Palexpo in Geneva next week has indeed grown in size. it is 26 cm (10 inches) longer and a little under 17 cm (6.7 inches) wider than the current MINI Clubman. well, that might not seem like a lot, but as far as cars are concerned, it sure makes a hell lot of difference in the interior space. all told, the concept now measures 4,223 mm in length, 1,844 mm wide and stands 1,450 mm tall. there is no talk about the power plant that goes under that shiny hood, so as you can expect, there is a bunch of marketing-heavy, design mambo jambos that came with the press release.
in any case, you can expect, not surprisingly, five doors (as in real doors that open the right way) and five fully-fledged seats, plus signature MINI design features such as the hexagonal radiator grille, side scuttles, the black band, short overhangs and elliptical front and rear lights. visually, the Munich designers-engineers has opt for an integrated aerodynamics for a more refine and flowing form, but retaining the clearly defined wheel arches. with a slightly bumped size, the interior also grown larger and comes with a design that we can only drool over and you know what that means, don’t you? it translates to “overly futuristic” and almost too sleek that, in our utmost humble opinion, is less than likely to make it to the production. just saying… the cabin, in particular the dash section, looks more space-age than production-like. but we could be wrong and would very much like if someone or somebody could prove us wrong.
anyway, BMW Group describes the interior as “an elaborate color and material concept… with exclusive materials and unexpected details” and the center instrument, a signature of all modern MINIs since, is of a newly conceived user interface, creating an “event-controlled interaction space with touch operation.” that said, it brings us to a bad news for some loyal MINI fans: the retro switches are not there anymore and so are the retro-ish instruments, though the new take are still as big as ever – if that’s of any consolation to die-hard fans (you are looking at one and we are torn about the missing switches).